Two week’s ago, I learned how to knit for the very first time. It’s been such a great “hygge” activity, especially for the winter/holiday season. Life can’t get any better than snuggling with my dog and hubby on the couch with the TV on just for background noise, and my favorite cup of hot tea, all while I knit away like a crazy cat lady. Lol…until I dropped a stitch, aka: made a mistake. Ugh!
If you ask any knitter, novice or seasoned, it is the MOST annoying thing to make a mistake or realize that you made a mistake long after you’ve already stitched passed it…for like…hours.
Ever since I left my former career in the medical field (a mere 2 months ago), I’ve seen noticeable healing in my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Because of the nature of my past career in Registered Nursing, I often reprimanded myself for making even the smallest of mistakes. Granted I was dealing with human lives every day so understandably, mistakes were forbidden and not tolerated. Nurses often got reprimanded and even bullied for making the smallest of mistakes (small mistakes meaning it did not cost anyone’s life). Hey…if I was a patient, I wouldn’t want my nurse to make mistakes.
But if you’re in an environment like that for over 9 years like myself, you become a really uptight person who is super hard on yourself when you make mistakes. From what I know of my colleagues and I, Nurses struggle with the pursuit of perfection. Our patients need us to be perfect. Their families count on us to be perfect. Our employees expect us to be perfect. Some people are born to do this kind of job and that is WONDERFUL. I wasn’t. It brought me so much anxiety and depression. I’ve always have known myself to be an artist since I was a kid.
Now that I’m encouraged to make mistakes by my art teachers and peers, it’s been liberating and emotional. I also feel like I’m reclaiming back my life prior to getting in a career that sucked the soul and personality out of me. The other day, I had a memory of me surfing in my mid-20s and how much I loved it. Working night shifts and being under so much stress, my surfing days were over. My days off from work was just for recovery – my body would hurt and ache and I’d just sleep or rest on the couch until the next work day and the cycle would repeat itself.
However, the transition to be “okay” with making mistakes have been challenging. I’m learning to let go and start over. I’m learning to let go and come back to a project. And I’m learning to let go and accept my mistake(s) as a part of the process. Basically, letting go and accepting imperfection is what season I’ve been in and it’s been really damn awesome.
I have absolutely NO regrets in walking away from my old career. I definitely feel much better from the first week post-leaving nursing. I’m much happier now and I feel closer to who I am and who I’m supposed to be. Mistakes…yeah, bring it on, I love them…because they are what makes the tapestry of life so beautiful!
And for the nurses out there still struggling to be perfect…I really respect you. Please don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. It’s so important…