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Remarkably Real

by Desoba 5 months ago in humanity
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III - she is finding herself.

Remarkably Real
Photo by Михаил Секацкий on Unsplash

Remarkably Real

Growing up I looked at adults in awestruck admiration. It was in the way they walked and did their things. There was this freedom in their stance that drew me to want for a time when I too was like them. Like many, the words " when I grow up I want to be..." was ever so present on my lips and ever changing too.

I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to stand in front of a class, grade assignments and give punishments. I loved how they held their books in their hands and wrote on the board with assertiveness. or how they compelled the whole class to silence at the sound of their voice.

oh you dare not speak when the teacher is talking

But that was 6 years old me.

A version of myself that loved being in the spotlight, that didn't mind having the loudest voice in the room. A young me that I'm not sure I recognise anymore.

Then puberty hit like a brick and like every teenager perfectly content in a world of her own, I gave my desire to become a teacher a befitting obituary. Nettled into books, I found a new way of expressing myself through writings and drawings. I had invented an audience of my own. Recreating images from my imagination. And even after going to boarding school, I was content as content could be.

Until nursing found me.

I was in grade 12 when I had to decide my career path. Something about it determining the next trajectory of my life they said. I was conflicted between being the arts, sciences and exploring my love for food. Of all the options before me, I knew that only one was going to put a smile on my dad's face. The others are hobbies he'll say. You can do them on the side he'll advise. So when my uncertainty began to confuse me, I asked for help from people who'd watched me grow in the past 5 years of high school. They all saw me being a nurse. Only I wasn't so sure I had it in me.

Yes I loved looking after people when they were ill. there was always something about the helpless vulnerability in their eyes that drew me to seeing the person in them. Drew me to knowing they needed help. In those moments, I wanted to be the help. I couldn't sit and watch, couldn't just say sorry and walk by. So up I was taking them to the clinic, feeding them or helping with laundry.

That was 16 year old me.

Like a dream I got into university and in no time, 4 years of nursing school came and passed. And just like my degree says - I am a nurse!

As I stepped into the NICU on my very first day as a RN, I knew that there was no going back to being sheltered by preceptors and clinical instructors. there was no hiding behind "I am only a student... I'm not allowed to do that". no longer were there going to be pre-briefs and de-briefs of hard situations. I was in the deep, in a phrase they use back home O-Y-O "- on my own". Despite being surrounded by charge nurses and managers that were rooting for my success, only I was responsible for making my mark. In this very stage of my life where fear pricked and uncertainty loomed, I truly did see my own self.

There is a saying that you never truly know what you are capable of until you are in situations where what you are made of comes to light and I couldn't agree more.

By Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

It took me being assigned three babies to care for round the clock for 12 hours for me to realise that my organisational skills were top notch. My mind had created a perfect rhythm. Assess - feed - document - go for break - repeat. In no time I was dancing to the tune I had created to make it through. No feeling compared to the sound of home time seeing that you completed every task with a baby's heart still echoing lub-dub.

It took having to present on my assigned babies during rounds to see that my so-called stage fright could be defeated. I still remember my first rounds - my voice was doing more singing than speaking. I could barely hear myself over my pounding heartbeat and when the charge nurse told me I did good, my paranoid self felt patronized.

It took seeing parents cry over the fragile bodies of their babies to know the power of a gentle touch and the comforting hold of a hug. In their hard times, my heart would puff up and long gone was the fear of crossing boundaries. I wasn't just their nurse and although those were not my babies, I couldn't just say sorry and leave the room . Suddenly I was my 16 year old self again and I wanted nothing more but to be the comforting hand and voice telling them they weren't alone.

And it took being in a pod where two babies were shrouded and winged up to know that I could hold back the tears that struggled to break free. That I could be strong for my colleagues and parents. That my help no matter how small went a long way and that I was strong enough to celebrate with the babies that made it home and still observe moments of silence for the ones that didn't.

Its been over a year and just as a baby transforms from full dependence to demanding. I have seen and felt so much growth in myself that I sometimes look in; curious of what will come out of me.

So where has my authentic self shone through? you ask.

By Amy Humphries on Unsplash

I wish I had s specific moment when I went "Aha" that my authentic self! a moment when all of me came to light . I don't. All I have is the gnawing feeling of uncertainty as I walk into my unit for my shifts and the unexplainable awe I feel of myself when I walk out.

For there was a time when I would have shrunk back in fear of speaking up. A time when I would have avoided difficult situations, scared to own up to circumstances that were beyond my abilities. But when I look at myself now, when I see myself going to work and providing care with empathy and confidence amidst the overwhelmed parents and demanding schedule - I say to myself that's me.

And when the days are hard and all I want to do is cry, I look at the faces of the babies I have assigned to me and I remind myself that after their parents, I'm their biggest cheerleader.

To think that I almost became a chef, a nutritionist, an artist or even a teacher . Perhaps some of these sides of me would never have come to light. So I send bouquets to those who saw in me what I hadn't been able to see in myself. More so I give a petite bow to a self that I am proud to call my own.

I am a confident work-in-progress, a soft-hearted teddy bear that cannot hold back from being a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold in moments of need. And with each passing day, new situations birth out qualities in me that show surprising contents of my container.

All of which are remarkably real

and authentically me.

humanity

About the author

Desoba

Every story is worth telling.

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