Monday, December 29, 2014

A glorious day.

December 16, 2014, the day I was pinned as a Nurse Graduate.

I've longed for this day, for well over two years. The day I found out my Godfather had cancer, my life changed forever. This was back in 2006. Two weeks before I was graduating high school.

From a couple posts ago, I told you the why's behind my yearning for education, but I left out a very big piece. The how's I got to this point.

I got to this point with lots of support. No, this support didn't come from my family. It came from a very special person that God brought in to my life at a time when I needed him the most.

His name was Jerry, he was my mom's boss at one of the various jobs she floated through. When I met Jerry, he was a stern guy who didn't take bullshit from anyone. I emphasize this, because later on he ended up firing my mom for one reason or another and I told this man exactly how I felt.

I was 14.

I was 14 years old telling this man he was a piece of crap for firing a mother of three children, and telling him how awful he was for doing this. He took the bullshit this time.

From this point forward, he became a huge part of my life. Weird, I know, but all of his children were grown and he was at the retiring age and needed someone to look after.

Well I needed looking after.

I needed someone to encourage me.

I needed the support.

I needed a mentor.

He told me how smart I truly was and I was beginning to believe him. I was smart. He pushed me to do well in high school, to stick with the marching band, to stay out of trouble. To be better.

In four short years, this man had taught me how important it was to be self driven, motivated, and most of all to never give up. Perseverance was key.

April 2006 came, and he was diagnosed with throat cancer. I watched as he fought the cancer for four months. I watched the nurses and healthcare team work with him and nurture his healing process.

All I could think is, "I could do this".  It was then that Jerry read my mind, he said, " you know you'd be good at this".

I knew it.
This was it.
This is what I want to do.
Now how to put this in place?

Within the next couple of months, I went through a lot of change. I graduated high school.  I got a good job. I started applying for colleges. Within those months, Jerry beat cancer. Although, he beat the cancer, the treatments left him very weak.

So weak that he ended up getting in a very bad four wheeler accident. I know you're probably thinking... " what the hell was this man doing on a four-wheeler weeks after radiation and chemo?"

He lived in the country and the mail box was down a ways, so that's how he checked the mail. The man was hell on wheels. I loved that about him.

He was weeks into rehabilitation from the accident with a very bad brain bleed. It was going well.
I went to visit as often as I could. I was very busy, but always made time.

September 15, 2006, Jerry died. I don't remember feeling anything, but pain. I felt lost. I felt hopeless. My mentor was no longer there, to cheer me on, to love me and tell me I could do anything.

This started a very long road. A road that would lead me here. I had a lot of doors slam in my face, and but never stopped looking for an open door. I always remember the faith that man had in me to do well. I always heard his voice in the back of my mind cheering me on. His voice was louder than all the other negativity i'd heard in my life. So I always chose to listen to him.

No, he wasn't actually my Godfather, but God sure did bring a dad in my life when I needed him the most. He never left my side, and although he isn't here, I still feel him here today. He was one of the first people I thought of when I found out I passed my last test of nursing school.

You're probably wondering why this story was brought up when I am trying to tell you about my pinning day.

Well I had to explain how I got here. How I never gave up.

My Golden Girls.  

My Godmother Sandal. 



 I can't tell you how therapeutic writing is for me. It's broken down a lot of my walls and little by little I understand what I am capable of. It took a lot of courage to push the publish button on this one, but I have to say i'm so glad I did. Thanks for always listening to my ramblings and my heart.

Love, 
Ashley


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Oh Hi!

Hello! It's been awhile.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I figured I'd do a post because it's really been a bit. December was a whirlwind, and I'm glad it's winding down a bit.

It's totally weird blogging right now. Do I still remember how to ramble? Of course.

I'll show you some pictures of our Christmas, which I totally meant to post 3 days ago, but whatever.


Yep. Ugly sweaters + Cats in sweaters = THE WORLDS BEST TACKY CHRISTMAS CARD!

I was pretty proud of it, I just wished we would have put the year on it. Dang. That will have to wait until next year. 

I have to say it was a very nice, serene Christmas. No traveling, just hanging out with the cats and eating. Nothing fancy. 

We made this. Yes, we are still married,  after handcrafting this winter gingerbread wonderland. Only 2 meltdowns while putting this together, my OCD gets in the way. ALOT.



We ate fondue on Christmas Eve. It was super yummy, but my goodness it was shameful eating that much cheese. We got a little carried away. I think we are going to move this tradition to Christmas dinner next year. 




For Christmas dinner we ordered a whole bunch of Chinese food. We ate on that for two days it was so much food. We watched all the Christmas movies you could imagine a couple of times this season. 

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas excuse me while I get back to studying for my nursing boards. I can't wait until the day I don't have to open up another NCLEX book. 

Stay fabulous. 


Ps. I just had to. 









Friday, December 12, 2014

and... I passed Nursing school yesterday.

Yes, I am writing to you as a new graduate nurse.


I still can't believe it, the shock is still here. 

I spent the last TWO years slaving away learning every nursing intervention under the sun. I spent a lot of that time in stress, fear and tears. Life of any nursing student. Constantly worrying about failure. Constantly thinking is this the right thing to do? And a million "what ifs". The list goes on. and on.

You might be wondering, "why in the hell did you continue to do this?!"

Answer: I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life. NOTHING ELSE. When I started nursing school I knew this was what I was born to do. I know, I know, it really sounds cheesy. Well it's the absolute truth. I can't tell you what a feeling I get knowing that my patient is getting better because of my care.

The measure of a life is it's service. I truly live by this. It's fitting because this is the motto of my university from my first degree, Sam Houston State University.

I don't really open up about my family because I don't have a good relationship with a good bit of them. Something you probably don't know about me, is that I grew up very poor and misguided. My mom didn't really accomplish very much in her life and my dad wasn't in the picture half the time, due to mental illness and very poor life choices.

More than a few of the people in my family thought I was destined to lead a life that my parents did.

So often times growing up I was told the following:

I would never go to college because I didn't have the money to go. 

I should most likely follow some kind of trade that didn't require very much school. 

I wasn't smart enough.  

Long story short, I had to figure out a good bit of life on my own. I refuse to fall into the "oh woe is me".  I used all of these words as fuel. Fuel to the fire of finding myself.

I wanted to change my life and where it was going. I needed something that was my own. That's where education came in. After high school, I figured out that I was actually pretty smart and can do this college thing pretty well. My new goal was to become the first woman in my family to graduate college.

I graduated with my bachelors degree in 2012 and now two years later in 2014, yet another degree in one of the most respected professions, Nursing.

I did it. I was the very first woman in my family to graduate college.

In the times that I wanted to quit and give up, my grandmother's words resonated in my head, "you aren't smart enough". That made me try harder. Work harder. Do Better.  Do I let those words of doubt hurt me?

No. 

Those words pushed me to better myself, and enabled me to truly see what i'm made of. I'm done trying to prove them wrong, because I did so long ago.

I did this for me and no one else.

I don't usually open up about things like this, because this is a very deep part of me. A deep place that I am just now starting to understand and become comfortable sharing. To not share this, most people wouldn't understand how important school and education is to me, and why I try so hard.

Moral of the story: You can literally do anything you set my mind to, no matter what it is.