Day 12 – Never, never, never give up

Another day in the hospital pour moi, and another day of “what the heck am I doing?”. Both in the sense of the actual day itself, but as well as Nursing in general.  I had several moments throughout the day where I thought, “seriously, what the $&#!!.  I chose this career right?!  This is insane.  How am I ever going to be good at this when I’m running around trying to get just the bare minimum done?”  These were some of my thoughts today.  For anyone who is a nurse reading this, I’m sure you can relate to when you first started out.  I know, reading back on this that I will one day laugh at how difficult I am finding it all to be right now, but unfortunately, in reality, that day is far away.  Right now, I’m having a hard time.  It’s something so new, so scary and so challenging that I’m far out of my comfort zone.  My comfy cushion has definitely been POP’d!

I’m too hard on myself.  I know this.  So I’m probably doing alright for starting out, but being the perfectionist that I am – I’m struggling.  I took my misery with me outside into the sunshine on my break to re-collect my thoughts.  I sat in the shade next to an older man, who just so happened to be playing the ukulele.  After listening for a while, I thanked him for making me smile.  At this point in my day, he seemed like the perfect person for me to meet.  I needed it.  It brought me back to my smiling and positive self.  It turned out that it was his first day ever playing the ukulele.  He even had an intro book turned open to lesson #1.  This guy was probably in his early 60s, just waiting patiently for his wife to finish an appointment across the street.  Early 60s and still learning something new.  And so passionate about it too.  He even gave me a mini-lesson from what he’d learned so far.  In a short 10 minutes, I learned 3 chords.  Who knew that it was so easy to play?!  Uh-oh, you know what this means, another instrument to add to my list!  Who knew that on a workday, I’d become inspired to one day (soon) learn how to play the ukulele.  So random, but so friggin’ awesome at that.

I guess we are always learning.  We are always starting somewhere fresh.  That’s where the beauty is.  There’s beauty in the challenge, in the determination that it takes to WANT to learn something new.  From wanting to grow.  From wanting more out of life. For being okay with not looking so hot.  For taking the chance.  It’s so easy to do what comes natural to us, to stay within the comfortable.  It is so easy.  But to strive for more? To be willing to be a newbie all over again?  That takes courage.  To ask questions, to be alright with failing, to learn from our new experiences and to continue trying.  Trying our best.  Striving for more.  This is all we really can do.  Well, that’s not true – we can give up.  But giving up?  “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength” (Jane Addams).

Perseverance builds character.  It makes us who we are.  It makes us stronger.  All I can continue thinking is how one day I’m going to be rocking my position as a Nurse.  And how I will be able to help people who are in my shoes right NOW.  I’ll be able to smile at them flustering around, and know that I was once there too.  Because that’s where I am right now, and that’s okay.  I’m trying with all my heart to be the best I can be.  And that’s what is most important to me.  So whatever you do, whatever you WANT, never, never, NEVER, give up.

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.”
– Anonymous

For me, the holding on was to bring me so close to where I am today.  Jumping out of helicopters, remember?!  One day, ONE DAY!  So here’s to working hard, and never giving up (AND now trying to play the ukulele!!).

Smile with your heart!

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. The best post for me to date – so simple, truthful and awesome!

  2. Jenn this post is awesome!!! Oh my gosh, I can relate with you. I am a Kin with the BCAK BUT I’m also a supervisor at one of the craziest and busiest Starbucks on Vancouver Island..we only earn a certain amount of labour so it always feels understaffed (like nursing I’m sure!!!) So we multitask multitask multitask and try to CONNECT with our customers cause THAT’S WHY I’M THERE I love people and getting a smile or a story out of them!! Anyhow, I used to feel like “doing it all gets nothing done” cause it’s busy busy busy and I wanted to do each thing perfectly etc etc etc…BUT THEN A CUSTOMER TOOK THE TIME TO COME OVER TO ME AND SAY…”.what your doing is like a dance….you’re very good at your job!” YAH! It’s about rhythm…find a rhythm in your daily tasks and in time you’ll be a ROCKSTAR NURSE!!! Start out to the strum of that ukulele (which by the way is a fave of mine…my husband laughs cause I always dance silly when I hear one!) xoxo
    Carolyn Kirwan

  3. The unknown and new craziness is what keeps us going, makes us know we are still living. When things become comfortable and mundane you know it’s time to start pushing towards another life goal. At least that’s how I look at life :)

  4. Excellent encouragement!!! Thank you!
    I went camping at a beautiful lake in the mountains this week and I had a dream about you!!! You even came with me on my outdoor adventure!!! :D
    I admire nurses and can empathize what they deal with! Having been in the hospital before, the nurses were always so kind and caring. Nurses give a lot of themselves to other. Always take care and be kind to yourself, Jenn. :)

  5. You’re a beautiful person Jenn! Thanks for keeping it “RAW” with emotion and authenticity!
    I really needed to read this today! I wrote on a 3×5 card to keep in my handbag; “when you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place!” GREAT reminder! Also, just remember yourself, if I ever needed to be hospitalized I would feel blessed to be cared for by you as a nurse!
    All my best!

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