Wednesday, July 6, 2011

call it a lesson learned

I know my birthday is still a few weeks away, but over the weekend I had an opportunity for reflection on what I've learned in the past year, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

The biggest lesson I've learned is this: It's time to grow up. Am I there yet? No way. But I've accepted it, opened my hear to it, and said goodbye to many things, people, activities that were stopping me from growing up. Part of growing up, I've realized, is taking care of yourself. Realizing your worth. Understanding that you are in control of your life. Why make choices that will only hurt you in the end? Mistakes I understand, but throwing lives away I don't. We have one chance. And I'm totally on board with having a great time while you can and all that jazz...but I also think part of growing up is putting that aside and focusing on you- what you really want out of life. Not what makes you happy for that moment or two, but what will make you happy in the end.

Another lesson? Go with your gut. If something doesn't feel right, most likely, it's not right. With my new job, I've never once had an ounce of anxiety over accepting the position. I feel like I've been here for years when it's only been 2 months. That's how I know I made the right move. It takes trial and error, of course, but going with your gut feeling and listening to that little voice inside can go a long way. Have you taken the time to listen?

Lesson 3. Life is a beautiful, precious gift. I know I sort of touched on this before...but working in hospice has showed me just how true this really is. Most of us are lucky that we are healthy, happy, and supported. Not everyone is that lucky. We have patients who have no one, we are their family. This year has taught me to be grateful for what I have, for my support system. I've also become super comfortable with death- I know that sounds morbid but when it is a part of your daily routine every single day, you learn to get comfortable with it. I'd like to share a quick quote from a recent patient visit

Pt "I want to go home. I want to go home."
Me "Where's home?"
Pt "Heaven."

That moment nearly took my breath away. At the end of life, to be so comfortable and willing to leave this earth and join Heaven. The dying process can be scary, but it can also be quite beautiful. Those people left a mark on this world in some way shape or form, and now it's time to move on. I wish we didn't hurt when our loved ones were taken away. But think of everything you loved about that person- their strength, or maybe their humor- and imagine that they are pouring it onto you. Handing it off. Now it's yours to own, and that person is with you forever in that special way.

So those are just a couple of the lessons I've learned as a 23 year old kiddo. I'll post more as I think of them. I love you, and I hope you have a beautiful day.

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