Happy Wednesday!
How is everybody doing in life?
It’s March, I’m shook, I don’t even know where the time went and I wonder what I’ve really accomplished.
And that’s what makes Chapter 43 so interesting – the timing of it.
Writing ‘Existing’ was very simple for me, because that is exactly how I felt throughout my years of study. I was glad to be passing, but I wasn’t happy that THIS was the field of study that I was passing in.
I don’t recall ever having any kind of real fun during my years of study.
There was friction between my parents and I and so, we barely talked when they would phone, and when they did, it would sometimes end in unnecessary arguments.
I was a shell of myself.
I would study as best I could and there was a point there where I knew that if I didn’t pull my socks up, I would repeat the year.
I wasn’t so much worried about the general institution of failure to win at something that I loved, as I was of the fear and humiliation of failing in general.
If that meant that I would pass with exactly the required amount, I was ready for that and I was spitefully okay with that.
I do remember telling anyone that would ask me, that I was in Nursing School to give my parents the degree that they wanted and nothing else. I wasn’t there to have fun, I wasn’t there to make friends, I wasn’t there to start a life – just to get that scroll at the end of fourth year and present it to them, following which, I would move on with my life.
I didn’t celebrate any of this.
I recall that each year, I would send my parents a group text reporting to them that I had passed to the following year. There was no pomp and fair and no big party.
My parents caught on pretty quickly and kept it calm and casual, but there was that one friend who encouraged me to celebrate the fact that I was winning.
He reminded me that there was more to it than simply having a piece of paper that said I had this qualification and that qualification.
There was something rewarding about having passed through a hard time and not only making it through to the other side, but learning from it.
I am pretty sure that my time at WITS would have been even more miserable if he hadn’t been there. In the book, he is the one and only inspiration for the character of Benjy, but that’s an answer for another day.
Ultimately, it’s been almost a decade since graduation day and I’m a Registered Professional Nurse with a love for saving tiny humans.

Was it fun, existing? No.
Was it worth it? Yes.
Because now, I can LIVE!

Sincerely, J.D.

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