I have been off on an adventure…..a very humbling adventure. For the past year, I have been in school taking pre-requisites for a nursing program. I found being a student again thrilling and exciting. I felt like a part of me was coming back to life — a part that had been buried by years of parenting. It was with great excitement that I started a nursing program in May. The program was rigorous — a 12 month accelerated BSN. Since I had done so well in the past year I thought this would be easy and it would be thrilling to be so fully immersed in learning.
The past six weeks of my life have been consumed by school. Bit by bit, I felt my joy being sucked out. Why? If I was finally doing something I wanted to do, something for me, why was it so onerous? Why was I slowly (well, maybe not so slowly) falling apart and becoming a shell of my former self?
It wasn’t because of a lack of support. I am so fortunate to have a husband who was more than willing to step up to the plate and do everything necessary to see me fulfill my dream. He became the sole parent in the house — feeding the kids, doing all the laundry, housework, juggling, grocery shopping, and a thousand other things — on top of his very busy job. Not only did he take care of the necessary parts of our life, he tried to pave the path for me to succeed. He filled my gas tank weekly, picked me flowers, set up my computer, gave me back rubs and treats and strong shoulder to lean on. He did everything possible for me to succeed.
But I couldn’t do it. Academically, I was doing fine but emotionally I was not. I desperately missed my kids, my home, and my simple life. Classes were for 30 hours each week and there were hundreds of pages to read, drugs to memorize, work to strategize on top of it all. Once I got home, in order to succeed at school, that work had to take priority. For six weeks, I gave it my all. I poured 100% of my self into my dream. I discovered I was profoundly unhappy facing 10 chapters of pharmacology while John took the kids out to dinner yet again so I could study. And when I looked to the future — only 11 months until graduation! — it was bleak. I could only envision a year of life I would be missing out on. A year in which my children would grow older and more apart from me. A year of their life that I couldn’t get back. For me, no amount of academic success is worth that price.
So, I quit. After a week of almost unbearable anguish while I struggled with my decision, I just went with my heart. And my heart is now happy. As I was laying in bed last night, drifting off to sleep, John crawled in and nuzzled my head. He kissed my hair and whispered “I’m glad you’re back.” Me, too.