For those of you who don’t know me, I work as a nurse in an emergency room. I am faced with high pressure situations for 12 hours at a time. I see a lot of death and unhappiness. I see people at their worst. I put people back together and almost never hear “thank you” or “I’m sorry I treated you like shit”. The rare occasion that happens I almost feel embarrassed to hear it.
Last night I cried in the shower before work, because OF work. The 4 previous shifts had been so insanely challenging. The patients that I had to take care of and some of the staff that I worked with did not make for the most productive of nights. In fact, they were the sort of nights that a nurse goes home from and has a hard time sleeping because she can’t quite be sure she lived up to her own expectations.
I arrived at work prepared to have yet another bad night, but secretly hoped it would be better because I had my usual awesome team assembled. It turned out great and I left this morning with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. On the car ride home it got me to think about how important it is to choose great people to surround yourself with.
I work with a few great nurses who in turn are great women. They work hard and push boundaries to make sure their patients get the best care. They are knowledgeable and impart their wisdom on me without making me feel small or insignificant. They are my mentors. I never feel like I have to worry about sinking when I am on a shift with them. I never quite realized how important that notion is. We are a team. We are a family.
When I left the house last night I was a sour grape….an absolute grumpy ass bitch. Of course my darling boyfriend took the brunt of this and he shouldn’t have to. I felt terrible about it and sending a text saying “I’m sorry” didn’t really make me feel like I had fixed anything. I stopped part of the way through the night to check my phone and he had sent three photographs of himself holding “I”, “Love” and “U”. It made me smile and then made me cry. I’m a lucky woman to have such a thoughtful man who knew just what I needed when I needed it.
The point of all this rambling is that the old adage “choose your friends wisely” has a modicum of truth to it. You need to find people that challenge you in all the best ways who will also be there when you fail at those challenges and offer a laugh or a “better luck next time”. You need those people around you who are willing to tell the truth even if it’s ugly. You need the people that lift you up.
I consider myself one of the luckiest women in the world. I have had a rough lot for a good portion of my life, but at this stage I have learned the lessons I speak of. I have amazing friends, great co-workers, the best family, and a love that makes each day worth waking up for.