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This is the story of journey through high school and college, and then into the career world of finance, and finally through life changing events which brought me to nursing on almost entirely faith and intuition. This is my story. This is why I am becoming a nurse - it is my calling.May 18, '12 by HeatherEllen
I graduated high school in the top 10 of my class. At that time, everything was about getting into a good college. As the daughter of two entrepreneurs, it was always expected that I go to business school. At 22 years old, I had graduated with Sum Cum Laude from one of the top 10 business schools in the nation, with a double major in Business Finance and Business Management. I was hired right after graduation to work for Ameriprise Financial as a financial analyst. After a year working in finance, I realized I was sitting behind a desk all day, opening up brokerage accounts and life insurance plans, trading stocks, trying to make people with lots of money- more money. I hated where I saw my life going, and I felt no sense of accomplishment.
For me, the rat race started my first day of high school. And there I was, a new college graduate, with everything I had done for the past 8 years leading up to that job, and I didn’t want it. I had not once stopped and asked myself what I want from life. I felt lost, and struggled with the pressure of society, which says after college you must go get a job. But I refused to see it as starting over, or a setback. I believe that the biggest adventure we can ever take is to live the life of our dreams, and I wasn’t going to settle. That day I left my job, and set a date I decided to move across the country, from Baltimore, Maryland to San Diego, California. I had no idea where my life was headed, but I am a fighter, and I always have been.
Shortly after moving to San Diego, a friend who knew I had just moved to the area invited me with a big group to the opening day of the races, in Del Mar. The event was packed, and I quickly realized people were more interested in the festivities than the horses. But I had never seen a horse race, so I went off on my own. When I returned to where I had left the group, only one of the girls was there and was severely intoxicated, and had been abandoned. When I walked over to her she fell and hit her head and was now bleeding. Shortly after, she started vomiting and lost control of her bowels, and a group of paramedics came to assist. Then, she stopped breathing, so they rushed her to the hospital. In that moment I felt so helpless. I ran home to get her some of my clothes and met her at the hospital where I watched the nurses take over. All I could do was sit and watch. That day changed me, I realized that this was the skill set I wanted. I had the willingness, but not the knowledge of how to fix the situation.
After that incident, I started volunteering at the VA hospital, to learn more about the field of nursing. My first day I was placed in the psychiatric wing, and I remember wondering how I could possibly connect to elderly war veterans. The group was eight men and one woman. With two other volunteers, we all spoke. At the end of the hour, the woman came up to me and said that she was in there because of an attempt of suicide, and that what I had said gave her hope in her own future. The sense of meaning in my life, in that moment, was indescribable.
Shortly after, I contacted my advisor at National and enrolled in the classes to prepare me for nursing school. I contacted and interviewed the heads of hospitals, nursing departments, and every nurse I came in contact with to learn more. It has been over a year since I moved here and started at the VA have never wanted something so much in my life, because for the first time, I feel like it is my life. Those two experiences made me realize that this is what life is about; It is about the light that you feel inside of you and the incredible sense of accomplishment after doing what you truly were put on this earth to do.
My favorite prayer is the prayer of St. Francis, which reads: “Grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted, to understand than to be understood, and to love than be loved. Because it is in self-forgetting that one finds.” It wasn’t until I stopped thinking about what would make my life better that I found who I wanted to be. A job is what we are paid for, and a calling is what we are made for. I resonate with that so much. I left rat race, for more meaning in my life, and today I have a life that is indescribably wonderful because I am doing what I love to do. I have found myself in others, and that is the best gift we can give ourselves in life- to go after our dreams. I want to become a nurse because it is my calling; it is who I am and what I am meant to do.Last edit by Joe V on May 23, '12
HeatherEllen has been a member since May '12. Posts: 1 Likes: 4May 19, '12 by crandall88awesome! Thank you for sharing.May 23, '12 by JessicaEThanks for posting this Heather! We are putting together a book of stories similar to yours...would you like to have it published? Find us on Nurses4Nurses or NursesNetwork on Facebook (facebook.com/nursesnetwork), since I am not allowed to put specific names or email addresses here, and we'll get you the information you need.Jun 7, '12 by Reese0608good luck as you begin your nursing career! great for your to follow your heart and calling!