I've been pondering about my employment status for awhile now. Back in 2006 BC (before children) I was in the HR business. I was hiring, firing, disciplining, etc... and it is really the only profession I am qualified for. Plus, (TOOT TOOT, says my horn) I am good at it. But, as I sit here with an unemployed husband and I am facing the possibility of going back to work sooner than I originally planned... I know I just don't want to be in that field anymore. I spend my home life disciplining people, I don't want to do that at work, too! Plus, I just don't think I can take people seriously anymore as they tell me that they are great multitaskers and organizational wizards. My new interview questions would revolve around whether or not they've ever held a thirty pound 1 year old while suffering from a torn rotator cuff as you decorate a birthday cake on the day your other son had adenoid and ear tube surgery. If the answer is "yes, I can multitask" I am going to punch them in the face. So, that leaves me with a very important question (one that I share with Tabbi and the other tween children in my life)... what do I want to be when I grow up?
Instantly, I thought rock star. Great hours because I am a total night owl and maximum income potential. But, when I realized that, movie star and professional athlete all required skill... I ruled them out. So, realistically... what am I going to do with myself? My friends have suggested that I become a writer, but I appreciate them more for their support than their literary criticism skills. I was Googling stuff and found one theory that basically said that you should pursue a career in the area of the shows that you watch on tv. Based on that logic, Mark should be an alien. So, forget that. I came up with a couple ideas all by myself: nurse or teacher. Pause for reaction.
I am a little hesitant to go the teaching route. I have a degree in English Literature (yes, I realize that degree is worthless, don't feel compelled to point that out), so I could teach with just a few teaching courses and the certification. But, I don't really enjoy children (except my own, so don't speed dial CPS quite yet). I could not deal with a room full of bratty 5th graders OMGing their way into my daily migraine. Older kids are even worse. One eye roll over my lecture on the symbolism in Catcher in the Rye and someone may get bitchslapped. But... the hours are good, summers off and I really enjoyed my high school's chocolate chip cookies. Surely most schools have those, because like Dorothy, I am not in Kansas anymore.
In truth, I think I am leaning toward nursing. I think I would really enjoy it and the odd shifts would work well with my kids. Plus, I love medical dramas (hello George Clooney and Omar Epps) so that theory may be more accurate than I thought. I realize I need to go to school and get some training (although I feel very confident in my skills after the hours logged with ER, House and Grey's Anatomy and I desperately want to yell "CLEAR" some day so that must count for something). But, I think I may have found my calling... although the call must have been dropped a few times over the years.
I remember a few of the nurses in my past life and I've decided I want to be them some day. I want to be the one whose name I don't know but she grabbed my hand and held it, even after I brushed Mark's hand away as a sign of false confidence when we learned that I had placenta previa and might lose Jack. I wanted to be strong for Mark and my family, but that nurse knew I was terrified and that stranger was strong for me, even when I didn't know I needed it. And the nurse who walked into ICU with me, my Mom and my Aunt Barbara after my other aunt had a heart attack post liver transplant. Patti was in a medically induced coma and the nurse walked by and whispered, "talk to her." I never did speak a single syllable for fear that if I opened my mouth only sobs would come out and the nurse smiled and said, "It's ok. She can feel that you're here." I even remember the nurse who held a bedpan under me when in labor with Will and I asked her if that was the grossest part of her job. She smiled and in the most casual and reassuring way she said, "Oh girl, you're in labor. You haven't begun to see gross yet." It made me laugh through the next contraction that otherwise may have made me scream.
I want to be that person for someone. I want to hold a hand, assure or crack a joke that someone will remember later. I want to put someone at ease in a time where nothing is easy. I think that I can pass along some of what these nurses in my past have given me. And, who am I kidding... I will rock those scrubs.