Living History

When I was a kid, my favorite time of the year was summer. My second favorite time of the year was fall.

In the summer and at Thanksgiving, I was lucky enough to go on road trips with my family, to visit Vermont, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

I got to see my beloved cousins and enjoy the great outdoors while camping and visiting resorts, thanks to our grandfather.

One of our trips was to Manassas Battlefield when I was pretty young. I remember there being a lot of walking, and a lot of bugs.

Whenever we all, as a family, got to one of the monuments at Manassas, I just wanted to rest. But the joy of pushing a button on an interactive display kept me going. I push the button, and someone speaks!

When I pushed the button, a tired voice would come out of the monument, a tired man tired of battles would speak to me, and tell me to turn my head and look around at the ground on which he fought. He’d tell me exactly what he saw, that day, that time, way back when. He’d tell me what hardships he went through, and how doubtful he was about his chances to survive.

Living history.

I would hate to see the day that any of us Americans turn our back on history, no matter how much we might not like it.

I would hate to see the day when we silence the voices of those who walked this earth before we did.

I would hate to stop learning and trying to seek answers, when that should be our sole purpose here on earth.

Hey Now

In case anyone forgot, in the heat of the moment, our duly elected President is our duly elected President.

I’m all for world federation stuff so long as it’s Star Trek I’m watching, on TV,  but so far, we’re still a planet of nations and we’re not quite global yet.

Our nation deserves its voice, and a leader.  A duly-elected leader, which is what Donald Trump is.

You know, I read Real Clear Politics daily.  I like the site, because it gives me news feeds from  both sides, every day.  I like that balanced stuff, because I’m a Libra and I like my news fair and balanced.

I strive to keep an open mind.

I hope everyone does.

But, gosh.  I’m beginning to think there are a lot of open minds out there who might be under some bad influences, and I’m beginning to see a lot of people wanting to tell me that what I’m seeing is influenced by people who want me to see bad things, when in actuality the people I want to trust are just trying to influence me and keep me entertained and get my vote in line every four years.

I’m beginning to feel just plain influenced. And turned off.

And that’s scary.

What I keep faith in is my belief in good people.  People who have worked hard to make good things.

People who have shaped us all, and made us want to be productive.

People who have taught us things and reminded us of things that we might sometimes forget, in the heat of the moment, or in times of desperation.

People like Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, and FDR.

We have a history.  A history of good government, of good governing.

A history of being open-minded, yes. A history of leaders who took new roads when they had to…roads that led us to new places.

That history matters and should teach us to be open to new paths…open to people, and presidents, who want to build new paths.

We have a new president who is building a new path.

Let us give him time to form it.  Let us give him time to show us how he wants to lead us there.

Please, let us try to work with him, instead of against him, in an effort to maintain what is good about us as a country.

Can we at least try to do that, together?

Today is the Beginning of the Rest of My Life

Today I took my final nursing exam.  I do not know my score yet, but I do know I have passed the class (pretty confident at least) and that I will be graduating on Friday.

As I look back over the last two years of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears (literally) I begin to realize how fast time flies for one and for two what hard work and determination can bring you.

The last month was filled with stress as I had to write 5 papers, take 6 exams, and complete a Mental Health Assessment on Milwaukee County.  It brought a lot of information out from underneath the rug we have swept it under.  For instance, in two years the estimated 15,000-20,000 homeless in the Milwaukee area went from roughly 30% of the homeless being mentally ill to 41.1%, substance abuse is close as well.  The main reasons for homelessness were eviction/foreclosure, unemployment, and family breakup.  I will save more of that assessment for a different post since I think it needs to be addressed.

Now for this post, back to the happiness…

I have decided to pursue psychiatric nursing with the goal of becoming a DNP in behavioral health for HIV patients.  They do have physiological needs but the psychosocial needs are just as if not more important.  Gotta help someone find purpose in order for them to care about life.  I completed my advanced practicum at an area behavioral health hospital that is world renowned and my Instructor is putting in a letter of recommendation for me since they are looking for some RNs.  I was surprised at how much I liked psych nursing.  My last patient, a transgendered woman, really touched my heart and affirmed that I was in the right field.  It is one thing to have an Instructor tell you, but when a patient does it means even more.

I figure I’ve been through a lot of drama in my life and can relate in a lot of ways to the struggles people face.  Because of that I genuinely want to help them heal and feel loved, to help them be the holder of the pen writing their own story, to help them be the master of their own destiny.  Many people think psychiatric nursing is like the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” but I assure you times have changed dramatically.  In fact the place I am hoping to work is working towards restraint free care, by therapeutically defusing situations before they become that dangerous.

I do get saddened though that my step-father thinks it is bunk science, to me it is rather commonsensical.    You are teaching people how to interact with the world in a productive manner and how to take control of their own lives for the better.  You are building them up until they can take over as their own decision maker so they do not harm themselves.  One thing about psychiatric illnesses that are misunderstood is that most of them are not what one would typically think of.  Sure we have many with Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia but most people are just depressed and in a crisis, they need a safe place to sort it all out.  And too, some have been damaged irrevocably as children and now as adults were never able to move into that developmental stage.  It makes you realize what a sick, cruel world we live in but it also shows you the real crux of humanity.  All humans have weaknesses, we all have moments where we feel life is so awful it is not worth bearing, we all have defensive egos at one point or another, and we all need someone to just listen.

So now onto Friday, when I walk down the aisle to get my nursing pin, candle, diploma, and say the Nightingale pledge.  I know I will cry, I’m a sap, but hey it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to… ^-^

Deepak Chopra Gets It Right

From today’s Huffington Post comes a very thoughtful piece by Deepak Chopra on the way our country perceives Islam. The poll numbers he cites are upsetting, to say the least.

But it his closing statement that gave me much to ponder today: “…emotions cannot be entirely separated from reason. So our duty isn’t to join right think — however abhorrent wrong think is — but to be self-aware and honest. Being able to hold mixed feelings at the same time is known as the capacity for ambivalence. Mature people have this ability; immature people don’t. Self-aware people speak openly about their ambivalence; people who prefer to be unconscious hide their prejudices until it is safe enough to haul them out. Which camp you belong to is your choice.”

From the book on Islam that Hesham A. Hassaballa co-authored, there is this line, describing Muhammad, “In the eyes of Muslims the Prophet’s life exemplifies a combination of qualities that include sanctity, wisdom, faith, integrity, strength, justice, generosity, magnanimity, nobility, humanity, and modesty.”

What are Americans so afraid of?