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Getting Lost

January 24, 2008

It’s so hard to keep perspective sometimes.

You know those reminders that you get sometimes, about one of your personal lessons you have to learn over and over?And how hard it is to see those reminders, because you’re lost in the mire?

I started back at school. I’m taking a Physiology class. We’re talking about biomolecules, peptide chains, hydrogen bonds. I know I will look back in six weeks and think how easy, how coastable, this part of the class was. Right now, thrown in with other pre-nursing students, all I feel is overwhelmed. Everyone is talking about different programs, how difficult it is to get into certain ones, the passing rates of various schools, student loans, etc. I sit mute, because I am a. shy and b. unable to contribute becuase frankly, I still don’t know what I’m doing.

One of my reminders is that I am good with either small details — getting those things done that are right in front of me — or the Big Picture — the end goal — but not so much the middle part. The middle part — assembling all those small details into something bigger, or deconstructing the big picture into smaller steps — the how do I get there part — can be very overwhelming for me. Not always, but definitely sometimes.

Some people might say this is how it’s supposed to be — do the things that you can, that are right in front of you, while keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Ok, fine. But my head gets stuck in the middle part, the path, and I get very flustered and feel bad. For instance. I want to get my RN license. So, I go to school and take prerequisite classes, with the end goal of having that R.N. to stick behind my name. Good enough. But after the prerequisites, then what? There are one million ways to go. AA degrees. Accelerated AA degrees. BSN degrees. Second-degree BSN programs. Accelerated BSN programs. Accelerated Non-Related Degree to MSN programs. I am not exaggerating — there are so many different ways to get there.

My original plan — just take the classes, go somewhere local for a 2-year degree, go part time, keep working, just do it the easiest, lowest-stress way, sounded really good. But then I start to thnk about it. And panic. If I go part-time, that turns a 2-year degree into a four-year degree. Then the age-related numbers start to pop up. I can’t even start a program until fall 2009! I’ll be XX by the time I get this stupid degree! I thought I was supposed to just get the RN the quickest way possible! That is not quick! That is the opposite of quick!

So then I get lost in the options. The many paths. I start to worry about finances and kids and houses and jobs and getting old. Then, before you know it, I’m in complete despair and ready to throw in the towel.

I know, I know. Just work on what’s in front of me and have faith that the path will be revealed. It’s good advice. I should take it. But there are decisions to be made (eventually) and I’m a Virgo and I like to have some semblance of a plan. I realize this is not always possible. All I’m saying is… it’s hard sometimes. I’m not feeling the best today and everything seems too hard.

So… I’ll just go to class and focus on getting the best grade I can in the class. Then I have at least one more prerequisite class to take. Then I have to decide what programs to apply to. So I have a few months at least. What I need is some kind of chart: to get into this school, I need to take these classes. The application dates for these schools are on these dates. These are the various options per school, with various finishing times, with various related costs.

Hmm. That is not a bad idea.

OK, maybe it’s survivable. Maybe I’ll find a way through the middle. Maybe it doesn’t matter how old I am by the time I finish. Maybe at some point I’ll decide to just jump in and take out loans and get the thing done in a big hurry. All I have to do right now is study for my class. And make that chart.

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