You may have read my blog post entitled, ‘Time for change’. Well it’s time for me to start acting on it! No more wallowing in the pits of despair! No more dragging my feet! It’s time to set things in motion on the journey to finding myself once again.
In my experience, life is what you make of it. Nothing is going to get done unless you challenge yourself to get it done. No one’s going to do it for you! You need to take the ‘bull by the horns’, or as a great friend of mine says so often, ‘take the succubus/incubus by the horns!’. I’ve never been a person that doesn’t accomplish the goals she sets for herself. Challenge me? Doubt me? Make me feel like I’m not good enough? It just fuels my fire 😉
So, this is me reaching for my goals. And … can I just say, these goals are lofty as hell! But, I am bound and determined to fulfill each and every one of ‘em! WATCH ME!!! I am starting the journey … wanna go for a ride?
When you’ve been stuck in a rut for close to seven years, it’s hard to remember what activities you previously enjoyed; especially when you’ve always put others before yourself. I’m currently in re-discover mode. This process actually started around two years ago when I realized that I needed to take a little time for ‘mommy’.
I’d always enjoyed reading and writing. I read book after book, and filled notebooks with short stories and poetry. However, about 10 years ago, I gave it all up.
Why would I do such a thing? Why would anyone give up something they thoroughly enjoyed? Especially if you have parents and great friends that always told you to follow your dreams … people that told you that you could do anything you put your mind to.
What was my dream?
I always wanted to become a writer.
So why did I give it all up for so many years?
Answer: to further my education, and fulfill the ‘other’ goals I set for myself.
In order to explain how truly motivated I can be … I think I need to give you some background on me. Consider this another getting to know J. Marie post 😉
I was certified as a nursing assistant at 15 years old. I’d been working in the role for two years, and knew that ultimately I wanted to become a nurse. I absolutely loved taking care of others. I just had to find a way to pay for my education.
My parent’s raised me to believe that you worked hard and earned everything you had. I worked a lot while finishing up High School. I did put away a good chunk of change, but felt that I could possibly lend my services to the government while earning an education and a little discipline (I was a bit of a ‘wild child’). Because I didn’t want to accrue any debt to pay off after I was finished with college, it didn’t hurt that the government would help PAY for my education 😉
I decided to join the Army Reserve, and enlisted right out of High School in 1999. Between enlistment and deployment to basic, I met my husband and fell in love. I wanted nothing more than to explore this new romance; unfortunately, because I had already enlisted, I still had to leave for basic training on November 17th.
During my time at Basic, I received a letter from home at least twice a week. Every single soldier in my platoon had to do 20 pushups for every letter they received. So, my family and friends packaged their letters together in one manila envelope.
Well, it wasn’t long before my Drill Sergeant caught on. One night, he tore the open envelope from my hands and peered into it. “Damn Private! How many letters you got in here?” He started pulling out letter after letter, counting them as he sent them spiraling onto the floor. I’ll never forget the evil smile that spread across his face when the last letter skittered across the peeling linoleum. “Looks like you’re mine for a couple days. That’s one hundred fricken push-ups, Private! Drop and gimme fifty, now!”
Every single time I received an envelope I automatically dropped and did those push-ups. I mean, who doesn’t like to receive letters from home? It was the best motivation EVER.
When I came home on Christmas leave, my husband proposed to me. Of course, I said ‘yes’ and we announced our engagement to family and friends. For the most part, people were happy for us. That is, until we announced our engagement to his side. Instead of being met with well wishes from his family, his mother started bawling and went on to tell me that I would, “NEVER finish nursing school if you get married now,” and that I was, “Taking her baby away.”
I thought to myself, do NOT tell me I can’t or won’t succeed! Watch me!
I graduated basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Believe it or not, I earned an ‘expert marksman’ badge to wear on my dress greens in grenade throwing, and a ‘marksman’ badge for shooting the M-16. I was shipped off to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in Fort Sam Houston, TX. I graduated with a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 91B, or medic. In the real world, this title is equivalent to a basic EMT.
