at twenty-five i have said hello to my quarter-life crisis. in september i left a highly sought after ICU nursing position, moved to a new city, have more student loan debt than when i graduated, & had never felt so lost. it seemed like the best time to figure out who i am, what i want, and how to get what i want.
there has always been a plan, or rather society had sketched out a plan for me. go to school, then soccer practice, graduate, go to college, work, obtain a well paying and stable degree, foster a successful career, and top it off with an instagram worthy lifestyle.
the year plus a few months i spent as an ICU nurse was a brutal realization that i needed to take control over my life. to stop letting fear, laziness, and societal pressures determine my life course. the ICU was a place that fueled a lot of anxiety and fear for me. multiple codes and extremely tough patient situations fresh out of nursing school, played a toll on my emotional well-being. i also knew there was something missing and i wasn’t playing the game of life in the right field.
an ache in my belly had me questioning if what makes me feel fulfilled may be in something more creative. i grabbed Christine Hassler’s Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and began the most honest time in my life. it was terrifying telling people that i had no idea what i was doing as everyone else shared their perfected self/career/life intro. it went a little something like this.. “Hi, I’m Coli. No, it’s Coli. Like broccoli. Yeah you got it. What do I do? Oh, well I don’t know what I’m doing with my life at the moment. I’m trying to figure that out. I’ll get back to you.” for a short time it began to feel a bit liberating to be so honest with strangers and even the closest people to me. then as time passed the liberation turned into depression. questioning the process, what i was doing, and if i would ever figure it out took over my mind. but through it i kept myself open to opportunities and am now on the upside.
that time also led to me to the release of a lot of regret and blame. there was a moment in college where i left a degree path toward emergency medicine (which i had followed someone else into) and my next step was uncertain. i took a moment to explore the possibilities of transitioning to a marketing degree, but after realizing how many extra credit hours and length of time in school it would add, as well as some outside influences i nixed that off the option list. i felt that belly ache and thought for a moment about taking a more creative step in life, but decided to make the safe choice and continue down the medical route. my transcript was bloated with biology prerequisites and it would assure me a viable career. thus, i applied for nursing school. making the “safe choice” had been my clutch.
this time round i am not choosing life’s safe options. i know this will be a long road for me, but it is a very exciting one. i am forever grateful for the support and the love around me at one of the most vulnerable times in my life. now more than ever i am ready for the beauty of what this life has to offer.
currently i have a steady income from nannying, taken a variety of creative classes, an evolving position with Tiny Atlas Quarterly, a come and go exercise routine, newly acquired photography skills and knowledge, and have thought about no longer procrastinating doing my taxes. with the help of zach, my boyfriend, i have created what i like to call “my studio” tucked in the corner of our bedroom. this space is where i am creating stained glass/suncatcher art. i don’t know where this art will take me, but i am very excited for the possibilities.
trying not to sound too cliche throughout this post (yeah right) i have to end on the cheesiest note… i am on life’s rollercoaster and i’m not getting off. it’s just too good.