Monday, January 30, 2012

Grown-up decisions

Today I made a big decision, but I didn't make it until after I had said "this is what I am going to do." Do you understand?

I am on the Winter/Spring track for BYU-I. This means that I go to school January-end of July, almost constant school (we have a week break in-between). Last year, my Spring semester had very few perks. It wasn't a horrible experience, but I was just sick of it and wanted to be home almost from the get-go. Going that long not seeing almost all of my family and my beloved state and best friends was just depressing, and it got to me in a major way.

Coming back out to school this time around, I was just in a bad mood. I was leaving an amazing job. I had just had the most wonderful five months anyone could ever ask for. I was walking into a bunch of friend drama, my house is three ginormous mountains short of where I need to be every day, and one of my favorite friends is practically married and leaving after Winter semester for forever. I didn't want nor did I feel like I deserved to waste my time languishing another seven months in Rexburg, Idaho. My money and time felt like they were about to be wasted, and now that I am awesome I could not stand the thought of that.

But I was going to stick it out. I didn't want to be whiney and run home. I wanted to be a big girl and suck it up. However, it was mere hours into the semester that I realized that that matter-of-fact solution was not humanly possible for me. I could not stay here, I would not stay here and after two weeks, I finally knew why I could do none of those things.

There was an internship that my friend told me about a week before the application was due. The internship starts in May, so obviously I could not stay for Spring semester bc how could I be two places at once? I'm no Hermione. So I applied, and I got Nanny Mom and Ms. Avis from NIH to be my references. I didn't/don't expect to get this internship, but I think it was a good experience to apply and I felt very firmly that that is what I needed to do, so I did it.

In a gesture of gratitude for their last-minute support I sent Nanny Mom and Ms. Avis flowers. Nanny Mom's flowers were just a problem and a half getting them to her, so in concern for Ms. Avis' bouquet I called her. She was so kind and thanked me profusely for the arrangement. We only chatted for a couple minutes because she had to go to a meeting but during our conversation she said, "Nicole, do you want to be an intern at NIH again? We would love to have you."

I was kind-of shocked. It never, ever occurred to me that I could work there again. "YES!" I blurted out. Ms. Avis directed me to the application and I think that I am going to apply for a Fall internship there. I would LOVE to work at NIH again. Those was some of the most inspirational months of my life. I mean, sure, I was tired allll the time, and I sometimes fell asleep very, very early, but it was all worth it to me. I loved my time there.

So that conversation got me thinking about my goal to become a phlebotomist. One of my goals for 2012 is to become a registered phlebotomist and I am determined to stand by that goal. However, my initial plan was that I would go to school Winter/Spring, come home late July and then take the three month course ending prolly in November. As I was reviewing this plan though, I realized the huge, gaping hole in it-

I cannot possibly expect someone to hire me for a measly less-than-two months. I can also not possibly expect to earn enough money in less-than-two months to pay for almost eight months of college. Something has to give.

I decided that that something would be Rexburg. I don't mind learning, but I do mind staying here when I could be somewhere else, accomplishing one of my goals.

Leaving Rexburg wasn't a snap decision. I put a lot of thought into this choice. After I got off the phone with Ms. Avis I called hospitals in Idaho, universities in Idaho, blood banks in Idaho....the works, people. No one was offering phlebotomy courses anytime soon, and waiting around for August is not something I am willing to do. I then looked up phlebotomy courses in Maryland. There are SO MANY. I guess people in MD care about blood more than people in ID. I dunno. I know that I can get into a phlebotomy course in Maryland, I know that I can get certified prolly by August, and then I can intern at NIH or work at a blood bank somewhere in Maryland.

Now, back to the learning thing that I'm supposed to be doing right now. If I get the internship that is a secret (not the NIH one), then I will take one online course- the one for internships. If I do not, then I will take the phlebotomy course as well as online courses. I am not dismissing my education, I am merely providing myself with a job and financial security, something that I count as a valuable, important use of my time.

All of these thoughts and ideas have been running through my head ever since January 14th. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, and that stressed me out. I prayed and fasted and asked advice and just was not content with any decision I made. Then I went to church.

Today in Sacrament meeting they talked about making decisions. This one girl gave an amazing talk wherein she described a situation she found herself in last year. She wanted to go to Russia and teach children English, however, she was nervous and scared and not at all sure if she was making the right decision. So she applied, and she still didn't know how she felt about it. She had her telephone interview with the director and she expressed her concerns. He told her that they had a spot for her if she decided she wanted to go, and so she said that she would.

She couldn't believe her ears! Had she really just agreed to go?! What about all her worries and the problems and complications? She thought nervously on these things as the phone call went on. Finally the call ended and she hung up the phone....

....And then a funny thing happened. She felt fine. She felt perfectly fine in fact, she felt better than fine she felt GREAT! She was filled with a good feeling. All of the sudden, the choice did not seem that difficult. This was what she needed to do, and she was extremely happy with her choice.

She then went on to say that we can pray, and we can ask and ask and ask but Heavenly Father gave us agency for a reason. We are supposed to make our own decisions. He has given that opportunity to us. So sometimes, we need to just not wait around and worry. Sometimes we need to just make a decision, and if it is a good thing, we will know it because we will feel the Spirit's encouragement and approval.

I did not expect this to happen to me, but as I sat on my bed after church, pondering on the words of that speaker, I found myself picking up my phone and calling my mother. When she answered I said, "Hi, Mom! Well, I made a big decision today, and I don't want you to be mad about it."

She asked me what that was and I took a deep breath and said, "I'm not staying here for Spring semester. I'm coming home."

And that was that. The decision, which hadn't been made before, was made. It was a short phone call, ending with my mom needing to hang up because she was going to a meeting, but once I clicked the "end" button, I felt exactly how that girl described her feeling. I knew that this was the right decision for me. I wasn't scared of it anymore. I was excited and invigorated and I didn't feel so confused. I knew that this was the right thing for me to do, and I could not be more happy with my choice.

So now I need to sell my contract, and figure out my storage, and choose my on-line classes that I am going to take. I feel awesome about this decision. I am so glad that I finally got up the courage to make it, and it's all because I acted.

I took a big leap today in my book. I love to have everything planned out and to see exactly what is lying ahead on my path, but although I do have a good idea of what that is, my vision of my future is far from 20/20.

And I'm okay with that, because whenever I have had this feeling before- this calm, happy, confident feeling after finalllyy making a big decision- I have had the most wonderful experience. I felt it after I had applied for NIH. I felt it after I accepted the nanny position. The two best jobs I have ever had have come from similar leaps, so of course I am excited to see what amazing thing will happen this time around.

I am so ready.
I am so happy.
I am so excited.

I am so decided.

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