I Love You, but Nursing is Still the Biggest Regret of my Life.
|November 6, 2011||Posted by ambria under Culture, Family, Hobbies, Job, Life, Personal, Real Life, Stories|
You never wanted to be a nurse. Never.
Gasp! Well, don’t scream yet. Read on.
This is the truth – We never really wanted to be a nurse. Most of us were forced by society, by our families, by culture — yet nursing isn’t really what we wanted to do in the first place.
We were just lured with the false promise of “nursing will get us to the U.S.” – the land of milk and honey.
Yet it’s not true. Most of us are stuck here now in the Philippines with broken promises…
There’s so much to tell, but first…
My older brother, my hero, graduated high school and (surprise, surprise) my father forced him to take nursing. Diligent, brave, resolute — he refused. Hell broke loose and he got kicked out of the house. He literally was out of the house for four months!
He lived in a friend’s dorm. Everyday I stopped by and gave him a big part of my allowance. He had nothing, he needed it more than I did. I was crying for months. My family was falling apart. Every single day he would hug me, “I’m sorry for doing this to you, little sis.”
“It’s okay big bro, it’s okay.”
When my turn came, turned 16 and graduated high school. Daddy dearest ordered me to take up nursing.
I love my family. But I don’t want to be a nurse.
I’ve always loved my family, I never stopped loving them. But I have to go against my father’s wishes.
“I’m sorry, dad. But I don’t want to be a nurse.”
Christmas 2009. My dad broke down in tears. My aunt (who was a pediatrician in the Philippines but is now a nurse in Las Vegas) calmly and meticulously explained to my father the real situation of the nursing world — the nursing world was bleak.
“I’m so sorry my dear, Ambria. I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, dad…”
My brother (I always thought he was smart), flunked every subject he had just to prove to my father that he can’t be controlled. Everybody called him a failure.
He failed at first. Then he failed a lot. Then a lot more.
He found his true calling. He’d always been a natural at computers. Everything was easy for him. He bought a programming book and started his adventure — just for fun. He now has his own condo, living comfortably having an online job as a web programmer.
I never lied to anybody. But I have a secret. I got my 10 year tourist visa a long time ago. 2009, I lived with my aunt in Vegas for six months.
It’s a beautiful place. The Bellagio fountain is spectacularly beautiful. The Blue Man group shocks and stupefies. Sunset park is so beautiful. My hubby loved fishing in Lake mead. Vegas is a beautiful desert.
For the shorter story, somewhere along my mind-numbing call center job, my hubby and I decided to save. We saved half our pay every month. And after two years of hard work, we were able to present our “show money” to the embassy and decent amount of proofs, paychecks that we are doing fine in the Manila and won’t overstay.
Stamped. Approved. Viva Las Vegas.
The Experience Abroad.
Here’s the hard part — explaining to people the reality. I’ve met nurses there. A whole lot. Is America really the land of milk and honey?
I’ve met dozens of nurses there. I’ve noticed something — I’ve noticed nursing is just like any other day job. Day jobs are what keeps you from doing “that thing” you really love to do.
I noticed their tired, weary faces “life abroad, hayyy.” They were empty, hollow voids. Filling a big hole in their lives with shopping, get togethers and farmville.
Don’t get me wrong, their lives are still a million times better than ours (I wasn’t born rich, so yeah, better than mine).
But still… something’s missing.
And after a few years of burning out — they start to question. Is this all there is to life? Am I doing all the things I should be doing? Something’s missing…
Something is missing… Where do you think midlife crisis comes from?
The Cold Hard Truth.
I will be mean here. Like a mother spanking a child — it’s for your own good.
You never wanted to be a nurse. You just wanted to use nursing to go abroad.
You. I’m talking to you. You, who are about to slap me. I’m sorry, but I’m talking to you. I have to say it.
People want to go and build a life abroad. And nursing will take them there.
Way back when you were young, you wanted to be an engineer, you wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer. You wanted to be a movie star — the most hunkable of hunks, the most stunning of actresses.
You wanted to be a stewardess, a young adventurist, flying across the ocean, wondering where the plane will take you next. You want to travel the world! You could be a pilot, controlling the massive flying contraption, master of the 747. You are 40,000 feet above the sky, everyday, whereas grounded humans only wish they were.
Point is, we dreamed of becoming doctors, lawyers, engineers, astronauts, cowboys, movie stars, super-models – but nobody dreamed of becoming a nurse!
If you did, good for you. I’m happy that you got what you wanted. I’m Serious.
The Sad Truth.
Calm down, calm down. We’re almost there. I know you want to crucify me now but — listen.
If 20 years ago, America declared they needed teachers instead of nurses. There would (instead) be a million unemployed teachers, getting a real heart-warming fulfillment every time a student says “thank you.“ And getting a surge of joy when the cutest little pre-schooler hands them an apple.
I’m sorry. But it’s the truth.
But now, there’s instead (and I’m one of them) millions of unemployed nurses stuck here in the Philippines.
You Learned to Love Nursing.
Nursing is your second, third, fourth love. Well, it might be.
My first love is cooking, then blogging, then “coffee-ing,” then movies, then maybe nursing. If nursing gave me comfortable life abroad, I would be truly grateful for it. And “learn” to love it. Then again, if teaching, cooking, blogging gave me comfortable life abroad, I’d be truly grateful for it too. (And learn to love it too)
Blogging is my second love, and third is coffee, then movies. If I were to own a cafe or work in a movie house OR be a nurse abroad — I would love it, but the first and biggest love, cooking, will always be missing.
What’s the Point?
I had a visa, living in Vegas, my aunt offered me an under the table care-giver job — Why, oh why did I leave?
