Map to Elsewhere

The first sentence is always the hardest.

I’m more familiar with endings than I am with beginnings. All questions are answered within an ending . . . even if the lack of an answer is all that’s left. I can take comfort in the finality of the last line of a story, or the end notes of  a melody. Closure.

But the question of how to begin is – in itself – overwhelmingly open. I wrote approximately a dozen different sentences before I more or less gave up and wrote the above sentence out of sheer creative desperation. It’s the truth, at least, if nothing else.

It doesn’t actually help that this isn’t technically the first post I’ve made under this blog name. I actually had several posts that I wrote a few months ago. But I deleted them all and took a sort of twisted pleasure in that – it was kind of like finally clipping off a stray thread that’d been tickling me all day.

The posts weren’t bad. But they weren’t really anything else, either. At the least, if this attempt isn’t good, it will have been honest. And I believe that there’s always some goodness to be found in utter honesty – even if it’s cloaked in awful discomfort.


I actually meant to begin again with this particular blog earlier in the month. I wasn’t aiming for the first, exactly, but I didn’t mean to put it off until the fifteenth, either.

Tomorrow is, actually, a pretty important day for me. It’s the day that I take my first step toward something new . . . which, for me, also means that it feels like the first step off a cliff. I’ve been told the fall isn’t that bad and that there’s enough water at the bottom to make for a safe landing, but . . . it’s still a little nerve wracking.

Okay. It’s a lot nerve wracking.

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up at 8:00 A.M. – even though it’s Saturday which is my only day off with the other that is significant in my life. I usually reserve Saturday morning for lounging around in bed watching HGTV re-runs and listening to him snore, but this is a pretty important morning, so I’ll sacrifice that.

I’ll spend fifteen minutes in the shower and then another ten trying to decide what one should wear when taking a leap of faith. I’ll probably settle on a pair of jeans and a nice shirt – even though I’ve already worn the jeans once this week and don’t particularly like any of my nice shirts. I’ll wear sneakers, because it’s them or what my other refers to as my “stripper heels.” Probably, I’ll wear mis-matched socks, because it’s a comfort thing, for me.

D – my friend of eight years – will pick me up from the apartment at 8:30 . . . which will probably turn into 8:45. He’s jumping off the cliff with me, but we’ll have breakfast first. Probably at a little place downtown called the Lunchbox. He’ll flirt with the waitresses and I’ll chew my nails and drink coffee like a mad-woman.

We’ll kill an hour – him with the flirting, me with the coffee. And then we’ll travel to Point A on my map to . . . ELSEWHERE . . . (If there was a cheesy t-shirt sold in the souvenir shop of ELSEWHERE it would say, “Where things are better than over there!“)

And then I will trust that he knows where the hell we’re going, because he’s very good with directions and I’m pretty bad with them. We’ll get there and I will have drunk so much coffee that I’ll either be sick to my stomach or bouncing off the walls.

And where is there place? Point A on the map to ELSEWHERE? It’s actually something that sounds rather boring, rather mundane, rather . . . simple . . .

It’s the 10:00 A.M. Nursing Information Session being held by Rasmussen College.

See? A long boring name, but . . . I’m pretty fucking nervous.

Never did I ever expect that I would be attending such a thing. At least not with the intent to actually get information about nursing. I mean . . . I never even considered being a nurse until . . . October? I think it was in October.

D had decided – after one of his friends graduated from Rasmussen with a BS in Nursing – that he wanted to do a 180 from being an engineer to a nurse. And I decided – after listening to him go on about it for three months – that it sounded like a good idea.

Or at least like a chance at a good idea.

So. I’ve spent the past three and a half months thinking about this whole concept of me as a nurse. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it really is a potentially good idea – maybe even a potentially great one. It’s not ideal (there is a very disappointed five-year-old me still pouting over the fact that I’m probably never gonna be a ballerina), but it’s actually a lot better than some of the alternatives I can think up.

In a lot of ways I’m scoffing at my fear over this first step. But it really is Point A of an itinerary  that will – hopefully – take me on a journey that lasts at least 18 months – the time that it takes to earn an Associates Degree in Nursing from Rasmussen.

I can’t really think that far ahead, just now. I’m taking this one move at a time.

But . . . this feels like a good thing. Risky and impulsive and terrifying, too, but . . . sometimes change requires that . . . even when it’s change for the better. Maybe especially when it’s change for the better!


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