And things were hard before this current time. Now everything is harder. Much harder.
Some things feel impossible. And these feelings are all way too familiar from my years spent in the throes of infertility. Maybe something I have learned while recreating my life after trauma and devastation will help you. For one, when all feels lost, hopeless, and without purpose, please know that meaning can be found again.
During my darkest years, everything lost meaning. What was the point of anything? I had no important milestones left. There was nothing else I wanted to achieve. There were no other roles I wanted to fill. I didn't care about anything other than being a mother and raising children and that wasn't working out for me. I was afraid nothing would ever have meaning again. I thought I would never feel joy. I thought I was in for a bleak existence and there was nothing I could do about it. I shrugged and trudged on.
One day (five years and three months ago) I was scrolling through one of my social media feeds (during a break from reading fertility boards and some newly found infertility blogs) when I came across an informative video that combined two of my favorite interests. I felt something. I felt something for the first time in a long time, so long that I didn't even recognize the feeling at first.
It was excitement. Or inspiration.
Overall, it was interest and happiness and it felt good.
I felt confused for the rest of the day. I didn't know what to do with this newly rediscovered spark of a feeling. I decided to explore it. I decided to check out the profession that I saw featured on the video.
I went to the library and checked out a bunch of books about the profession. I checked out the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics to read about the average salaries and projected growth in the field. I checked out technical books to browse the language and topics within the profession's scope of practice. I even checked out a couple of introductory textbooks to see if I felt like studying that information for the next several years.
I learned everything I could to see if anything turned me off. Nothing did. I kept going.
Then I explored affordable schools in my area, determined what all I needed to do to apply, and just jumped in to see how much, if all, I could get done by the application deadline in five months.
I did it all. And, as I've written before, it all sucked haha. I cried the whole way through the process. But I'm extremely glad I did it, even more so now that it is all over and done and I am employed in my new field (my part-time job at the hospital--I'm back on the schedule, yay!).
I noticed, I explored, I learned, and I pursued.
I applied, I got in, I worked hard, and I graduated.
I studied, I took my board exam, I passed, and I got licensed.
And the day before yesterday? The day before yesterday I left my job filled with such intense satisfaction, contentment, and gratitude. My spirit soared. I just felt so damn good. One overwhelming thought filled my heart and brain and energized my spirit:
Providing comfort and care for my patients gives my life meaning.
My life feels meaningful again. And I will never ever ever take that for granted.
Finding meaning again is possible (and you don't even have to believe me right now). Yours will most likely look very different from mine, but please hear me when I say that life can be meaningful again. You deserve purpose and you deserve joy. 💜