What’s the point? I’ve dreamed of going to the U.S.A. and my dad thought nursing will take me there. I’ve gotten a visa on my own so far (call center agent, who knew?). The whole purpose of nursing was to get me to U.S.A., but I’m already there — so what’s the point?
Salary? Lot’s of opportunities there. You could actually do what you love for a change.
Why didn’t I take the caregiver offer? Because I know for sure it would make me miserable. I was already there, why not cooking instead?
My hubby, baby boy and I each have ten years tourist visa. U.S.A. is a beautiful place for vacations. But living there? I don’t know… that’s another story.
As for me, my cooking will pay for our vacations someday. See Vegas again, then L.A., the off to New York to get pictures at Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty — for Facebook. Exclusively for Facebook pictures only.
Then cross those off the bucket list and off to visit France, Italy and Australia. I firmly believe my cooking will take me places. Lots of beautiful places.
Your Dream is a Guarantee.
Why am I really, really, really sure I’d be a successful cook someday? Because dreams do come true.
This is not fairy tales, “the secret” or “law of attraction” thing, this really has a scientific explanation behind it. (Really).
It’s simple. You work harder for it. You work more hours for it.
If you’re a receptionist, you’d do an okay job, work only 40 hours a week. But when you get home, you’d spend the remaining countless hours doing your passion (let’s say writing), you’d spend countless blissful hours perfecting your writing. Every single word has to be perfect, every letter counts.
I work 40 hours a week at a call center, but when I get home, I spend hundreds of hours experimenting on new recipes. The buying of new ingredients is already a delightful experience. The cooking itself, the smelling of the aroma, the tasting and the biggest smile from my hubby when he eats it — It feels like heaven.
That’s how I know cooking is my life. My life, dream, my passion.
I get lower pay as a call center agent working 40 hours a week. How about if I get paid as a chef working a million hours a year?
You Will do Your Passion No Matter What.
When I was in Vegas, I felt like I was close to my previous dream of becoming a nurse. But all that’s in my head was cooking! I dreamed when I get good pay from nursing, I’d use it to buy a nice kitchen, with all the varieties of ingredients and cookwares. I dreamed of using nursing to put myself into a culinary university.
I was going to be a cook no matter what!
Once I graduated from culinary school, I would’ve left nursing and pursued cooking either way. I was born to be a cook. God made me that way.
My uncle, the best handyman I’ve ever met, is a hotel manager. On his days off, he makes the coolest carpentry, projects, car restorations I have ever seen. He’s good at everything!
“Why do you do it?,” I asked.
“Because I love it.” He replied.
You will do your passion whether you get paid or not. It’s too bad my uncle never turned his life around to fully do what he loved.
You will always do your passion whether you get paid for it or not…
My brother, ever the black sheep — the drop out, the failure — is now our most successful family member. He is a full blown web programmer, and is very, very happy.
My uncle quit as an Engineer in California, and opened his car repair shop. “It’s simply what I love to do,” he said.
My cousin in Vegas is now a full-pledged freelance writer. Why is this amazing? Because he never read a book in his life! He doesn’t read! (Prior. And except gaming mags and playboy — so he says).
At 25, he was going nowhere. A college drop-out, unemployed, broke. A friend of his suggested “work-at-home jobs.” He started experimenting at elance, odesk etc. He was good at it! He was a natural at writing. He then landed big jobs at demand studios and textbroker. He now earns more than his dad (hotel manager) while completely staying at home all day.
We were meant to do something in this world.
God brought us here for a reason, for a calling. If we were to go against our passion, we would be incomplete. There will always be something missing. You will always find yourself filling a void.
You will never get tired of your passion.
50 years from now, I will still love cooking — everyday. I might’ve appreciated nursing, but after a few years, I would have gotten in to a personal crisis and shifted to cooking. I’m thankful for my call center job, but I can’t do this for ten more years!
Pacqiuao has 3 to 4 (?) years left in boxing? But when he turns 60, he will still be watching great boxing events ringside. And own his fight promotion or boxing gym.
Michael Jordan is done playing, but will still be an owner or a part owner of a team when he’s 75.
Imagine where you are now. What’s your job? Can you do it for the next 40 years?
Our dreams will succeed.
When customers first taste my cuisine (someday), the mouthwatering flavor will rinse through their mouths, exploding flavors will make them relish in passion. The perfect mixture of sweet, spicy and sourness will rock their world.
Why? Simple. It’s because they’ll notice the thousands of hours spent in it. The careful, meticulous passion spent in every recipe — they will notice it. They will notice the hard work. They will love it and come back for more.
Sure there will be trials.
There will always be trials. It’s super hard to get started but — you will never give up.
When you’re doing something that’s NOT your passion, and get only a few bucks for it — you’ll give up easily.
“I get low pay as a bank teller, so I quit.”
But even if I get low profit in my restaurant, I’ll still smile and cook. Why? Because I don’t know what else to do. I can’t imagine myself doing something else.
When your passion is cars, you will keep your auto-shop alive no matter what, because what else are you gonna do? Cars are all you live for.
I love you.
I don’t know you but I’ve been through the same life beating you’ve gone through. I’ve been beaten, bled out, left to rot in the sun… I’ve been there. All the questions, doubts, persecutions – what am I going to do with my life? Is this all there really is? Am I doing the right thing? Can I do this for the next 40 years? – I’ve been there.
You, who went (or about to go) through it — remember, I know how you feel. I love you.
I wrote this down NOT to make you give up nursing, I wrote this down to make you think about “the other important aspects of life.”
Like what I’ve said as my first plan — I would’ve used nursing to buy me a great kitchen, put me in culinary school and later open up my own little food place.
Use nursing, DO nursing but remember – keep your dreams alive.