Mmkay, art life support is being built up. Reached out to a few old art buddies, and we plan on getting back together for old man art sessions. Feels like getting the high school band back together for jam sessions. While arting again will feel nice, yammering with good buddies sounds great, too.
At this hospital, some of my favorite people are from back in the day. Other-Steve started out as a night nurse is now a nurse practitioner, has a large family, keeps admirably busy. Gal friend Amy who started as a CNA, is out doing her clinicals, a hairsbreadth away from graduating herself as a nurse practitioner. My-shell-Michelle survived poverty, a large family, and working this place as a nurse. Went back to school, got another degree, now employed with a six-digit salary in a happier place.
All three are wicked smart and deserve the successes they earn. And I’m sure they do earn them.
So here is why I’m sharing these three with you. Some envy and inadequacy on my part. These three have grown in their careers and lives a lot. When I try to measure myself against their accomplishments, I can’t help but feel, well, smaller.
I know, I know. The infamous case of the grass looking greener. And, too, comparing triangles to circles. The results clear, but what isn’t so clear is the price paid. I am not privy to the sacrifices made nor the tears shed on behalf of the prize. Also, my path is separate from theirs even though I am compelled by their gravitational pull because, you know, the people you surround yourself with influence you. I don’t want to be them per se, I want to be successful like them.
As it stands, whenever I run into any of these three, the easy rapport endures. But, and there’s a “but,” I have to wriggle past their preconceived notions to get to real-deal them. For instance, Other-Steve looks at me with pity. He’s grown; meanwhile I haven’t. I have to be firmly confident with him before both of us can relax and be ourselves. Amy greets me with disdain. Harsh, but that’s because her instincts value status first. Again, I have to meet this with confidence before we can reconnect. Michelle, aloofness; me, charm. Work past the awkward discourse and she warms right up.
Minor inconveniences, to be sure. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could brag about my accomplishments? Instead of manipulating my way into their good graces, to wriggle my shit together in such a way where, well, they greeted me with respect. I’d be nice to inspire them the way they do me. And maybe it’d be nice if they were jealous, too. . . You know, just a little.
I’m focused, working hard, my mind all about getting shit done. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m here in the mofo hospital wasting my efforts for low low pay underneath bosses who plain don’t care. This here moment of agitation is motivation. I want to be doing my own projects because then I might be earning my worth… And some other resentful thoughts that intrude on daily life.
It’s not that bad. Things never are. It turns out perspective is huge. While I do resent the low wages I get at work, the secondary aspects like conflict resolution skills, honestly and earnestness, working as a team. When you work in a team towards a larger goal, it reminds when pettiness is petty. Sometimes it’s someone else throwing the fit, sometimes you, but when you can recognize “petty” and learn to let go, that is a very strong skillset to have in life.
Resentments often enough are petty.
There are plenty of times at work where I’m late or the break is long or something isn’t done perfect and you know what, I’m fine with that. Because here’s the raw deal: my pay and worth to this organization is not based on my intelligence, longevity, merit, or effort. Its all dependant on my formal education. Recognizing all this is also a good skillset.
Armed with this knowledge, I know that for all the minor grievances they may have against me, they are still getting on hell of a bargain for what they pay. All the times I’ve talked down aggressive patients, wrestled patients who were aggressive towards nurses, muscled infermed patients from beds to wheel chairs and back again. Beleive you me, I work hard, I earn my keep. What I’m not compensated for monetarily, I get in karma, kudos, and respect. Consider it all community service.
Yeah, thoughts like those propell me to be more level headed and autonomous. I’m passively aggressively tolerating a job which passive aggressively exploits me. Shrug, that’s the system I live in. How do I make the best of it? Now there’s a strong skillset to master.
Well guess who’s back at this shit.
Now guess why. Go ahead it’s obvious.
… No. Not pathetic attention seeking.
Well, not totally. It’s more about the creative outlet. I’m starved for a creative outlet.
I work my job. Which is mundane and routine as would be any job after seven years. This past year, the covids year, has been a particularly strange one. Got to see a lot of front line antics. Also got to see a lot of fragility in people and the system. And it’s not hard to translate that fragility from environment to self.
I’m still in school. This will be the last semester of prerequisites. While I resent the fuck out of work and school rigitidy, I do appreciate the secondary skills they hone. Memory, focus, and teamwork foremost among them. In any case, school is almost done. And from there, at least monitarily, more security.
So, as I aspire to more balance in life, it’s time to feed the creative aspect of things. Write, cook, garden, draw, whatever, just something to nourish a soul.
More drawings soon. Or whatever, lets start modest and see what happens. Probably portraits to get skills back up to snuff. To whoever reads this or comes back for more, Hi mom! Maybe Rachael!