With my nursing interview being this week, I had been pondering a question that I knew I’d be asked for a long time.
Why do you want to be a nurse?
It seems like a simple question, but for me it’s not quite so easy. When I think back as far as I can remember, I knew I had a passion for art. From filling up coloring books when I was little to covering the driveway with sidewalk chalk in my adolescence to taking all the art classes possible in high school, and then to graduating with a degree in graphic design in college, I spent all the time I possibly could devoting myself to art.
Art gave me a way to express myself and my feelings. Sometimes art was an escape from reality…other times art was a way I could show the world something I was proud of.
I took the least amount of science classes possible. I took the bare minimum that was required to graduate in both high school and in college. I did well in my science classes, but I despised every second of it. Learning about cells and chemicals wasn’t going to do anything to improve my sketching technique.
Then on May 22, 2006, my life changed forever. It was the day I was admitted for treatment for my eating disorder.
After being in recovery, I continued on to finish my degree in graphic design two years later. I tried to pursue a career in art, but unfortunately the job market wasn’t ready for me. For two more years I worked other non-art jobs and felt like a failure. Why did I try so hard to do well in school and make good grades and go after my passion? Why didn’t someone just tell me it’d be too hard to get my dream job? What actually was my dream job? And most importantly…did I even want to be a graphic designer and create designs for a company I wasn’t passionate about?
Then two things happened. First I started angheartsdesign. It is my own design company where I can design for the things that I love: weddings, brides, babies, friends, family.I enjoyed being able to design beautiful things for beautiful people, but I still didn’t feel quite complete. I had been giving eating disorder recovery speeches for a few years now, but there was this growing passion inside of me to do something more.
Trust me, you learn a lot about yourself when you go through eating disorder treatment. I learned to things about myself (that now I think are pretty obvious). I am a perfectionist and I am a caregiver. Now I realize that both of these traits aided me in my eating disorder. I wanted to be the best at everything and I wanted everyone I knew to be happy…what’s wrong with that?! Well, it’s nearly impossible, and it can be extremely detrimental to put all your energies into.
But I’m never going to stop being a perfectionist. It’s my nature. It’s me. I do want to be the best I can be at everything I do. (Key words: best I can be!)
And I’m never going to stop being a caregiver. I want people to be happy. And now, more than ever, I want people to love themselves…to cherish their lives and their bodies. I don’t want self-doubt, eating disorders, and negative body image to hurt anyone else!
So, that is what drives me to do something more. I am channeling my inner perfectionist and caregiver on this mission to become a nurse. I know that I will be able to reach out even more to people as a nurse, and I know that I will love it. Being back in school and taking all these science classes that I originally avoided, I have already found out that I love learning about the human body and what it is capable of. I still love art, and I still love creating designs for angheartsdesign, and I do still hope that someday I can combine these passions of mine somehow.
When it’s all said and done and I actually am a nurse, I don’t know if I will be working directly with eating disorder patients. That is where I picture myself, but if there is one thing that I have learned through all this, it is that God works in curious ways. Who knows, maybe He wants me to work in women’s health, or pediatrics, or who knows where. All I know right now is that I need to trust in Him, and He will lead me on the right path. He hasn’t lead me astray yet.