5985378-500x480Sometimes I think change is imperative. And I am not saying the kind of change which just sort of happens naturally. I am meaning the kind of change where you have to take the bull by the horns and make it yourself. It requires taking a risk. Everyone is always telling me ‘better the devil you know’…but what about all those devils I don’t know? And wouldn’t I be a more enriched individual if I got to know them? And what about the possibility of me meeting those new devils and connecting and perhaps making a change? Is that so out there, so terrifying?

The main question is: why do we limit ourselves so?

I believe it is social convention. Find a steady job that gives you security and income and basically become a slave to it. Get promoted and slowly and surely start to live for it, have it dominate your life. Become ambitious, get promoted again, have even more responsibility thrown at you. Then it consumes you.

And then, you wake up in the morning as usual, have a shower, brush your teeth and get a good look at yourself in that bathroom mirror. And you are thirty-one years young and you do not recognise yourself anymore. And then I put on my uniform as the cherry on the cake of depersonification and in that costume I am finally stripped of my own identity and suddenly become nurse. From 5.30 in the morning. And I have to stay as nurse for the next twelve hours of my day.

And I feel as if I have lost myself.

I am angry, bitter, pissed off. I see the bad in people. I see the bad in myself. I am apathetic and sad. I feel like my life is not mine and I give and give and give but who replenishes me? And then I feel extreme guilt for feeling this way, so selfish and self-indulgent and dramatic.

The thing is, when employers meet a strong person, they don’t say ‘lets give her a break and delegate a task to someone else’ what they say is ‘give it to her, because she is strong and can get it done’ which makes me even more bitter because I know there are people in my grade and above who get paid more than me and do far, far less.

Maybe I should care less. But that would be the ultimate in losing the bit of self that’s left. I am a person who cares. Who possibly cares too much. I love with all my heart, there is no middle ground. Which is precisely why I get so angry so often.

So I have decided to take a stand. A stand for myself and for those who love me and know me and do not like to see me this way. I have decided to decrease my hours.

A part of me feels so defeated by this step I had to take. Like I was not strong enough to take on the full shift. But another part of me feels like I have been very strong, I have been going on non-stop for about 10 years and I have given up so much, essential parts of me. It has not all been bad, because I discovered qualities in myself that I never knew I had and I have touched many people’s lives.

But now its time to see what I can do apart from nursing. It means a pay-cut but it also means gaining what money can’t buy-

self discovery.