Confessions of a Frustrated Nurse

Although she enjoys the pay of a nurse, she longs to earn a living making her art.

by Julie Snyder • More.com Member { View Profile }

The thing that has been sacrificed in all of this (apart from my sleep) has been my home. I have not had the time or energy to keep the apartment well maintained. If I was home and awake during the day I could do more. As it is I scrape by with the bare minimum of cleaning and beautifying. I clean the kitchen and the bathrooms, mop and sweep, but I have yet to complete unpacking from our move a year ago. Clutter is an issue I could deal with if I had a solid month to dedicate. I can say at least that I care for my family and reserve significant time for them, which naturally includes my partner.

I am struggling with how to go about this transition. I could go per diem as an RN and simply work when I choose to. That may be the most sensible solution, eventually phasing it out altogether as I find my financial feet in the art world. I could just keep showing up late and calling absent until they fire me and then collect unemployment while I exert myself artistically. I could just go cold turkey and resign, living off my accumulated vacation pay, writing relentlessly and trying to get a book deal before my money runs out.

The voices of reason and logic are all around me. There are internal voices and the voices of well-meaning people who are concerned that I am risking too much. I hear them, but they are predictable and almost too rabid. It's as if they are projecting their worst fears onto me; their own inner struggle. I perceive them as the devil and the angel on my shoulder, but who is the devil and who is the angel? Those are the voices that have held many an artist back from fully stepping into the light or exploring the darkness of their gift. I can hear the voices that try to guide me and make me choose the sensible path, but they are sounding squeaky and annoying these days. I have no patience for their fearsome admonitions. "Well behaved women seldom make history" is a quote attributed to various untamed women I admire such as Eleanor Roosevelt. It is one of my mantras.

The bottom line is: "What do I want to do with the rest of my life?". To quote Eleanor Roosevelt again, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

I think I cannot manage without all that money. But I can. I have and will. I trust myself to be resourceful and I trust the balance of life to provide doors for me to open. I believe in that kind of thing because I've experienced it so often that it's become a truth. I'm through living in fear. Beautiful things happen to those who expose themselves to life.

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