On New Year’s Day, 2014, I re-discovered my five-year-old blog, “The Write Path.” I had a lot going on when I started this blog 2009, and after two brief posts, the project got buried under other priorities.
Today, those long-forgotten posts, preserved in their cyberspace time capsule, provided a much-needed mule-kick to my higher self. Reading them made me cry. How could I have written these heartfelt missives so long ago and then failed to take my own advice?
Wait. Let me re-frame that question: Maybe I didn’t actually fail to take my own advice, maybe I just got distracted. If that’s case, then it appears that I have managed to take a 5-year detour from the creative goals I wrote so passionately about in 2009. The point is: Today, I’m not actively writing or finding daily joy. Why not?
At the time of my blog’s initial launch, I was pursuing a radical career change. Between 2009 and 2013, I earned a Master’s degree in nursing, met state licensing and national board-certification requirements as a nurse practitioner, and amassed a wealth of practical knowledge about holistic health and healing. I am now seeking work in health care that resonates with my ideals of holistic wellness—which, as it turns out, is not an easy task. Be that as it may, my pursuits over the last 5 years took so much of my time and personal energy, that there was no time left over for writing anything but the requisite reports and papers for graduation. At least, that’s the story I told myself. The problem is, I’m still telling it. Thanks in part to everything I’ve learned about holistic wellness, I realize that continuing to live that story now could cost me my health.
I laughed through my tears today upon re-reading my blog post from May, 2009, “The Three P’s of Pursuit.” Indeed, it took persistence for me to get through nursing school, and of course, from the proper perspective, I could argue that the last 5 years of my life have not been wasted. The tears came from being reminded in my own words that I need to give myself permission to experience joy.
So far, it has been difficult for me to find joy in the health care industry. I want to actually help people, and in order to do that, I feel like I need to spend more time with my patients than the standard 15-minute (or less) appointment. Forcing myself to work within the time crunch is like wearing shoes that don’t fit. So, why would I do it?
Of course, that brings up the question: If I’m making a conscious choice to buck the system, will I ever find work (joyful or otherwise) in health care? It occurs to me that reconnecting with my creativity and true essence is a key part of finding joy in any arena. So, since I clearly find joy in writing, so I definitely need to be writing more. Who knows? Maybe one way of finding joy in health care is by writing about it.
Meanwhile, if I’m successful in reconnecting with my own true essence and creativity, one of two things will happen: Either 1) I will find a way to BE the change I want to see in health care; or 2) I will discover some other way to help people. Right now, the outcome doesn’t matter. My next step toward re-connection is developing a plan for a personal renaissance.