It didn’t seem right to start a blog without explaining how I got here in the first place. “Here” being Nashville, Tennessee, one year into nursing school at Vanderbilt University, burning to share my experiences and ever-evolving knowledge with anyone who is curious to listen.
I’ll oversimplify my timeline so that I don’t take up everyone’s life with blabbing on about mine – cause who wants that?
My journey toward becoming a family nurse practitioner
After high school I was your stereotypical “I have no idea what I want to do with my life” chick. All I knew was GET ME TO CALIFORNIA. That’s it. No plan for what I wanted to do there, no pin-pointed passion for a specific field, nothin’. And not because I didn’t have interest in certain subjects – I actually couldn’t decide because my head was spinning with interest in TOO much… Fashion, interior design, acting, traveling, photography…
The one thing I did know was I loved the beach and I needed a change from land-locked Colorado. So I did it… I played spin the bottle with my hobbies, decided on fashion school at FIDM, moved to California two weeks later, and never looked back. Well, that’s a complete lie. I actually ended up moving back and forth from California to Colorado about FOUR times over the next 5 years. Not kidding! Once again, your stereotypical (maybe to a fault) chick who had no. idea. what. I wanted to do.
Well… After one semester of fashion school I was already over it.
I mean, I love fashion but I just didn’t feel committed or like it was what I wanted to spend the REST of my life doing. Kinda like a boyfriend that is rad and funny and cute but, meh… The feeling just isn’t there. And when you know, you know. So, I did what any nineteen-year-old, free-spirited chick would do…
I dropped out of fashion school, moved to L.A., and pursued acting!
This was one of the most spectacular chapters of my life. Within six months I had earned my way into the SAG/AFTRA Union, I was working as an extra on TV and movie sets like Entourage, CSI Miami, Iron Man, Couple’s Retreat… I was attending a prestigious acting school, and I was hands-down, head-over-heels in love with my career choice.
So why did I stop?
Why on Earth would a girl ever leave movie sets, red carpet events, dates with Adrian Grenier, and Hollywood parties with Mark Wahlberg (who, BTW, eats passionberry Trident gum;)… Well, the answer is quite simple in retrospect. The Writers Guild went on strike. There was zero work! Mama was broke and was forced to fill her time with (yet) another endeavor. So what logical decision should a now twenty-one-year-old wild child make next?
Go to Africa, DUH.
I raised money through family and friends, hopped on a plane to Africa, and lived at an orphanage in the middle rural Kenya for two months. To paint a picture, this was two months sleeping on army-cots under mosquito nets… No mirror, no makeup, no toilet (a simple hole in the ground got the job done)… no running water, and no electricity… Just 24 kids with a plethora of health and wellbeing deficits and I was changed from a Hollywood girl into a full-time caretaker.
Talk about perspective on life… Talk about real life problems that shake the depths of your heart and radiate up through your tear ducts…
For the first time ever, I was fully submersed in human realities capable of knocking the wind out of you and crippling you speechless. I’ve never felt so inspired, yet so helpless. And that was my turning point. I returned back to LA wanting nothing to do with my head shots… Not giving two sh*ts about how I was going to make it… I wanted one thing and that was to care for people in need. In whatever way I could.
And so that’s why I am here, running full force into my nursing career.
Teetering one year in, just weeks from becoming a registered nurse, and one short year away from being a nurse practitioner. I’m here because I crave the ability to help others… because I vow to never again be in the heart of a third-world country surrounded by malaria, polio, HIV, malnutrition… and have zero to little skill set or ability to help. I’m here because the U.S. has just as vulnerable of populations in need of quality, affordable care – as well as a shortage of healthcare providers willing to address this.
…You know that radiating feeling I mentioned?
That’s passion. That’s the definitive sign of recognizing what path is right for you. It’s kinda like meeting the man of your dreams and just knowing he’s the one for you. When you know, you just know.
“It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – Eric Roth