Village in Newfoundland
I remember when I was a girl and then a young woman, I wanted to do something big. I wanted to be a jockey. I wanted to go to the Olympics. I wanted to write a book. I wanted to live in the mountains in a small cabin with thousands of books and a husband and children. I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to travel the world. I wanted to go to Australia. I wanted to be a photographer. I wanted to take dance lessons and go to the New York School of Performing Arts. I wanted to live on a farm. I wanted to have lots of children.
It's funny how dreams change as we get older, and even harder when you realize that you are just too old to be able to do some things, that the future is much shorter than you imagined. I'm nearing the end of my nursing career and I've let go of a lot of things. I wanted to work in ICU and Emergency, but that didn't happen because I had to take care of Katie. I don't think it would have been a good fit for me honestly but sometimes I am sad that I don't have that kind of experience to draw on. I am envious of young nurses who try new things, even as I realize how much I love the job I have now. Sometimes I feel like I've settled but then I realize I've settled for more connections with my patients than I could possibly have had if I had worked in ICU or Emergency.
When I look back at my life I wish I hadn't had children so young, wish that I had been brave enough to go to University and study medicine or neuroscience or photography or genetics or all of them. I wish I had paid attention more in school and worried less about boys and sex. I wish I had known that everyone fears rejection, that I wasn't alone. I wish I had been kinder to myself and others. I wish that stood up for myself more and stared down the bullies. I wish I had told more people to fuck off and told more people that I loved them. I wish I had known it was okay to fail and to try again.
I wish I knew how much alike we all are; all of us afraid being abandoned, of being unwanted, of being unneeded, of being laughed at. I like google because when I ask a question and I think I am the only human being in the world to feel the way I do, I find out that one million others have asked the same question. I'm not alone. I never was but I didn't know that when I was young. It's comforting to know that I'm not so special, not so weird, not so fucked up that I am the only one. I belong to many tribes.
"What if I fall?
Oh but my darling, what if you fly?"