It escaped my notice that my last blog post was my 100th. To anyone who has read them all, my hat is off to you. (And I could suggest some books and other sites that would have been a better use of your time ;)
For my 101st post, it seems fitting to talk about the next chapter of my life. I suppose it really began when I found out last year that I was being laid off. When I got the job at the church, it seemed to be a culmination of education, experience and desire; I fully anticipated staying there for the foreseeable future. It was not to be.
As I searched for both a job and a vocational direction, I kept running across nursing jobs. Initially it was simply an observation, but I began thinking about it as an option for me. I started college as a psych/pre-med double major, so it's wasn't something snatched from the clear blue. And I've always found medicine, and anatomy & physiology and other sciences fascinating. After attending informational meetings at several schools, I began to feel increasingly comfortable with the idea. It seemed a good blend of working with my hands, helping people and stimulating that scientific part of my brain. As I ran the idea past others, more often that not, the response was "Hmm, wow, never would've thought of that. But now that you mention it, I think you'd be a great nurse." Confirmation...of a sort, at least.
So, after a Bachelor's and two years of grad school, I've returned to school, taking classes here at a city college in pursuit of an Associate's in Nursing which will allow me to take the NCLEX-RN to become a Registered Nurse. I hope I am close to finally getting a job again after a long dry season (thank you to our loving family which has so generously helped us out during this time). It seems likely that it will be in direct care, either social services or healthcare.
Long-term, I have to say that I have a real burden for Africa. After visiting Kenya and Uganda last year, I would like to go back on a regular basis, and the idea of doing medical missions trips as an RN excites me. It's tough to say where my family and I will be led in the five years (possibly less but not substantially) it will take to get my degree, but I suspect Africa will be a part of our life in some way or another.
So what about that creative part of me? For now I'm enjoying doing design work for my wife's photography business. We make a great team. Even if that were all I did, I think I could be content, but that creativity comes out regardless. I pray that I will be used and content.