Travel nursing has opened me up to the realization that I am who I am meant to be. I’m not going to become an extravert or suddenly have a lot to say in conversations. I’m not suddenly going to start working out 7 days a week and prefer the outdoors to sitting in my home reading a good book, or driving around listening to audiobooks. I am me.
I felt a lot of pressure to revert as I got older. Many of the people I knew preferred that I was who I use to be. Loud, talkative, social, always outside doing things, “confident”. That’s what everyone considered confidence. Someone who dresses up all the time, is feisty, loud, talkative, always going out with friends, dating. So I kept telling myself that I was not confident because if I was, I would be all those things that I use to be.
I’m in a new state and I realize that I am still the same person (maybe a little more at peace). I realize that who I am is a result of all that I have learned and all that I have evolved to become. My quiet demeanor is not a sign of weakness or a lack of confidence. My lack of desire to argue is not indicative of insecurity or uncertainty. It’s not all bad. Who I am is not all bad. I’m not perfect. But it’s toxic to keep thinking that I’m inadequate because I’m not my old ego filled self.
Whatever I am is more accepting of my flaws and uncertainties and is more open to celebrating my accomplishments. Whatever I am is more tolerant, forgiving, less affected my outside influence, caring, loving. Since being here, several of my patients have put a big smile on my face when they told me how comfortable I made them feel and that made me feel good knowing that I have been able to put people at ease. Many of the nursing students have thanked me for being so helpful and for supportive and answering all of their questions and that made me feel good that they felt comfortable approaching me to ask questions. My coworkers have been amazed by me for picking up and traveling over 300 miles away to a place I’ve never been, with people I’ve never met, to work at a facility I knew nothing about until arriving. My family was impressed that I have made this trip and had it be as organized as it has been.
Whatever I am is confident. She might be loud and outspoken, harsh, proud, aggressive, or flashy. But she’s comfortable in her own skin and she confident enough to take the necessary steps to become whatever she wants to be. She’s comfortable with her fluidity. She’s comfortable with her own essence. And I think that’s something that the person I’m not anymore can feel good about.