Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Through my eyes

I'm a bit behind on blogging.  I try to blog whenever I hit a personal milestone and I've hit two since my last post.  I passed my national board certification exam and I had my first nurse practitioner interview.  :)

All things are seemingly lovely... except... that I've been feeling a little bit... misunderstood.  

I didn't feel like I was a real nurse practitioner when I graduated.  I didn't feel like a doctor when my degree was conferred or after I walked at graduation with that big fat heavy gown in the blazing heat.  I thought that even though I graduated and got through schooling... that affirmation from my board examinations would help me feel legit... but it didn't.  How I felt was that I learned how to pass the test really well... but what happens when I don't have multiple choice answers in front of me?  Will I be able to know the answer on my own?  People tell me I'll be fine.  But when will I FEEL fine?  

Applying for NP jobs... I dragged my heels.  I technically could have started applying much sooner than I did.  I delayed for weeks.  No one seems to think that I'll have any problems finding jobs... except me.  

I went to a PIYO class today and there was a move called "the bowler".  It reminded me of Anderson.  Five years ago today, he went to be with the Lord.  I really wanted to find a video I took of him bowling.  I still haven't been able to find it but I did come across this video of a personality box I made.  
Because I took humanities and social science core in college, when I went to apply to nursing school, they didn't recognize my "communications" course which was supposedly mashed up into one of the core courses so I had to retake Communication 101... as a 25 year old.  I had a lot of fun in that class.  Even though I'm not a good public speaker, I was WAY better than the other 18 year olds in my class.  For our final project we had to make a personality box.  The box was supposed to be a representation of me... to infuse as much of my personality into it as possible.  The outside of the box was supposed to be how other people see me.  The inside of the box was supposed to be how I see myself.  I kind of exaggerated a little bit just for... a better effect.  I also kinda just used whatever magazines I found lying around.  I remember at the time, I felt like I was exaggerating but now that I look at it 7 years later... I don't think much has changed.  

Yes, it's a giant Chinese take out box.  With a target ribbon handle.  I worked really hard on this box.  I ended up giving it to my professor.  She wanted it really badly as an example for her next classes.  I think I must have taken this video to show Anderson my project.  I took a lot of pictures and videos for him since we did long distance for so long.

I've been feeling very reminiscent lately.  Maybe because I've met quite a few new friends and when that happens I tend to retell my life story and it forces me to remember.  Yesterday, I was thumbing through my journal and looking back at the things I thought important enough to write down... the things I underlined... sometimes starred or boxed...

The first page of this journal... I wrote this entry:

Last night I cried watching Hope Springs. It was about a broken marriage. I feel for the sad woman... wanting the love of a man who won't give it to her.  I realized that I'm so sensitive to broken relationships because I'm struggling with contentment with my singleness.
Sometimes I wonder... what's wrong with me?
What am I doing wrong?
The answer is... nothing.
God would not withhold good things from His children unless it's exactly what I need right now.  God brings extraordinary kindness to me in the other areas of my life to remind me how much He loves me and that He remembers me.  

He hears the cries of my heart and while one piece may seem "missing" other pieces are extraordinarily strengthened.

For example... the beautiful, strong, godly women God has put into my life.

And I keep meeting more and more.

Some friends only intersect with me for a season.  Sometimes it's just once or twice.  It's so precious when I have friends who journey alongside me for the long run.  I have so many "favorite" stories about my "favorite" friends... I could probably spend days telling all of their stories.

My life is, and has been, pretty darn amazing.  My journey to get me where I am right now... is nothing short of a miracle and an act of grace.  I've come so far... and yet... I somehow find it easy to forget.

For example, my first NP interview... happened because my Bible reading accountability partner of 6 years... was looking out for me and told me of a job opportunity.  The fact that she looked out for me was a blessing in and of itself.  The process of applying for jobs has been slightly tedious.  I had to edit my cover letter... update my resume... and typing or copying and pasting the same information over and over again was getting quite tiring.  It's also a little bit tiring applying for jobs I don't feel I'm qualified for.  It takes a lot of energy for me to do something that I'm not sure I'll be successful in.  I usually only agree to doing things that I'm fairly certain I'll succeed at.  Or... I agree to something not knowing what I'm getting myself into and don't know enough to stop myself from doing it.

