Young Nurse Reveals What It Truly Means To Be An Adult.
Becoming an adult is one of the hardest transitions to go through. But how do you know when you've actually made it, when you're finally a capital-A "Adult"? One reddit user, Danaekay, shares on Reddit how being a nurse forced her to accept adulthood early on.
"Sometimes, you just gotta write it out to sort through the emotions of a shift. Thanks for listening :)
This is long, but there's a point...I promise.
Adulting is hard and I often feel far too young to be given as much responsibility as I have been.
As I sit and write this, I look across the room to see a plant my sister gave me at my college graduation, 2 years ago, that I cannot believe I have kept alive. I water it maybe once every two weeks, maybe. On this last stretch, it went a month without being watered only to be watered and tenderly cared for by my mother when she came to visit. I can barely keep this stinking plant alive and they expect me to adult.
Today was one of those weird days; one of those days were I had to physically stop what I was doing, put down what was in my hands, and let out and audible sigh of wonder in the unique position I hold.
Adulting The act of putting on pants, showering, paying the bills, and going to work every day; the reality that yes, my parents are always there to support me, but I have no one to financially support my choices as they are my fiscal responsibility; The reality that I went to school to learn a trade and am now expected to do it for the rest of my life (until retirement) to support life - my life, a special someone elses life, possibly the lives of children, pets, and plants.
Yesterday, a girl I went to high school with was on her Adulting game. We graduated 6 years ago, yet yesterday, she started planning and getting the ball moving for our 10 year reunion. Planning events and organizing committees 4 years in advance is serious Adulting and shes on her A game. Me? I dont even know my work schedule for next week. Yet, never the less, this highly organized WOMAN started a massive Facebook post which consisted of tagging everyone she could think of in an effort to gather the class of 2009. Within 2 hours and 70 odd comments later, I was seeing names I havent thought about in years; some were names of people I stalk on a regular basis, some names of people I have seriously NO CLUE who they are, and others who I wish I didnt know so well. I quickly lost myself in the clickbait of the popular crowd: where are the hot guys from highschool? Who got hotter? Who became successful? Who peaked in high school? The massive Facebook post became a group, and my classmates started posting where they are now, complete with photos, job descriptions, and a one-liners on why theyre much cooler now than their 17 year old counterparts.
I couldnt help but laugh.
Who did we think we were?? Were 6 years out6. People come on. A third of us are still in some kind of education, another third dropped out of education to have families, and others do nothing but pretend to know how to Adult. None of us know what the stink we're doing. I laughed over and over as I envisioned our 17 year old selves having these look how cool I am now one-upping conversations, trying to prove, mainly to ourselves, that were not as big of screw ups as we thought.
As I looked at everyones European adventures and families, I couldnt help but feel so young. No kids, no husband (no desire for either right now) and just a nurse. I wasnt ready to post my addition of Im a single nurse in an ICU. In North Carolina. And Michigan. And soon Colorado.
I went to work tonight, expecting to babysit a couple more patients who needed closer monitoring, but not yet requiring a high skill level while contemplating how I could make my Where Are You Now? seem worthy of the popular table.
But it wasnt until I was standing at the head of the bed, looking at my pharmaceutically paralyzed, intentionally artificially cooled, unconscious patient, and washed her hair for the last time, that I suddenly felt very, very adult.
I was washing this 50 something-year-old mothers bloody hair with Johnsons Baby Shampoo, just like her mother had done when she was an infant, but I was doing it for the last time. I was combing the blood clots out of her hair that had adhered to her scalp when she bled out from the catheter that we used to revive her. I was braiding her beautifully delicate, grey hair and tying a make-shift bow out of a twist tie I found so her family could see their mother when they walked back in the doors this morning, not a body laying in a puddle of half-dried blood.
I changed her gown one more time so it was clean and hid all the holes we had created in her groin and neck to bring her back for the last time. I cleaned the orange sterile soap from her hands so her family would see their mothers loving hands with which she made their PB+Js, not our attempt to prevent further infection. I covered the puddle of blood beneath her head with clean white sheets so they wouldnt know just how much blood she truly lost. And then I covered her blue toes with a warm blanket so they wouldnt see how poorly her heart was working.
And when her husband walked in, he cried. She looked good, he told me, but she just needed to wake up. She had just left for work, he said; she wasnt sick at all.
But now, she was dying. And I gave her her last bath with Johnsons shampoo.
And suddenly, I was very adult.
And I was incredibly honored to be the adult that got to provide such a simple act that, to her husband, meant he could remember her how he loved her each day."
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When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.