Trading Profession Over Passion— Excerpts

Probably the most irritating and inane question I always get when it comes to my career is, “ Aren’t you a nurse? What are you doing spending your time writing [and/or drawing, playing the violin, making websites]?”

Depending on my mood, the level of my angas meter, and the snarkiness of the question, I have a whole bucketful of ready answers, ranging from:

“I’m broadening my horizons. I don’t want to end up as just ‘a nurse’. Kung pwede namang maging ‘nurse, writer, artist and musician’, why not?”

… and:

“Hmm, I’m not sure. I also get the feeling nurses shouldn’t write. I mean, that’s why they were only taught how to make coffee in nursing school, right?”

… to the ever-efficient pambasag-trip line of:

“Because I can, and you can’t. So, HAH!”

But, honestly. I admit that there were times when I also asked myself why I was pushing my limits with all these extra activities, sometimes going so far as skipping my day job for my other appointments. From a realistic and practical standpoint, that’s not only wasteful—that’s downright illogical. After all, it’s the salary of my day job that fuels my precocious passions (violin strings and art materials don’t grow on trees, you know). Still, looking back to review what I’ve done, I can honestly say that I’m content with what I did, enough that when given the situation, I’d gladly do it again.

I don’t know; writing gives me a kind of rush and fulfillment that’s different from what I get from my other fixations. I guess it helps that I got tossed in with some of the most talented and multi-faceted writers in the Philippines. I’m constantly amazed and humbled at how I became one of them (I keep telling others that maybe it’s because the Powers that Be were just in a giving mood that day; I still hold on to this fact), because in most cases when I pass my articles or post in the forums, I still feel inadequate (“I’m not worthy~!”).

But I tried, and I toiled, and I thrived. I’m still trying; still toiling; still thriving. Even though I’ve been accepted in the ‘hood for barely 4 months, everyday feels like an accomplishment that somehow I feel like it’s been years.

I remember when I was still weighing whether I should join or not; I kept everything from my friends and family, wanting to test it out first for fear of it being just another online scam. After my first month of plunging headfirst into the waters, though, I eagerly urged—alright, begged—my friends to resign their jobs—excuse me, professions—and to stop letting themselves be exploited (oh, yes. Day-in and day-out of taking stock and doing the patients’ laundry for free is a glamorous profession). I wanted them to experience the same kind of fulfillment and contentment as I did, as I still do. I want them to trade their professions for their passions, because in this manner, even their passions can become their professions.

So why am I spending my time writing for when I’m, in fact, a licensed nurse?

Because I’m a nurse blessed with the God-given gift and passion for writing, that’s why.