I do not think that I have ever done anything as difficult as the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) was. Not only was the test hard, the build-up to taking the test was excruciating; I cannot tell you how many times I cried just taking practice tests because I felt more ignorant than I did at the beginning of nursing school. I even questioned whether or not I had actually gone to school or if it had been some sort of stressful fever dream.
I spent several days following test day, just knowing that I’d failed and that I’d wasted all of my money and time because I was obviously too stupid to be a nurse. It’s how I felt right before I took the test, too, and honestly, it was the same feeling I had after every single exam that I took in both of my med-surg courses. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Even when my mother looked up my license on the TN.gov website, I didn’t believe it; certainly it was a mistake that would be corrected, and I’d be humiliated but at least correct in my worst assumptions.
But then I got an email from my employer, welcoming me to my new career as an RN, and it just sort of hit me that I had, indeed passed the NCLEX. I’m still a little jittery about it, truthfully, and it’ll probably get worse as my first day (October 31st) gets closer. Because then? It’ll be most definitely real, and I’ll be transitioning from my role as student nurse to actual nurse.
So now? It’s all about relaxing and prepping for Ye New Jobbe. I spent the last week at the beach, so now it’s all about reading and writing and drawing and catching up on all of the TV shows, movies, and podcasts that have been piling up in my to-do list. I’ll be starting off October with Mariah Carey’s 2020 memoir and Nick Offerman’s Where the Deer and the Antelope Play, and I’ll finally be able to watch The Witcher and Star Trek: Picard/Strange New Worlds. I’m already working on my horror movie list (hi, #horrorpalooza2022), and once October is over, I’ll be delving into other genres.
For the first time in a long while, I feel like I might actually have a future that I’ll enjoy, despite the general shitstorm of a world we live in at the moment. I’ve existed long enough to know how to balance out work, life, and play, something I didn’t have when I became an official adult, which resulted in me being overwhelmed and burned out more often than it should. I didn’t have the wisdom or the fortitude to establish boundaries because, as independent as I was, I still desired approval, something that I’ve mostly abandoned for sanity purposes. By completing a goal, and a difficult one at that, I’ve given myself the confidence that I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to, including establishing a life that makes me happy and complete.
Before I start in that direction, though, it’s time to rest and recharge. And I deserve it.