In this moment I am feeling defeated. I feel hopeless, heartbroken and depressed. This evening, a lifelong dream of mine died (for the lack of a better term).
Growing up, my passions changed every now and then. Like most kids, I was constantly exploring different interests. When I graduated high school, I was told that “I.T” (information technology) was the wave of the future and the jobs would be endless! I’ll tell you what it was – boring! I don’t regret doing the course because I met some of my lifelong friends there. I did a general first year of university and during that time I discovered what I thought was my calling – nursing. I volunteered at the local hospital and my passion to help people grew even stronger than before. I knew I wanted to help them in their time of need.
Student loans ran out so my dream was put on hold. I moved away to find work and pay off the loans. I found a wonderful job as a unit clerk at the hospital where I met a friend of mine named Debbie. As we got to know one another, she shared that she was training to become an RCMP officer. She was 40 at the time and I told her that I admired her for following her dream. It was always her dream to become a police officer but she ended up having kids before she could pursue her dream. Now that her youngest was getting ready to graduate from high school, she said it was her time. She said it was never too late to follow your dream.
I made countless phone calls, filled out the application, got shining references, got all of the supporting paperwork together and submitted my application in January. My mother had agreed to help with childcare when my kids got out of school in the afternoon. I had spoken to the student funding department and everything was lined up for me to get a new student loan. It was like the stars are aligning in the universe was telling me that this was my time. This was going to work out!!
During my time away, life happened. I got married, had children, moved back to my hometown and worked hard at creating a good life for my family. However during that time I never once gave up on my dream. In the beginning of this year, I discovered that a new Bachelor of Nursing program was being offered right here in my town! I was beyond excited. You see, the closest place which offers the bachelor of nursing is the city which is four hours away. I knew I couldn’t just uproot my family and move to the city to suit my wants. So this opportunity was perfect!
I was told that decision would be made sometime in April. I patiently waited for 2 1/2 months and allowed myself to daydream about all that was to come. The people I would help…the lives I would change…the differences I would make. I checked my email regularly for the big news.
This evening at 6:10pm I was plugging in my phone to be charged. I happened to check my email, not expecting anything since I knew the office was closed…and there it was. THE email. The email that would change my life! I silently walked to the living room and sat down. I was SOOO excited!! I knew I was going to scream and run all over the place! Who would I call first? My Sister (who is a nurse)? My Aunt (a retired nurse)? No…I want to sit my children down and share the fact that you should never ever give up on your dreams! I took a deep breath, opened the email and within a few seconds, read the words that changed my life – “We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a place in the Four-Year Option of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Collaborative) Program at this time.”
My heart sank, my smile disappeared and I felt numb. In just a few seconds, a dream which I had held onto for 22 years was destroyed. The flame which I had protected all those years had suddenly been snuffed out. I was heartbroken. I reread the email three or four times, but the words didn’t change. I managed to stay strong for my kids when they tried to comfort me. I told them that I was proud that I had tried, that when a door closes a window opens and that I would now find a new dream to peruse. I decided to go for a drive and the minute I was alone in my van…I burst into tears.
Where do I go from here? There are no paths, no open windows and no hope. It’s not just sadness I feel, it’s grief. Grief over the loss of a dream that will never come true. I know some of you are probably thinking “you can just try again next year” but I’m afraid that won’t happen. This four-year program is only being offered here once. If I wanted to pursue nursing, I would have to move to the city and that’s just not possible.
As I lie in bed writing these words, I’m realizing that I still have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe it’s not too late to become a Rockstar.