I have been thinking about the reasons I started a blog. There was a chat about it on twitter the other week with WeNurses I realised how tricky stepping out into public might be for folk. I started blogging because I wanted to write more and see if I could get into a regular practice that would help me feel more at ease about that part of me. It has been interesting because I thought I could keep the different interests of mine separate. At one point I thought could run two blogs, one on my usual musings and then one of nurse education and the issues around that, but I found that was difficult to manage and anyway the issues all stem from who I am and that is a complicated mixture of all sorts of things!!
Anyway two people I follow on twitter also blog Anne Cooper, who has been blogging for a year and Lynne Stobbart who has just been brave enough to out herself “out there”.
Both blogs have really made me think about who I am and what contributes to my thinking, feelings and actions.
I realised that I have been fighting with myself for some considerable time and the part of me that trained as a nurse and qualified in 1982 has not had a lot of attention paid to her since she went to work in HE in 1996. I was ignoring the reason why I have stuck with nursing for 34 years – I was trying to devise an exit route and escape but every time I have pushed at that door I have been poorly – knocked down by depression and ground to a halt.
I have begun to understand the issues I have having had an utterly rotten time as student. I have realised that being a nurse is important to me and although I am hugely conflicted about the profession of nursing I am still part of the clan, albeit not one who fits neatly into any stereotype. I have not been a conformist and I found hospital nursing really difficult, finding myself at my best out in the community negotiating with GPs and helping people function in their own home. As a Diabetes Specialist Nurse I thrived when setting up a new post and challenging outmoded approaches to delivering care and working with people and their families to live more easily with the condition. However back then I was in a hurry and ambitious (I wanted to be Professor Sue) and I also found I was working with people who didn’t quite get a nurse doing a PhD and wanting to improve practice by developing evidence and patient centred approaches.
That’s why I moved into HE – I didn’t have much choice as the climate of the team was not going to let me spread my wings and thrive. However my ambition of changing the world from an academic position soon ran into a siding and caused distress. I now know I need to be working closer to the delivery of care. It has taken me years to identify what I value most and what I can recognise in myself as strengths. I have been concentrating on all the things I can’t do and haven’t achieved – not getting my PhD, not getting promoted, not writing academic papers from my PhD research. ALL that negativity. I am reading Brene Brown’s book at the moment “Daring Greatly” and as I turn each page I may shed a tear or raise a cheer BUT boy is it affirming.
I still have lots to learn but I am beginning to enjoy my journey rather than focus on having got off at the wrong stop!!