I Called An Audible

If you’re not familiar with what an audible is, it’s a football term. An audible is when the offense is ready to run a play but decides at the last second to change it. A quarterback often calls an audible when he doesn’t like how the offensive play that was called matches up with the defensive formation. I recently called a career audible and decided that the road to therapy via social work wasn’t the best fit for me. I have decided to become a nurse and recently started my journey at St. Luke’s College to obtain my BSN and hopefully continue on to become a nurse practitioner one day.

Those who know me well know that I have called a lot of “audibles” in my life and I am happy to say I don’t have regrets. If you’ve always wanted to “call an audible” but not sure where to start, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned that may be of benefit to you…

Be Selective About Who You Share With
I have come to a point in my life where I don’t discuss life-changing decisions with very many people. Looking back there have been many moments in my life when my heart was pulling me in a direction, but I didn’t make the leap because I let too many others’ opinions play a part in my decision(s). Think about this…how many people do you know who give their opinion because that’s just what they do? Think about people who have offered their opinion, but it wasn’t exactly because they truly felt “compelled” to do so.

Think about a time that you wanted to make a life-changing decision but your negative thoughts were reinforced by the person who loves misery and wants everyone else to linger in it with them. Think about the person that masks their jealousy in passive-aggressive or pessimistic comments. Make a mental note of who those people are and be cautious about the information you share with them.

Surround Yourself With A “Support” System
Here are a few valuable lessons I’ve learned in my 37 years…

– Gifts and compliments don’t always equal kindness and authenticity.
– Titles don’t always equate to more experience or knowledge.
– Materials and expensive items often don’t equal wealth.

I truly believe we are products of our environments. In your closest circles (e.g., social, employment), are you surrounded by people who feel they always have to outdo each other? Who always have something to prove? Do you find yourself playing that game? Do you like playing “Keeping Up With The Jones’?” or do you feel exhausted, inadequate, and unfulfilled? If it’s the latter, maybe it’s time to consider finding an actual “support” system.

I haven’t always been the best judge of character, but I’m a good one now and I do it by using this formula:

Characterize people by their actions and you’ll never be fooled by their words, title(s), or materials.

Identify Your Values
When you know what it most important to you, making decisions becomes easier. In 2015, I attended a course that helped outline what the most important things were in my life. We were required to read The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose and actively reflect on what was most important in our lives, prioritize what we had on our list, make an action plan, and reevaluate the list regularly.

In my Health Care Ethics class, we had to write a paper regarding our values and how they align with what we are doing now and how they will align with our future careers. In one of the reference materials, the author states:

“When our actions are not in line with our values, the natural emotional consequence is stress.”

I can speak to this. I have been in environments and situations where my actions weren’t in line with my values, but when I changed my environment and actions to align with my values, I felt fulfilled, at peace, and dodged regret.

Sacrifice
If you’re not willing to make some sacrifices it will only make the road to change more challenging. When it comes to a dramatic career change, you’ll more than likely need a new skill set. Often times this includes a pay cut due to inexperience and/or the cost of education/training. If you’re going back to school, will you be able to work full-time? Part-time? Will you be able to work at all? Are you willing to sacrifice self-indulgences to put money aside for your desired changes? Will you be okay with passing up social/family activities if the change you desire requires a lot of your time?

My End Game
I live my life according to my values. I march…no…I dance to the beat of my own drum. Life is constantly evolving, and with that evolution has come clarity to what I want to focus my time, talent, energy and money to during different chapters. I am now in my third week in the nursing program and it’s intense, but I love it! I look forward to studying, reading, writing, lecture. This wasn’t where I was last semester so I decided to listen to my emotions and call an “audible.”

I know there isn’t going to be much time for extracurricular activities, but I know what my end goal is. My end goal is to be the nurse at shift change that you and your family are relieved to see. My goal is to be the nurse that lets you breathe easier because you’re confident in my ability to care for you and/or your loved one. My goal is to give you even just a little peace of mind, because Lord knows that most of the time when you find yourself in a medical situation, peace of mind is hard to come by.

Now, go on! Get out there and be the “quarterback” of your own life😊

Nursing - 1st Semester Textbooks
My books for this semester. I sweat a bit every time I see this stack!

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Supporters Vs. Spectators

I remember when my sister was weeks away from giving birth and she asked her OBGYN who could be in the delivery room. Her doctor told her she could have two people in the delivery room, but not just any two people. He told her there was a difference between “supporters” and “spectators” and was adamant that she choose “supporters.” I loved that. Those words have stuck with me ever since and I continue to reflect on them.

Who are the “supporters” and who are the “spectators” in my life?
Am I a true supporter for those nearest and dearest to me?

I believe it’s during our most challenging times when we are able to identify “supporters” vs. “spectators” and truly understand the value of “quality” vs. “quantity.”

“Supporters”…

  • Should genuinely share joy and excitement in our happiest of moments and achievements as well as be there to support us during our failures, mistakes and moments of grief.
  • Accept us for who we are and what we believe.
  • Are people who we love being around because they inspire us to be better human beings.
  • Make us feel better about ourselves and lift us up.
  • Leave us feeling emotionally energized; not emotionally drained.
  • Are trustworthy and make us feel safe, comfortable and important.

I believe that all we need is one true supporter to contribute to our personal growth, health and overall well-being. I am incredibly blessed to have a strong group of supporters and to have crossed paths with a handful of souls who I consider kindred spirits.  My hope is that my “supporters” know how much I value them. I want more than anything for them to understand the strength and courage I have gained through their support. What they probably consider “small” acts of support/kindness/thoughtfulness have touched my heart and lifted me in ways that will never be fogotten. I do not take them for granted. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.