The Mission Field

Written May 2012Nightingale Pledge

It was thirty years ago this month that I started my last year of high school and found myself facing a decision that would affect the path my life would take. My love and gift in music made the pursuit of the arts seem a likely choice. It was during one of those regular meetings all high school seniors were required to have with the guidance counselor that those poignant words were spoken, “a woman won’t make it in the music industry choose another career.” Feeling the need to insure my eventual financial independence I chose to heed his advice. I have thought many times over these years of that conversation that steered me onto this path and wondered if I was not robbed and misguided settling for second best.

In 2009 I took a needed sabbatical. My career to date had been prosperous in many ways but I was stressed and needed to regroup. Upon re-entry into the workforce I accepted an administrative position. People would ask me what I did for work and for the first time in many years I did not associate myself with my chosen profession, it was odd because who I was seemed locked up in what I did. Uncertainty began to creep into my mind. Who am I? What is it that I am supposed to be doing with my life? I was struggling and uncertain.

Less than two years later I began to realize that I was not suited for administration. I needed to make another change. An exciting opportunity presented itself at that precise moment. The role was brand new to the organization and pretty new to the industry. I was told that the “canvas is blank to be painted any way you choose”. After a protracted interview process I was offered the job. My then boss and friend cried when I told her of my decision. She was happy that I was returning to my first love.

I began that new position six short weeks ago. On my third day I was reunited with the joy of my chosen profession as I sat at the bedside of a recovering patient. No mistake was made all those years ago when I migrated from the road of music onto the path of nursing. I am a nurse. It is as much a part of my authentic self as my brown eyes and sometimes brown hair. It brings me joy to alleviate suffering of another human being. After thirty years I can finally retire the thought “I was wronged”.

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