“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.” Alice in Wonderland
Everyone has their sight set on a specific career path they plan to take. Unlike Alice, we all have or had a destination we wanted to get to as a child. My destination as a girl was to become a physician. After all that’s what everyone else told me I should do. It was ingrained in my mind, just as natural as breathing. So in 5th grade with a lunch pail in hand, pony tail with an elastic scrunchy. I was ready to tackle the world as a renown physician, while of course on the side, finding the cure for any disease that came my way. That’s the way it works right? How little did that little 5th grade girl know.
Once I started college I had my eyes set on health care. Getting my prerequisites for Med School, and fueling on lots of Ramen. But little did I know that the road I was taking did eventually bend by the end of my freshmen year. I may not have chosen to stay in the physician road. I did stay in health care but instead I was lured to the wonderful road that lead to nursing. I graduated. Passed boards. Then After writing “RN” next to my name over a hundred times I continued my journey.
Fast forward to today. I’m 31, you would thing after 10 years of nursing I would still know what I want to be when I grow up. Honestly, you could be 25 or 40 and you come to a fork or even a bend in the road and you still have no idea which road to take in your career. That’s what just happened to me. During my time working as a nurse manager, I have been offered two great career opportunities.
Here is the kicker, one is in Los Angeles, CA and the other is in Seattle, WA. Do you know how far that is on the map from Southern California? It’s precisely 1187.94 miles driving distance. These two job offers are fantastic but they couldn’t be completely different from each other. For the past 24 hours I have been breaking out in hives out of the sheer stress of deciding if A) I want to stay where I am at B) Take another job in LA C) Move to Seattle (Go Seahawks!), may I add it was 32 degrees when I was flown to look at the organization in Seattle-while it was 70’s in California. My two choices included an educational leadership role vs. a clinical leadership role. May I add I love the two? So it’s like comparing a choice of a parka and uggs vs. flip flops and sunglasses. What is a girl to do? No seriously this has been such a difficult excruciating decision.
You would think as a grown up I would know exactly what I want. Wrong. Nursing as a career has so many many many varieties. So here I was 0300 Friday morning not knowing if I was going left or right at the fork. I grabbed opinions, did research, hoped the answer would magically come into my dreams. I was sorta hoping for a dream that had magic unicorns telling me what I needed to do. Sigh, unfortunately I had no magic unicorns or dreams for that matter telling me what to do.
What else are my choices? I contemplated having my dog Zeus decide, how? By having two paper plates filled with yummy dog food with the words Seattle on one and LA on the other. Seeing which plate he went to first. Great decision making I know. I decided to not go with that idea, considering if my dog ate that much food he would also experience the joys of a stomach ache (I added a photo of my Zeus and Toby-a good friend Cody Krogman who is a wonderful photographer took this photo).
It stresses me out man!
So after many sleepless nights, digestive issues associated with (blah) stressful days, I finally made my decision. I chose not to listen to the Cheshire Cat, I chose my own destination. My own road. My own path. I chose the path to educational leadership. Do I regret it no.
So my answer to you my dear Cheshire Cat is no the road I choose may not matter to you but it matters to me. After all I’d rather live a life of “oh wells” than “what ifs”.