The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, May 13, 2007

So......where were we?

Okay, so I thought I would resume blogging by scanning in a copy of the letter I got from the nursing program. That's what I thought when I went on hiatus. Which suggests, now that I look at it, that I thought I had a pretty good chance of at least scoring an interview--an odd level of confidence for someone with the self-esteem issues I collect (I have several back issues and possibly a couple of subscriptions). Proof, if ever you need any, that the universe enjoys a good laugh as much as anyone.

I got the letter a week ago, and I opened it in the front yard with trembling hands, and then I quickly skimmed it for the key words. It was apparent almost immediately that "unfortunately" was probably not a good key word to find. I decided fairly rapidly that it was unlikely to be part of a sentence like "unfortunately for the other candidates, your application was far superior" or "unfortunately, the english language limits our ability to tell you just how cool you are". And, true enough--it wasn't either of those. It was, in fact, more of an "unfortunately we cannot offer you a position in the program, thank you very much, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out" kind of thing. (I might have embellished the last part a bit. Just a bit.)
I'd have scanned it in anyway, but it would have required uncrumpling it and digging it out of the recycle where I buried it--turns out that even in moments of extreme distress, I am still able to "think green".
If any of you lived close by, you would have felt the whooshing of the roller coaster as my emotions ran around on the track over the next several days, only no one was giggling or anything. Thankfully, no one lost their cookies, either, but I would have liked a little bit of giggling. Truth is, it's been hard. And I want to say that I'm so grown up and so self-actualized (ah--THERE'S the giggling) that I am philosophical about the whole thing and that I always view the loss in a healthy and mature fashion, focusing on how much I've learned and so on and so forth. Sometimes, for brief seconds, it's even true. Sadly, it is also true that I have moments of anger, of pain, of angst, and of thinking the entire committee are a bunch of poopyheads and wondering how in the world the uber-tanned 23-year-old in my CNA class with the $300 handbag and seemingly no real interest in anything medical because it's "icky" managed to get in while I did not. Seems that they're accepting Malibu Barbie this year, but not me. (Yes, I've had moments of nastiness, too. I'm not proud of them.)

Mostly, now, the worst is over. I hate it that I didn't get in, and I feel like a failure and I feel embarrassed and I feel like I let down everyone who loves me...but these feelings are coming less and less. They're being replaced by the knowledge that the universe invariably manages to lead me where I need to go and that this is not the sort of crisis that warrants as much attention as I'm giving it. People are dying all over the world....this is a mere bump in my incredibly blessed road. Granted, it's a bump that really pisses me off...but still.
Truth is, I've been thinking a lot about passion. I've always said that nursing is my passion...but I'm starting to see that it's really not. It is, in fact, a vehicle for my real passion. The real passion, the one that feeds my soul and assures me that I have a reason for being in the world, is that ability to connect with people. To help hold their fear or their pain or their anger. To make a difference, not necessarily in their lives--a lofty goal, that--but at least in their right now. In their hurting. Nursing would be a great way to get to do that, but it isn't the only way. For right now, I've decided to go back to work for awhile and rethink things. I can't reapply for another year anyway, so I'm excited to go back to my passion, to feed that thing inside of me that absolutely demands to be fed and, quite frankly, has been starving for the better part of a year. I may reapply, I may not. But I will make the decision knowing that what I am and what I can give is enough--no matter how I end up giving it.
I went to my old employers looking for references and both of them have asked if I'd like to come back. The inner child is clearly expressing herself in my desire to relay this info to the nursing committee while saying something terribly mature and eloquent, such as "SEE?? SOME people appreciate and want me! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, you poopyheads."
Assclowns would be a bit more satisying, I admit. Probably a bit more dignified, too.
Lest you think I've done nothing but wallow in the pit of assclownery (a good word, I think), I offer this:

I think you saw the beginnings of the reddish one on your left; the next one in (the teal) is made from Panda Wool/Bamboo blend in a pattern from their website (I know--ME, using the correct wool for the pattern. I had to sit down a minute myself). Next, the pastelly one that really does beg the question of what happens to my brain in the presence of wool fumes. I mean, it's pretty and all...but also probably the least "me" kind of yarn I've ever purchased. Gave me a run for my money, too, possibly realizing that it was in the hands of someone who didn't truly appreciate it and might well make it into a toilet tissue cover or something. In the end, I designed the pattern myself and that's the sock you see above. To tell you the truth, I was so aggravated at that point that the toilet paper hat with the little ruffle was starting to look pretty good, so the fact that it's even sock-shaped is a sort of triumph. Lastly, the purple one whose mate is almost done (I'll be finishing it today). I love this one quite a bit. It's from a free pattern called "Saucy" and it's a surprisingly quick knit.

I told a dear friend that I felt a little funny about calling myself Ms. Knitingale, seeing as how I didn't even make it to the interview stage of the nursing school application. She said (kindly) not to be ridiculous and I started thinking: maybe "nurse" isn't just a profession. Maybe it's also a state of mind. Maybe a person who will be there for you when you're afraid or in pain is a nurse of your soul. Maybe someone who takes joy in making a connection when you most need it, is a nurse of the heart.

I'd like to think so, anyway.


