When I was sixteen and a regular visitor to my Grandmother’s kitchen, I often spoke of what the future had in store for me and what I wanted to accomplish once I was considered a legal adult at the age of 18. Like many young adults, I knew I wanted to achieve high status by working my blue collared backside off with the intentions and hopes that when I died, I had achieved something of worth and value.
These plans of achievement and accomplishment kept my desire and self drive alive while lying in bed at night as the images of what my life could be like outside of the small town I lived in at the same, flashed through my head like it was a movie reel.
Like many young adults who dream about where they see themselves as adults, I felt pressured by the expectations held by a very judgmental and f*cked up society, so called ‘friends’ as well as my Grandfather and cousin to fit a certain mould that would benefit everyone else but the one person who was centre of attention.
Months of listening and trying to negotiate a successful merger of two completely and utterly different worlds and thoughts, I decided in that moment that I was going to think about myself and what it was that I wanted to accomplish. So one night while staring up at the ceiling, my eyes traced the bordered line of where the grey wash duct tape had peeled back from the roof.
As the edges curled due to the suffocating summer heat, I thought about what lurked behind the grey duct tape and knew from memory there was a hole that could fit my ring finger into it. A hole that’d been caused by the owner of the house squeezing the trigger of a shot gun and the bullet had travelled through the roof and allowed for the twinkling of stars to be seen.
If you squinted right.
Nine months later and the beginning of my future life began over a period of three days.
These three days would see me locked and metaphorically chained to my designated desk and seat as I sat a series of exams that would foretell what and where my life would go. If I would become a successful person with an outstanding position or I would end up on the opposite end of the tally board, crying my eyes out because I had essentially screwed up my life and society would be forever judging me.
Having sat three days worth of exams that’d critique and hold you accountable for your ability of formatting, judging and calculating math, science and English; I finally got my results in December of the same year. I discovered that my rather botched and somewhat failed attempt of trying to destroy my Grandfather and Cousin’s plan of how I would become known as a Doctor, Lawyer or High School Teacher as they were considered loyal chess pieces and could be easily moved around in the forever continuing and never ending game of conquer and destroy was unsuccessful.
So in two thousand and something, I graduated high school at the tender age of seventeen with no hidden talents, no certificates or estranged letters at the end of my name, no real idea of who I was as a person and what my future was going to be like.
But I did know that I had graduated high school with an OP of 9.
Something I must admit I had clearly not planned for as I went about deliberately not sitting, studying or even bothering to look briefly at the exam preparation material provided to students. It was also a grey zoned area within my life that was not acknowledged or thought of until recently.
As my fellow Student Nurse companion and newly made friend spoke of her life and how our own family life differed from one another, we spoke of the difficulties we both had experienced. It was if both of us had found someone who could understand completely and while she spoke of her life, I discovered a vital and important lesson that I had never realised.
For those who resided outside of my extremely tight-knit community, they would have observed my attitude towards life and my high school experiences as being unforgiving, stubborn and downright pig headed as well as being standoffish.
Yes, I do admit to being guilty of possessing, owning and having experienced all of those emotions and many more to boot since that period of my life but for those who resided within that close knit community and had grown up beside me, would know the internal and external struggle I faced and still face on a daily basis.
The internal struggle of being my own worst enemy because I am constantly telling myself that I’m going to fail anything and everything that comes my way because I am either not smart enough or use the ammunition in my possession to willingly murder and stab someone in the back so I can gain an advantage to life. Something which frightens me because I’ve been a witness to while living within the confining restraints of the shark tank for many a year and the lack of guilt those particular people had.
Because of my internal struggles being what they are, it made discovering what those external struggles were that little bit more difficult and harder. If I was a less of a person, I could claim that the travel distance between my home and college were a particular struggle. But at the end of the day, I made the decision and instead of travelling to a closer college near my house, I opted and accepted my placement to attend QUT (Queensland University of Technology) in Brisbane City.
I knew when it come to electing QUT as my preference for college, I would have to work extremely hard at proving to myself that I had been selected because I had the brain power and self drive to be successful. Even now after I’ve finished this particular placement as a Student Registered Nurse that I still don’t believe in myself as a person and as a student nurse because I am constantly doubting myself worth and why QUT chose me.
Think this stems back from me electing to make the ultimate sacrifice of not listening to those who whispered words of doubt and less than confident statements into my ear and for me electing to not listen to them and their words of disloyalty. Instead, the unconfident and trust worthy person I was elected to listen to their words and deferred my dreams of wanting to be successful, a loyal and incredibly hard worker.
Ultimately, I gave up on the dream of being happy.
If this is only a portion of what I’ve learnt over the last 3 and a half years of college and clinical placement than here’s hoping my last 180 hours being known, referred as and calling myself a Student Registered Nurse shall be informative and entertaining.
My final parting words to myself and to those who need inspiration as well as that moment to pause and stop; as sung by Mr. Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing; ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright“.
Until next time,