My fondest childhood memory is snuggling up to my Grandma Lottie on her sofa as she read to me from my favorite book: Cinderella. This was a circa 1972 pop-up book, which completely blew my four-year-old mind. Cinderella’s carriage, her fairy godmother, and Prince Charming all sprang from the pages; I can still recall believing that the book was magical, that Cinderella was real. I would shut the book then open it again superfast, hoping to see what Cinderella was doing when she thought that no one was looking. Sitting next to my grandmother was where I felt most loved and safe. I’m convinced that it was Grandma Lottie who instilled in me my love of books and story. When she wasn’t reading to me or teaching me how to bake, she kept me entertained with tales of how she survived the Great Depression by taking in the rich folk’s laundry. My favorite tale was about the time when my uncle was three and he took a lollipop to bed with him. Later that evening when my grandmother checked in on him, a giant black rat was sitting on my uncle’s chest gnawing what was left of the candy-coated stick.
I still love fairy tales and a good story.
Current mood: Overwhelmed
What I’m listening to: The Bird and the Rifle by Lori McKenna
In high school no one hounded me to do my homework or to make good grades. In fact, I was often told that I was stupid. I knew that if I wanted to go to college it was going to be up to me to apply, pay for it, and do the work.
I started out as a nursing major at the University of South Carolina, where I struggled to find my footing. High school had not prepared me for how to study in college or how to manage my time. By the end of my freshman year my grades were circling the drain, and I was throwing up daily from anxiety attacks.
After freshman year I quit. I moved to Atlanta and got a job in the Anesthesia Department at Emory University Hospital where I answered phones, made coffee, and occasionally babysat for a few of the doctors. It only took three months to figure out that I couldn’t live off $6.80 an hour, and that I needed to go back to school. I got a job nannying two elementary school kids, which let me balance my time between making money and going back to college at Georgia State University, where I majored in Biology.
When I started at Georgia State, I had to take an entrance test to determine what my skills were in math and English. I scored well in English, but I needed to take remedial math classes.
I spent the next several years working, studying, and trying not to give up. There were times that I could only afford to take two classes a semester, so that is what I did. I shared an apartment, drove a junker, and lived off of canned beans, store brand mac and cheese, and yogurt. Those difficult years taught me to be keep my head down and push forward. Eventually, I graduated, got married to my boyfriend, and got accepted to graduate school at Emory where I got a master’s degree in Medical Science in Anesthesiology, then a job as an anesthetist.
You can do more than you think you can.
You are smarter and stronger than you think you are.
Never, never, ever give up. Keep pushing forward at all costs.
If you want more information on becoming an anesthetist visit www.anethetist.org.
Current mood: Tenacious
What I’m listening to: Dartmouth by National Park Society
As I write this, I’m afraid.
What if this blog sucks?
What if I’m not good enough?
Are my two teenage boys going to read it and make fun of me? (I already know the answer to this one: Yes, they are).
Writing is a hard, lonely business. You’re stuck in your own head most of the time spewing out nonsensical first drafts that you pray you can somehow mold into original and compelling second drafts.
So why do I do it? Why do I write?
Writing is a puzzle to me, and I adore puzzles. I write to discover what I believe and what is important to me. Writing is my therapy, and it keeps me whole. Writing is my elixir.
Current mood: Hopeful
What I’m listening to: "Hamilton" by Lin-Manuel Miranda