This job posting on the website... had absolutely zero information about what kind of NP job this was.  The only thing posted on the website was the job title.  So I applied and I also emailed my resume and an absolutely generic cover letter to the email address my friend sent me.  And I was running late to meet up with a friend so I closed everything and decided I was done with applications for that day.

15-20 minutes later, I was driving to the restaurant, I got a call from an unknown number, which I didn't pick up because I was... well... driving.  Once I parked, I checked my voicemail and sure enough, it was the NP I had emailed asking if I could come for an interview tomorrow at 1pm.  It was probably about 7pm.  My first thought was... "wow that was fast".  My next thought was, "might as well".

I was nervous for this interview.  I asked for prayer from quite a few people.  I tried on a couple of outfits.  I haven't been on that many interviews in my lifetime.  I don't think I'm good at it either.

The interview started out with the usual questions... what are your strengths... what are your weaknesses... and then when she asked me why I thought I'd be a good candidate for this position... I had to be honest and tell her that I didn't exactly know what position I was applying for.  They laughed and proceeded to explain the position they were interviewing for.

This interview went for an hour and 45 minutes.  Mostly because we were waiting for one of the surgeons to be tracked down to join us.  By the time we found him, he spent maybe 5 minutes asking me some simple questions and then it was done.  Just prior to finding the surgeon, I asked the NP interviewing me how long they had been looking for someone for this position.  She said that they had interviewed quite a few people but that none of them had the background they were looking for.

She said that they were looking for someone who had some floor experience, specifically ICU experience and she said that it was really rare for someone to have not only ICU experience but cardiac surgery experience.  She asked me how I ended up in the cardiac ICU and I told them the story.  It wasn't so much that I was singularly driven and focused towards that unit.  I moved there because of life situations and circumstances... and at the point in my life where I found that I couldn't handle full time night shift, part time school and spending 2 days a week also training for ICU... God provided a way for me to move to part time day shift in the cardiac ICU.

I didn't interview perfectly.  There were definitely things I wish I hadn't said and things I wish I'd said.  There were a few things I should have known that I didn't.  I won't blame them if they still don't think that I'm the right person for the job.

I left that interview feeling blessed.  I felt like I was true to myself and I spoke honestly about who I am and how I got here.  I offered myself just as I am.  I'm not sure what else I could have done.  And also, from how quickly God provided this interview opportunity and also the realization that even though I'm a brand new NP with absolutely no NP experience... that the choices I've made in the past... even though I didn't know what I was doing when I was making them... that they eventually did turn out to be good decisions.  I couldn't see the big picture, but I made the best choices with what I had to handle at the time and it all turned out really well for me.  I can say with absolute confidence that God knew what He was doing all I really had to do was trust Him and walk the path He put in front of me.

If God wants something to happen... it will happen.  Until then... I wait.  And I make the most of the season of waiting.

Sometimes I feel like my life is like Forrest Gump's.  A lot of my "success" happened by fortunate "happenchance" from my perspective.  Other people might look at me and see something great... whereas I see myself as a really simple person.  Someone on the outside might see his wealth, or ping pong achievements, his all-American football star status... but those who know him would know that all he truly cared about was his mom and Jenny.  The other stuff just happened along the way.

I don't consider myself an ambitious person.  I really see my career as a nurse as... the stuff that happened along the way.  It's important but in the grand scheme of my life... I don't want it on my tombstone that my occupation defined who I was or dictated how I lived my life.  I think that all my life I've been looking for love... for wholeness... for the person or thing that would complete me.  I want it known of me that my life was characterized by and defined by who and how I loved.

I'm not really sure how I want to end this post.  If I read this again at a later time... I want to remind myself how I feel at this very moment.  I feel like I don't know what I'm doing.  I feel inadequate and unworthy.  I feel very unprepared and with a sense of failure impending.  But I do also feel that God has taken care of me in the past and He will not fail now.  I see His handiwork and His fingerprints on every transition in my life, whether big or small.  Even though other people may see someone who's got so much going for her... I know the truth... that my life is just as delicate as that cardboard Chinese take out box that I made.  Remove two pins and the whole thing flops open.  I'm delicate and I bruise easily.  Whatever strength you see in me is a direct reflection from God because I know how weak I am.  It's a good place to be.  When I am weak, His strength can be seen most powerfully.

I'm sure I'll keep you guys posted on my job search status.  More applications.  Hopefully more interviews.

much love,

P.S. I found the video of Anderson bowling.

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