Don't you hate how people ask what you do, not who you are?
I mean, like what you do defines who you are as a person and how others perceive you to be?
No, it doesn't, or rather, it shouldn't.
But we all know that we are judged constantly every single day by those we encounter along the way.
What do I do?
These are indeed the things I DO, but they are not Who I AM.
I am a nurse. A mother. A daughter. A sister. A friend.
But more importantly, I am a caring, thoughtful and intelligent Woman.
When I tell people what I do for my 'real' job, many are taken aback.
"How can you work with sick kids?"
"Isn't it too hard?"
"Why would you want to do that?"
These are the typical responses I get. And I get where they are coming from. Taking care of a sick child often means helping them and their families keep them alive. Or, in some cases, preparing the families for their child's death.
I almost never have to prepare a child for this.
They already know. They nearly always are way ahead of the curve and get what's going on long before the parents or the docs.
I work with sick kids for a purely selfish reason.
When a child feels bad and you help them feel better?
A smile, a hug, a change in their overall awareness comes from them automatically, letting you know that they are glad you were there. Letting you into their piece of reality giving you a chance to feel the sincerity of their joy of life, for how ever long that life may be.
I have worked with kids who had almost no life expectancy who are still alive and doing well in their teens.
I have worked with kids whose docs said they would never be able to communicate, to play, to have a 'normal' life.
They do all those things... what is 'normal' anyway?
In my field I see the affects of years of science and medicine converging in one small body, giving that little person a chance at life. A REAL life, with family and friends. With school and play groups. A chance to let the Light that is inside of them not only shine, but spread to everyone around them.
Sure, it's sad when they are gone. But that Light, that joy of living that they spread while they were here?
It never goes away. It continues to Light up the lives of those left behind, and in so doing, keeps them alive.
My job is hard. That's why it's called work. Not physically, but emotionally.
But the pluses far out-weigh the minuses. And for me...?
It's the perfect job.
It's not just what I do, it's an extension of Who I AM.
Next time someone asks you what you do...
Tell them you live and breathe and eat and sleep... that's what you do, but who you are?
That's the REAL question.