I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up at half-past three in the morning. I don’t remember dreaming.
I take my final on Tuesday, official grades post on Wednesday, and my pinning ceremony is on Saturday.
I graduate, and I’ll be one exam away from my license and being a registered nurse.
Things feel a little odd, of course. I’ve been working toward a goal for so long. I set out to do this years ago—and that’s how long it takes to do this, I remind myself—and now that I’m here, I’m thankful (the well of gratitude is so deep), exhausted, a little confused, and ready, so very ready.
It’s easy, at the accomplishment of a goal, to feel confused, sad. I had a lovely talk about this with one of my teachers just the other day. I think it’s the fact that I’ve come to love my colleagues over the course of our journey, and now we will be dispersing like a dandelion puff someone’s made a wish on…
Because, being me, I’ve been making new plans all along. The nearer I get to one target, the more I think about the ones beyond it. The moment I realized that I’m going to need to go to grad school in order to take my practice where I want it to go, the moment I learned that I want to teach as part of it, the moment when I felt that the bedside is what sparks much of my joy, the moment that I thrived as being part of a team, at clinicals with a colleague helping me out, and in a random conversation after class when I made a comment about having my back and a friend replied, in the dead serious way of spoken truths and dropped mics, “Always,” the moment I knew that my soul had to become magnified in order to do this work the way I need to be able to do it, the moment when I felt it grow, the moment I felt so damned lucky to get to do this—the moment that continues, continues, continues…
Because this is not a destination. This is not a goal that is an end. This is a means.
So, waking up at half-past three and writing, and thinking, living my dreams and planning, making new goals, and feeling melancholy joy at this time that unwinds into a few days when, as if with an exhaled hope, my life bursts and seeds take flight.