Am I at the highest stage of my own growth and development? I don’t think so. Lord, I hope not. There has to be more. Maybe I’ve been regressing. As a teen I wanted to be with friends and hated to be left out of things. Now I’m happy in solitude… most of the time.
As a teen my intended trajectory was to become a nurse, and yet really what I hoped for more than anything else was to be a mother and a wife. All of it came true, even with many bumps and bruises I persevered. Nursing School was extremely challenging and it was there that I learned how to keep on no matter what. The problem was that my idea of Nursing was stuck in the 1940’s with a romanticized Cherry Ames, the nurse with the cherry red cheeks who always knew what to do when it came to taking care of her patients. Scrapes? She had plenty, but as a nurse she was perfect.
At that time I didn’t know about ADD or ADHD, and wouldn’t have recognized the symptoms anyway. Hyperactive? Not a chance! Today, plenty of research shows us that girls, women and adults definitely suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactive or not. I struggled to concentrate, to hold on to details, all the while with a head swimming with information that was hard to hold on to.
I pushed through, graduating from the University of Tennessee’s College of Nursing. If only educators and I had known about learning and teaching styles that would have helped me. But we didn’t and I continued on. I learned best by my mistakes and thankfully there were no huge errors.
Looking back, I see that I got by in many situations by appearing mature; Nursing School, Marriage, Babies… friends thought I was so mature. Ha! I wasn’t mature I was depressed. Low energy, down, sometimes really down, with difficulty focusing on what “needed” to be done. I found myself wondering what I could do differently, and quite often pretty sure that whatever I was doing at the moment was not what “needed” to be done. Which task, in what order and how on earth could I have so much laundry? It went from the kitchen to the dining room table. Getting the laundry done wasn’t a problem, getting it folded and put away was a true challenge.
Meaning. In 1982 or so I became involved with the development of a battered women’s shelter. There was purpose in my life! Later I would learn how essential meaning and purpose were to my being, my core.
Meaning came in different avenues as life continued on. Involvement in church with leadership and preaching. PREACHING!? No one was more surprised than I was. The idea of doing something that might help others, might help myself, was huge. During that time I became familiar with the Myers Briggs Temperament Indicator. Learning my “type” was such an awakening experience that eventually I put my type on my license plate. (If you know MBTI, (Myers Briggs Personality Indicator) you have a good clue as to what my type is.)
To be continued…