Thursday, April 26, 2007

How Might My Life Have Been Different?...

Today was one of those oddly surreal days...do YOU ever stop and pause in your life and ask yourself, "How did I get here?" I'm not talking concretely "how did I get here" as in where I am standing in that moment...but "How did I get here?" at this current space, this current place in time? What if my life experiences had been different, where might I be finding myself instead? I know...maybe too "deep" of a post for a Thursday morning, but it IS what is on my mind! LOL

As I stood today amidst the chaos and craziness of a patient's family dynamics, I found myself drifting in and out of thought, wondering why I was standing in this stranger's living room trying to sort out the current mental health crisis that was falling apart around me. I began to wonder why I ever chose to do the type of work I do...I began to wonder what "path" I took that has gotten me to where I am today...I began to ponder how my life might have been different had I turned left instead of right during my life's journey.

When I was in junior high and high school, my life's ambition was to become an English teacher and also teach Phys. Ed...I also wanted to become a writer. I played basketball in college and, although too short to matter much, I was fast and methodical and dreamed of playing basketball for a living...there weren't any women's professional basketball teams that I knew of at the time, so my thinking was more of a "pipe dream". Somewhere along the way to an English degree, I changed course abruptly and went into nursing. In nursing school, I chose my focus profession, which was psychiatric nursing. I have been practicing in the psychiatric field for the past 21 years. Today, I am an officer of the court, doing psychiatric evaluations for commitment and also crisis outreach in my community...I do this while riding the ebbing and flowing tide of Multiple Sclerosis.

Certainly my profession has shaped and also jaded my outlook on life...I deal with life and death every day...this tends to have a huge impact upon one's psyche. I also deal with the unspeakable, the bizarre, the unusual, and the deviant of society...I have trouble "relating" sometimes at parties because I have no work humor I can share and my life is quite different than someone with two kids, the mortgage, a dog, and teaching school (or any other profession, for that matter). I live in a constant world of silence about what I do for a living and the people I interact with that I call "patients"...most people have no concept for what I do in my job (and most don't want to!), nor can they relate to the things I've seen.

Today is just ending as one of those days where I let myself wonder: How might my life had been different if I HAD become an English teacher, if I DID have two kids and a dog, if I DID write for a living, or if I had NEVER seen or experienced the things I see and do on a regular basis in my work? How might my life have been different if I had never been diagnosed with MS?

Purely speculation, I know, but sometimes taking this look can bring deeper appreciations as well as other choices in life. How might YOUR life have been different if?... Care to share in the comment section?...

12 comments:

Funky Mango said...

So many what ifs...but one major one, if I'd never volunteered doing care for Vitalise, a charity that runs holiday centres for adults with severe physical disabilities, I wouldn't have adjusted to subsequently developing MS half as well. As a result of the volunteering, I already had loads of disabled friends who live full, happy lives...and if they can, I damn well can!

Adina said...

“I could have been a contender, I could have been somebody, instead of a bum which is what I am."
oh boy !!! did you hit a nerve or what ?? I am happy with how my life turned out ( no , I am not a bum, I just loved Brando in the On the Waterfront) but I wanted to be an artist , even went to school for that ..instead ended up in the corporate world… The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn't matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark ????

harkoo said...

And i am at the point in my life that i can see that everything happened as it was supposed to even though there were some wrong turns. The point is, i am here today and it is absolutely right! Funky Mango--I am learning hand-controlled driving now as i use w/c when i go out--I have been reading your words since you discovered Braincheese and you are a source of inspiration and enjoyment daily. Adina, I was a psych nurse like Linda but it wasn't right for me so I left to go to Art School and spent my life as an artist--the catastrophic emotional events that led to the w/c have forced me to finally understand myself so i can see it all had to be. And that awful marriage i was in, just had to end and that w/c gave him the perfect excuse to flee. Adina, I would only hope you are doing some artwork. I live 3 miles from the ocean and am only now getting cleaned up from the Northeaster last week. So here we all are this morning--I wish i could have you all over for coffee-oopss sorry Linda--will water be ok?

BRAINCHEESE said...

FUNKY M:

You didn't "catch" MS from them, did you? LMAO

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

ADINA:

Man, I DO need new glasses! I thought the first line of your comment said, "I could have been a BARTENDER"! LOL

Yes, all things happen for a reason, so "they" say...I'd like to think we exert a little bit of CHOICE into those reasons, however...consciously or unconsciously.

LD

BRAINCHEESE said...

HARKOO/JOYCE:

Well, everyone can raise their virtual coffee cup (mine will be a bottle of water!) in the air and toast each other to meaningful lives lived...

It is truly amazing how the Internet has connected us all in "community"...

LD

Funky Mango said...

You didn't "catch" MS from them, did you? LMAO

The theory's been mentioned! ;-)

harkoo...thanks for the kind words :-)

This thread reminds me of a famous quote from Nietzsche...Life is lived forwards but understood backwards

BRAINCHEESE said...

FUNKY M:

Ahhh...excellent quote. And now it's off to work I go...

LD

Suzy said...

Sheesh...I'm still pondering all of those questions, girl! I still see myself as trying to figure this out. Kinda like "What do I want to be when I grow up?"

You and writing...hmmmm.....I don't find that surprising. (and yes, I'm still sitting here waiting for that book...when is it due out?)

Hugs,

Suzy

BRAINCHEESE said...

SUZY:

And? Have you settled on a course toward what you want to be when you grow up? You know that decision changes for everyone a thousand times over...

The "book" is still on the back burner for now...I have enough trouble just keeping up with this blog! LOL

LD

Peej said...

I really can't imagine my life any different.... I know that seems a little strange but, like Harkoo, I'm exactly where I need to be with all the experiences I needed to have.

I'm content :)

BRAINCHEESE said...

PEEJ:

Ain't life grand? Seriously...

LD