Treading through an unmarked trail in this multi-directional path of life as we aim to choose which direction to follow to reach our destination, takes a lot of courage, conviction, and determination.
While I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have been given with options as to where to go and what to do in my pursuit of happiness and fulfillment, both personally and professionally. Thanks to my family for paving the way, encouraging, and supporting me in whatever path I decide to take.
At age 13, when I reached that step of the ladder of educational pursuit, I was torn between pursuing a career in nursing and being a writer. Honestly, I first fell in love with writing, long before I fell in love with nursing. Growing up, I would create stories in my mind of just about anything. Every book that I read, or every story that I hear, in my young mind, I used to create an epilogue or a sequel to stretch the ending according to what I want it to end. I would also write short stories combining reality and fiction. I also started to write poetry, without a slightest clue as to how it was written. I just write what I feel and feel what I write. These manuscripts were just archived in a pathetic-looking journal, as I was too shy to show it, thinking that it was not good enough.
It was until a year before my graduation in high school, when a pivotal moment took a final course, a vision that veered towards pursuing a career in nursing. My aunt, the sister of my father, was the person who long been instilling in my young mind and heart how rewarding a nursing profession will be. She herself studied to be a nurse, then followed her calling to be a catholic nun of the order of St. Paul of Chartres. No, to become a nun never did cross my mind. Instead, I pursued the nursing profession, and, I did not regret it. I love everything about nursing, and practiced the profession from the time I graduated, until now.
Well, that was such a long time ago. During the time that I was so focused and prioritize my chosen profession, I have had doses of fighting uphill battles along the way. It was not an easy journey; taking calculated risks with not much wiggle room was part of the whole package, most especially when aiming to be the best of who I will be. Because I love what I do, the challenges were considered as the steps up the ladder. Each single step that I took, at the right time, coupled with conviction, determination, and genuine love and caring, I reached the peak of my career that I envisioned as to where I will finally be…a Director of Nursing Services, and as a Director Of Patient Care Services. For 18 years, in this rewarding yet serious, salient, and challenging role, I had been a team player and a leader; never did it cross my mind to be less of what was expected of me. Every night, when I go to bed, I look forward to wake up in the morning, energy renewed, to pick up where I left off the day before.
So, what’s next for me? Looking back, I asked myself. What else and to who will I have to prove my worth? Will it now be enough and the right time for me to finally hang my stethoscope? Truth of the matter, it was not a dreadfully hard decision to make as I previously thought. One morning, as soon as I woke up, I made the best unplanned life-changing decision, even if I am not yet sure if I will miss the regimented life of a nurse that i have been living for the past 40 years.
Needless to say, I look forward to go back and rekindle my first love…to write, that was put on hold while I focused on and prioritized my professional advancement, and when I embraced the role of a mother to my daughter. But one thing for sure, even if I will finally hang my stethoscope I will always be the same person who chose to be a nurse, and practiced the best profession that is second to none according to my hierarchy of what I will be.
Passing the torch will never make me any lesser than the nurse that I was. I will still carry on with pride everything that I did at my best through the years of my professional career. I will always be the epitome of who Florence Nightingale was. But in the next chapter of my life, I will perhaps be following, although way far behind, the footsteps of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or Jane Austin. If and when will this happen, I could finally and positively say that the Nightingale’s lamp that I chose to carry has been and will always be my guiding light even if I may be following a different path.