When I returned home, I started to work toward my Nursing degree, and in all honesty didn’t have very much free time. Those of you that have been through nursing school know how all-consuming it can truly be, both mentally and physically. On top of all that, I was still a ‘weekend warrior’ in the Army Reserve, working part-time as a nursing assistant at a local hospital, volunteering as a ski patrol in the winter, and planning a wedding.
Yeah, it was tough road. But I pushed through. I met my goals.
My husband and I bought a house in September 2002, and married in May 2003. We got pregnant for the first time in May of 2005. Unfortunately, during my last nursing clinical rotation, I miscarried. I earned my Associate in Science degree in Nursing in May of 2005. And guess who acted like she ALWAYS supported me in my endeavors? Yeah, that’s right, the person who told me I’d never finish … *shakes head* such bullshit.
I passed my Nursing Boards at the end of May and began to work as an RN in the hospital in June of 2005. During the next few years, I was popping out kids and working my ass off. We bought a new house in September 2005, became pregnant with Allyson Lucille in July, and I gave birth after 48 hours of hard back labor that ended in cesarean on April 16, 2006. I met my beautiful little girl on Easter morning. I’ll never forget that day. My whole life changed … I wasn’t just living for myself anymore; I was living for the amazing bundle of joy that my husband and I created.
My daughter was just under a month old when my Mom, Brother, Grandmother, and Aunt showed up on my doorstep early May 11th, 2006. Basking in the afterglow of new motherhood, I was informed that my Dad had suddenly died. After the initial shock, I packed up my newborn and went to the hospital to say my final ‘goodbye’ to my ‘daddy’. When we arrived at the hospital, we were informed that dad had succumbed to a massive coronary.
Because I’m a nurse, I’m no stranger to death and dying. However, when I walked into that tiny hospital room, I was surprised to see that my 47 year old father looked as if he hadn’t been touched by the grim reaper. It looked as if he were simply sleeping. He was still pink, and looked as if any minute his chest would heave that life-giving breath.
I grasped my daddy’s cool hand, as I said my goodbye, and set my infant daughter upon his chest. “Dad, it’s okay, you can go. Go be with the Angels … I’ll miss you every single day.”
I was a ‘rock’ for my family. I went into ‘nurse’ mode and didn’t really go through the grieving process until around five years later when I wrote my first short story in ten years. I fictionalized it, but it was about Dad’s death. It was truly cathartic. That was when I realized how much I truly missed writing.
In March of 2008, we welcomed our Son, Hunter Michael into the world. Again, I couldn’t help but feel that being a mother is what I was meant to do; especially when I looked into my little man’s bright blue eyes. The kids became my world; which is how it should be. However, you do need to balance it by taking a little time for yourself … this is where I failed and lost myself.
So, now that I have written part of my story for you all … you can see how motivated I can truly be. It’s time to rock this out!
Here are my goals …
Within 6 months I will:
-Send out a couple more short stories for possible publication. Thinking that I may be sending out another within a week!
-Finish my book by the end of October or sooner. After all, I have an editing appointment to keep 😉
-Start writing a new book in November- NaNo, here I come! 😀
-Start writing a book with a close friend … or two 😉
-Finalize my divorce by August.
-Buy a house by August or sooner.
-Join a gym (already have) and go work-out 3 times a week consistently.
-Take a brisk walk every morning, even in the rain! I love getting wet 😉 Did I just say that?
-Take a vacation, by myself. I have 300+ hours of vacation saved up! I’m thinking I should probably start putting those earned hours to use … What say you?
-I’m going to start taking my kiddos on nature walks/hikes. This is something I enjoyed as a young child.
-I’m going to quit smoking for GOOD within the month!
So there they are … written for all to see. So, why did I tell you this? Quite simply, to hold myself accountable. Now, it’s in writing.
Time to follow my dreams …
Thanks for reading! 😀