21 years young. i love Jesus, nursing, old sweatshirts, thrifting, coffee, michael, and adventures.
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” The Velveteen Rabbit
this past week left me in a whirlwind. as i strutted across that stage and received my diploma, i took a deep breath in with emotions that i weren’t able to evaluate until now. was it relief? yes. was it pride? sure. was it also…fear? well, yes. it’s terrifying to step out of clemson and to pack my bags and to experience the burdens of a real-life grown up. i’m leaving those that i am closest to including my family, both in blood and in soul. everything in my life is good right now: i’m on the cusp of becoming someone. i’m moving to an area in north carolina that i love with a man that i love even more. this is a huge high in my life. and i am incredibly thankful and blessed for that.
what i am fearful of is that once i step out of my comfort zone, the first thing i will be hit with is a reality check that i’m not aware will happen and one that i am not equipped for. though i know that this “smack” is completely necessary for growth, i still sit here in anticipation for that first downward slope of adulthood.
but being molded to have a nursing mind, a critical concept has helped me with this: heart rhythms. the very core of what keeps you alive, your heart, produces an electrical current that can be detected on EKG strips and heart monitors. these rhythms, when normal and abnormal, produce strips and strips of up and down lines. without these lines, there is no electrical conduction whatsoever. you are flatlined.
these ups and downs in life are vital to our lives and to our growth. though we may have periods where it’s more sporadic…like atrial or ventricular fibrillation, which produce an almost quivering line, there are those that will rush to our side to help us into a normal rhythm once again.
all in all, i’m thankful for the ups and downs in my life. a flatline doesn’t support growth or challenge or spontaneity. bring on the rhythm.
i feel like nursing school has changed me. not for better or worse, but my ways of thinking are just different. like how my favorite part of my appearance has become my collarbones. i like how intricate our skeletal systems are, and how delicate the collarbones in particular are. i like how our impulse to breathe isn’t from lack of oxygen, but from an accumulation of carbon dioxide in our lungs instead. i like how clumps of melanin can give us something as lovely as freckles on our cheeks. i like how only 2 percent of the world has green eyes. i’ve studied the human body for hours upon hours and yet i’m always intrigued to linger with my notes and textbooks a bit longer to learn more.
being a nursing student, you learn more than you could ever imagine about our skeletons and organ systems and disease processes. but the sweet part about all of that is, more than anything, you learn about how incredible our Creator is. each part of our body serves a specific and divine purpose- something that it, and only it, can do. and even more than that, each part works in conjunction with another part for the purpose of keeping us alive. sometimes i sit in awe and try to picture the Lord creating the human body in his mind, almost like an engineer. how He thought up the idea of blood that would circulate through each of us, that would provide us with oxygen, nutrients, and immunity. how He thought up the idea that it would be transported through an intricate system of vessels. how He thought up the idea that this system would be based on the pumping action of the heart. i have found it so encouraging to realize the amount of effort and detail that God must have put into our creation. in our flesh, we are engineered creations of Him. how could we ever doubt our importance?
and what’s more- i love the fact that He put variations into the creation of humankind. different color of irises. different heights. freckles, disproportionate ears, deviated septums, curly hair, i could go on forever. i love all of this so much because it reiterates that each and every one of us were made and woven with time set apart by God. it makes me feel as though i was carefully and intricately knit. as though i’m a prized possession because He created me and i am His.
the times in my life where i have looked in the mirror and haven’t seen myself as beautiful- is countless. my flesh and my insecurities make me so silly. the Lord created ribs and the uvula and the endocrine system, and He created me- in specificity, in intricacy, and in divine and perfect love.