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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Name:
Location: California, United States

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Delusions of Grandeur on a Small Budget

I started out life like most middle class Americans in the 1950's. That is, I was secure in my place in the world and blissfully ignorant that life as we knew it was about to change drastically.

I would grow up to go to college, become a teacher, get married, live in a house with a white picket fence, and have lots of babies.

Yeah. Right.

The 60's hit like a giant meteor from outer space. The world blew up. Kennedy was shot. King was shot. I hit puberty. The Vietnam War dragged on forever. The economy went global. And I began to realize that I might be a lesbian. Oh shit.

So I changed my major from education to psychology. I tried marijuana. I marched in civil rights marches. I marched in peace marches. I watched the militia roll down Woodward Avenue in Detroit after the Kent State Massacre. I had long hair and wore mini skirts. I shunned the material in favor of the spiritual. I slept around. I went into therapy. I was too cool for words.

Somehow, I ended up working for General Motors as a computer programmer. This was in between stints as a teacher, a waitress, a payroll clerk, and a sales clerk. In the early 70's I was laid off with the rest of Detroit. After odd jobbing for awhile, and spending a couple of semesters in graduate school, I decided to move to California to become a poet.

Nursing seemed like a good way to make a living while writing my poetry. I had considered medical school but I thought nursing would give me more free time. Life is full of little cosmic jokes like that. I waitressed, went to nursing school, took poetry workshops, and explored the gay scene in southern California.

This is all when I was young and thought that I was already old.

One day I woke up and had the terrible feeling that life was about to pass me by. I had no lover, a crappy apartment, and a job that I hated. I feared that I would leave not one footprint upon the world before I said my goodbyes.

My insides were writhing with self doubt and a sense of something lost. I just didn't know quite what I had lost. At that point, I dropped out of nursing and signed up for massage school. It was a rich and exciting experience. I started my own business. I continued to write. But not as much.

Within 5 years, my nursing friends had dragged me back into nursing. I had a dream that nursing was a giant toilet where I could dump all of my crap. I think my return was a sign that I still had more crap to dump. The fruits of a dysfunctional childhood. Who in their right mind quits something that makes them happy to return to that which causes them unhappiness?

Inside of me is a woman dancing on a mountaintop. Surrounded by beauty. Filled with love. She has let go of all illusions. She carries her sadness with grace and can tap into her joy in living. She has no need to be rich or famous, or even to be remembered by anything but the wind. She simply is. And that is enough.


Kinja, the weblog guide

3 Comments:

Blogger Seabiscuit said...

Boy, I tell you what Nurse, you make me sound like a simpleton. Awesome! You've had so many interesting experiences in your life! I was definately into each paragraph. Jumping across one clif to the other. You left me hanging and wanting more. Great read! You were quite a brave lady. I've been in Mayberry all my life. Take care and hugs!

5:20 PM PDT  
Blogger Gina said...

So the old question, did you go into psychology to figure yourself out or your family?

5:57 PM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Haaaa Gina! Both.

6:13 PM PDT  

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