So here’s me: With a short-lived background in nursing and the world of health care it’s no wonder that I find my writing inspiration from behind the closed but not locked doors of aged care. Write what you know, right? You are probably thinking
“what does she mean short-lived background in nursing?”
…like why was it short lived and why on god’s green earth is she now writing a blog!? Well, let me clarify, in 2015 I was searching for a purpose and my wise and knowing late grandmothers undervalued words kept reiterating in my head
“you’d make a great nurse one day.”
And that sentence combined with a passionate desire to do something purposeful and rewarding, drove me to study Enrolled Nursing. Within twenty-four months I had completed four placements (internships for you American yanks) in the health care industry and two of which were performed in the wonderful world of residential aged care.
I came out the other-side of those twenty-four months with a diploma, the doom and gloom fear all students experience in the face of finding a job and somehow the unwavering feeling that I was not meant to be doing this, like I was a fraud.
I had spent the duration of my diploma feeling like I was swimming out of my depth, like I just couldn’t get it. But there was one thing I did get. People. And they got me. Some of my greatest experiences were the relationships I was privileged to make with residents. There was no way I could be a nurse, my time management was shocking!
“Elise, dear, would you like to share some Tim Tams and listen to my rock music?”
Um, you betcha Jo!
And so my itch for my life purpose and fulfilment had not been scratched, and some part of me knew that I needed to pursue my interest in writing…
In fact, a resident I spent time with gave me more inspiration than she knows, her name was Joan.
Joan sat with me on her bed and shared a bottle of “bubbly water” which we pretended was the good stuff (champagne!) and told me her life story hours after my shift had finished. I told her:
“Joan you could write a book about your life, it is just so fascinating”
and although she hadn’t thought it to be anything other than just her childhood memories, she boastfully told her son upon his visit,
“this is Elise, she is going to write my memoirs”.
So here I am, enrolled in a Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing, in a course which calls for me to write a blog. Great! Fantastic! I’m excited!
On our very first day we sit in a class room of 25 or so and painfully go around the class to announce our ideas for our blog. On our very first day.
Some poor peers are coming up with duck eggs, using the broadest terms like “football” or “lifestyle” and then here I go with this outlandish, completely unplanned, spur of the moment idea that I would like to write a blog about the stories of our older generations. My tutor loves it. She has plans for it. I am now locked in and beginning my journey of volunteering my abundance of time (Sike! I am a full time student and part time employee) in the wonderful world of residential aged care, where I hope the incredible people will open their hearts and share their lives with me.
Because I love to hear it, they deserve to tell it and we are all privileged to learn and share in these lives well lived.