The last 16 months have been … intense, we shall say.

But. I did it.

I finished the hardest undertaking I have attempted and managed to make it through to the end. I’m still not entirely sure how I was able to complete such a rigorous program, but you know what? I’ll take it. Happily. Now all that waits is my NCLEX, or, in other words, the test that will allow me to practice as a nurse. There is still so much that I have to learn, and I’m going in basically knowing the bare minimum to properly care for patients, but hell, I’ve come so far from where I started that I have a hard time even remembering what it was like when I had to pass the “wash your hands” checkoff. Yes, we had a checkoff where we had to wash our damn hands.

I’ll be studying like a madwoman for the next couple of months (I’m hoping to take my NCLEX as soon as I possibly can), and I’ve already got a job lined up in a nursing residency at the hospital where I did most of my clinicals. In between then, I may take a part-time job to bring in some extra money, or I might spend most of my time reviewing content and taking practice tests … I haven’t decided what exactly I’m going to do at this point. But regardless of the choice I make, I’m going to, for the first time in close to a year and a half, be able to do things that I want to do. I already have a non-nursing textbook reading list (the first of which is Samantha Irby’s wow, no thank you), and I’m back at writing regularly, now that I’m not having to constantly be writing papers and care plans and clinical evaluation tools. I even set myself up a little calendar of to-dos that doesn’t involve classwork.

Oh, and one of those things I have on my to-do list is next month’s sketchbook challenge. I’m going to be playing with sanguine for the first time ever, so that should be fun (thanks, Sketchbox!), and I’ll be expanding on my skills a bit because I’ve sort of hit a creative wall. I am still enjoying watercolor more than most other media, but I want to keep improving. So that means experimenting and putting myself out there. It’ll be similar to other visual challenges that I’ve done – as in, you will see more over on my Insta – but I’ll post some of my favorites over on the challenge page.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to recovering: in addition to not having sleep or sanity for 16 months, I somehow caught Covid right before I graduated, and it’s been a hell of a time trying to get my energy up enough to, like, go for a walk or get food. Today has been the first halfway-good day where I didn’t feel like absolute shit, so my job now is to take care of my sister (who also has Covid because of me) and prep myself for the NCLEX. Because tomorrow? Well, tomorrow starts a whole new set of priorities. I’m going to pass this test if it kills me.

Well, hopefully it doesn’t kill me?

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