Uninvited and Unexpected Blast from the Past
Everything was lined up to begin a new journey. I was excited and ready to begin a new role at a university that had selected me to be a member of their prestigious faculty team. I had long had the desire to teach at a university at this level and had finally been given clarity and clearance to move forward professionally. This was a change I needed to grow professionally and beyond what I was currently doing as an educator. I’d completed everything that I imagined was necessary to jump and allow my parachute to open.
In December 2016, I finished my Doctorate in Nursing Practice Healthcare Systems Leadership. As we were bringing in the new year, I sensed that I needed to be ready for a transition. I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that what I was sensing for 2017 was a year for me to leap and move from Arizona to start a new career. Not so! That was not the case. A few days into 2017, it was revealed to me the meaning of the transition that was to take place. I wouldn’t be moving in 2017, but having a heart transition. I would learn how to love myself to prevent the past from continuing to holding me hostage. Throughout the year, I let go of many things that remained hidden in my heart and learned to unapologetically love myself to life.
Fast forward to January 2018 when I received clear indications that this would be the year for me to move. I started applying at universities across the states with my focus on particular ones. Interview after interview, certain universities were intriguing and captured my interest. With the exception of one interview, all were completed virtually. When responding to the email, I’d initially informed the Administrative Assistant that I would do a virtual interview, but I felt a nudging to fly into the city for a face-to-face team interview. Thankful that I headed to the nudging, the interview proved to give me the insight I needed as the offers started to come in for faculty positions.
After completing the final stages of interviews for all but one university, I was blessed to be at a point in which I needed to make a decision of which offer to accept. Because I was given 72 hours to make a decision, it meant that I couldn’t wait for the remaining university’s scheduled interview to occur. Through prayer and seeking direction, I was moving to the Big Easy city of New Orleans, LA to reach one of my professional goals.
Everything was moving in what I thought was perfect formation. My home sold in less than 48 hours and because I’d been preparing since the beginning of the year, the final stages of packing were uneventful. The moving date had been set and I was ready. Oh, how I was ready for August 9, 2018, to arrive as it was my first day of a new beginning!
The haunting of the blast from the past would put a halt on everything I was dreaming of during that summer. There would be no start for the fall 2018 semester. I wouldn’t be starting my first day and the dream began to slowly but definitely become a nightmare because of an Uninvited and Unexpected Blast from the Past.
After an incident in 1992, I woke up in the hospital looking at police officers after being beaten in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I was questioned and received charges for causing an accident by hitting the abuser’s car. Battered, bruised, and with memory loss, I now had a record. A record that out of nowhere showed up in the Big Easy. A record that hadn’t held any precedence when I began my nursing career in 1995 as a Licensed Practical Nurse and in 1996 as a Registered Nurse. A criminal record that didn’t have any effect on being licensed as a nurse in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, California, and Arizona. Not so with the state of Louisiana. You see, this Uninvited and Unexpected Blast from the Past reared its monstrous head and were a definite roadblock to me beginning an exciting career. It wasn’t until late in the fall semester that I received notification from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing (LSBN) of what was required for me to even be considered to receive a nursing license that would have restrictions. According to the LSBN, because of my past record, the items needed to be considered for licensure included:
- Professional Development and Anger Management Classes
- Physical, Neurological, and Psychiatric Assessments
- 2 Personal and 2 Professional References
- Be present for a court date
- Pay a lawyer or represent me
- Pay a board imposed fine
Can you imagine reading this after years of growing and developing personally and professionally? After working as a nurse for 23 years without a single issue or concern I was surprised to be in this situation. The university had been holding the position waiting on me to be licensed. However, because of the delay and out of respect for the university, I’d already spoken with the Dean and communicated that I release myself from the position. This conversation occurred prior to this letter arriving in my mailbox. I didn’t want to cause any further delay it was already late September.
I can’t begin to explain the emotions I was feeling as I have this conversation and later as I read the letter from the LSBN. No home, no job, and no new beginning. What was a woman to do? Definitely not sulk about it. I had to pick myself up by the bootstraps and start a new normal working temporary contract until it was time to move on into something permanent.
My response to the situation was the determining factor. I could’ve had a positive or negative response which would’ve determined my outcome. Sulking in “why did this happen to me?” was not the answer. Beating myself up for not making sure my license was secured before selling my home and moving was not the answer. Keeping a positive outlook so the situation didn’t suffocate me was the answer. Today, I’m still on the road of self-discovery and working towards a goal and I don’t allow the Uninvited and Unexpected Blast from the Past deter me from living a happy and healthy life.
When has life thrown you a curveball that you didn’t see coming? When has a thunderstorm come after all you saw were blue skies? What was your response?
Call to Action:
When faced with a trial, don’t throw yourself a pity party. Take some time to breathe, reflect, and determine the next action and the best action you need to take.
Consult only with people you trust. Everybody is not on your team.
Don’t give up. Just because something didn’t work out on one area of your life, personal or professional, doesn’t mean that you get a pass to not try again. You don’t get to pass Go and ignore the call on your life.
Dr. Monica Debro, owner of Love Yourself to Life™, is a leader who is transforming the lives of women through inspirational writings, events, and speaking engagements. She is the host and keynote speaker for The Elephant in the Room, Love Yourself to Life™, and Always Wear Your Tiara conferences. At these events, women have received intimate breakthroughs in their personal and professional lives. She is a member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and NBNA Ad-Hoc Co-chair on Violence Reduction. She is the author of Broken Believer No More and Love Yourself to Life.