Recently I finished reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown. In her book, Brene states that there are 3 phases or 'acts' of overcoming a tough problem. 1. The Reckoning 2. The Rumble and 3. The Revolution. The reckoning is where you get to the point where you recognize what your problem is and you can't avoid facing it. The rumble is the phase where you try and fail and try again and work hard to solve your problem. The revolution is where you get to otherside of your mountain. You are changed and victorious. One of the things that she said is that so many people when describing their success skim over this phase as 'it was hard, and I pushed through it'. She said more people need to share their stories about how they actually got through the difficult spots.
As far as graduate school is concerned I am still in Act II. I know the finale is coming, but I'm not there yet. It's still hard. Many people still think I am crazy. Another thing about me is that I have a tendency to have vivid dreams that often represent things I am dealing with. (And no, not abstract vague voodoo things, but dreams that portray things that I am dealing with.) I thought I would share them here (and honestly I have been meaning to write them down for awhile) because perhaps it may help people with their own struggles. (Or maybe you may just enjoy the crazy things that go through my head at night.)
Backstory: Graduate school last semester was rather soul-sucking. I have too much student debt to quit without graduating. In order to attend school I have to have health insurance, it is required. My husband's employer does not offer it. At the time high deductible private insurance cost us more than $1100 per month. And I was struggling to find a job that was willing to work around school, wasn't trying to do shady things with my license and offered insurance. I looked into cheaper and closer graduate programs, but to transfer would mean scrapping too much of the work I had already done and would take longer in the end.
Eventually I found a job that gave me benefits and worked around school. (Hooray!)
More backstory: As I have been embarking on this graduate school and advanced practice nursing journey, I've been trying to figure out exactly where I want to go with it. And I could debate back and forth forever. Of course it is difficult to determine right now. I have more than a year left, the jobs that are available at the moment, most likely will not be when I am finished. And school probably will not end when I finish this degree. I can get a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a PhD, a second Master's Degree in Psychology or a Masters in Public Health, or some combination. Any of these can help me provide better care to children. However, it's hard to say which is the best plan for me and my family. It's hard to evaluate the pros and cons of any direction. I have spent hundreds of hours talking to people, and researching different options. The paths are not very clearly defined. It makes it difficult to know which step to take next.
Dream 2: I went hiking with Brene Brown. The scenery was impossibly picturesque. It was like Zion's National Park, Arches National Park, Iguazu Falls and Final Fantasy XII all rolled into one. So pretty. On our hike we ate lots of dark chocolate and I talked about my ideas for public health interventions to improve pediatric health. I was so excited to talk about my ideas and the things that I wanted to do, and Brene was excited too. She told me 'You need to do this, these ideas need to be tried. Do the research to support your interventions.' We talked, hiked and ate dark chocolate for hours. It was amazing. I woke up pumped and with increased resolve to keep going even though sometimes graduate school is terrible.