  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger Peg-woolinmysoup said…

    Oh Ms. K - you will always be Ms. K to me and you are right - nursing comes in many forms.
    If ever a 'nurse' is needed to help a soul in distress, I hope they find you Ms. K. - I have missed you and I am so happy you are back!
    Who would call on Malibu Barbie when they wanted a shoulder to cry on; a friend to laugh with; a gal to make you chuckle down deep in your tummy; or a gal with a wicked sense of humour to make the road less rough - NOT ME! I would want you Ms. K. and so never give up on the Ms. K side of yourself - we need you out here and want you too!

  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    I'm sorry you didn't make it this time but clearly, it isn't the only road you can take at this moment.

    Keep on walking, there are other paths to take. :)

    And it's good to hear from you again.

  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger KC said…

    Paper applications show next to nothing about who you really are, as you saw with Miss Barbie. you are most certainly qualified to do what ever you wish so don't let a speed bump slow you down! you will find a way that is right for you.
    I'm so glad you are back, Miss K!

  • At 6:03 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Aaahhhh, welcome back sweetheart.

    You know exactly how I feel about all this already.....also....
    (It takes one to know one)

    My what beautiful socks you have there!

  • At 7:57 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    It's a shame when nursing is such in need that they turn down qualified people.

    Glad to see you're back and and wanting to blog again as you do reach out and touch me with your observations of life. I look forward to more.

    Here's to something that will bring your true hearts desire within reach for you soon!

  • At 4:53 AM, Blogger lisalouryan said…

    What a lovely surprise when I checked this morning to see if you were back yet - and you were! You have been missed.

    You will find your path - or it will find you. You are open to the journey and that is what matters!!


  • At 6:14 AM, Blogger ccr in MA said…

    It can be so hard to believe that the universe is leading you where you need to be, when you're sure you know where that should be and the door doesn't open. It's so hard to hold onto that faith. Every step you take and every step you don't will bring you to where you do belong.

    So glad you're back! And of course you're "really" a nurse!

  • At 8:15 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Aw crap. I have been thinking about you and wishing you well and am so glad to see you back, even if it is with unexpected news. I bet it was the CNA-in-progress thing...stoopid committee saw one undotted i and didn't bother to read the rest of the application, cuz it sure as heck wasn't your grades or test scores! You are clearly surrounded by people that love and appreciate you, so I suggest that we aim one big collective "Pbbbbllllltttt" in the direction of the nursing department!

    Oh, the socks are gorgeous too! It's amazing how much knitting can come out of nervous energy!

  • At 8:35 AM, Blogger Karen said…

    How wonderful that you are back! I've missed your sharp and witty take on life. And what pretty socks you've been knitting. I know what you mean about the pastelly yarn. I have a ball of Trekking, that is pastel,that refuses to become socks.

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    It's so good to "hear your voice" again. I'm really sorry about the letter. All my best wishes to you...

  • At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Justanother knitter said…

    I am so, so, so glad you're back to blogging - you have such a gift for writing, and your posts are always a high point in my day. You are "nursing" a whole host of knitters in the world, and you don't have to change our bedpans or poke us with needles. (Personally, I do that myself - the needle thing, not the bedpan thing).

    Since I don't know you at all, I feel completely qualified to advise you on how to run your life - and I think you should publish a collection of your blog essays! I'd personally buy a copy for every knitter I know (and that's a lot!)

  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger Dianne said…

    Welcome back Ms.K.. with open arms and huge hugs!
    It's quite sad that the selection committee could not see what your fellow knit/bloggers see and feel here..The saddest part..Barbie will most likely not stay in the profession or even become licensed..She sounds like the 'biker babe' with a ton of tattoo's and piercings that has recently started at my Drs...scares me when she comes near with a needle, esp..when she tells me she hates to give injections..I've learned to get my allergy injections on her day at the desk..
    This new path will lead some place special Ms.K. and you will always be our 'Nurse'..

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    *So* glad to have you back. Speaking from experience, "not now" is my least-favorite answer to prayer. Sending you hugs and virtual chocolate from the Lone Star State. And kudos to you for the prolific sockishness! I agree that the pastel sock doesn't seem "you", but hey, every so often I put on a pair of khaki slacks just to shake up my co-workers. Maybe these socks are a shout-out from your inner Donna Reed?

  • At 11:37 PM, Blogger Pat said…

    Welcome back. We've all missed you. I'm so sorry that the committee don't know their arse from their elbow. You'd have though that was a prerequisite in nursing. I am sure that you will find the right path in time, whether it be straight into nursing or in another direction. It's the twists in the road that make life interesting - infuriating but interesting!

  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger Kali said…

    Welcome back. As you can see, you were mightily missed.

    Taking time out for balance is necessary and I am glad you did it, but even happier that you have returned. Their loss, my gain. :-)

    Besides, you do seriously superb socks! I just might try them one of these days and need all the reference help I can find!

  • At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Em said…

    Welcome back! I am so glad you have returned, but saddened by your news. I can very much relate to you here: I was "unfortunately" not accepted to a doctoral program last year, and have had to spend the last 10 months figuring out where my own passion truly lies. As you said, though, they are assclowns (I often say asshats!) for prefering Barbie girls over thinking beings ;)

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said…

    And ABOUT TIME TOO! Had you bothered to think, for one MOMENT, just how we, your needy sisters, were going to manage while you were out there NOT TALKING TO US?

    (honestly, Ms. Knitingale, do remember that this is the Crimea, and we NEED you. Whoever said you could give up just because you felt like it? Get back in here with that lantern!)


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