When I was in the second grade, we had to write a daily journal entry in a notebook and it had to be a certain amount of sentences. I suppose this was to evoke creativity while mastering the concept of language arts. The irony of this daily task from childhood is that I hated it with a passion and yet now I love to take a pen to paper—or should I say fingers to a keyboard.

My mom still has these notebooks in the attic and recently ran across one and after reading a few or my entries, it was obvious I found loopholes for content. Assignment topics varied, but no doubt three out of four posts ended with the following two sentences sounding something like this: “I like visiting farm animals. Do you like farm animals too?” Clearly, I knew how to work the system.

Years passed and I approached high school graduation scratching my head on what to pursue as a career. I had dreams of an office and wearing suits and heels to work and having my very own computer—mind you this was the late 90s and dial up internet and Napster were the highlight of my day. Alas, I didn’t know where to steer my talents and did what any college freshman does when forced to pick a major: I picked something in the college of business. Two years in and I realized my math skills could not handle accounting , so I decided to switch gears to something polar opposite and became a nursing major.

Now, don’t get me wrong, It’s a great profession and quite flexible for someone with a family and the opportunities are endless. Seriously, they are—I’ve done everything from working in the operating room to labor and delivery to home health—and I have seen some amazing and “interesting” things in my time. I currently am blessed to work part time with some of sharpest and most caring nurses in Acadiana who also recognize the work I do away from the bedside. Nursing is a science and an art as you need to have a balance of both to do it just the way old Florence Nightingale intended. So, is that possibly why I became a writer? Because Florence told me to tap into my right brain because nursing is also an art? Surely it’s not because Mrs. Gordon made me write in a wide rule notebook on a daily basis.

It all led me here to this—the journal assignments, a college elective on creative writing, escaping accounting and mounds of clinical paper work. When I was in search of a second career in something outside of health care, no one would look twice at my resume because I had “no experience.” The joke’s on them because the school of life taught me a plethora of knowledge that might as well prepared me to be a contestant on Jeopardy—I’ll take Winning for 500, Alex. I turned to blogging to release some of my creative thoughts and to also write about things I love—food, family and fitness.  I never dreamed I would become the person with the responsibility to generate ideas for print. Sometimes it’s not what a piece of paper says you are qualified to do, but more of what your personality dictates.

So, here I am, this writer on the rise who was stumbled upon by IND Monthly from a blog of my thoughts and I am ever grateful for the opportunity to learn as I go and unleash my creativity that has been compressed. Some days I even surprise myself with ideas I didn’t know I had within. Of course, when someone asks me what I do and I say, “I’m a writer. And I’m also a nurse,” this usually leaves them with a scrunched brow wondering how that works together.  But, what they don’t know it all has left me feeling balanced—my right and left brain are living harmoniously and happily together.


A future IND Monthly writer? Stella loves to help edit along side me.

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