Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's Happening So Fast, Part 2

We're moving.

A week from tomorrow, to be exact. I can't believe it. The man is packing up the apartment while I study for finals and write my final papers. We're moving home, and couldn't be more thrilled. It was very, very shaky for a minute- turned out that we all of a sudden didn't have everything needed for me to go to integration in January, but just last week it all came together (thank you universe) and I here we are... getting ready to move. This has been such a grueling experience. We've been lonely, away from our families. We've been stressed, dealing with the privilege we've encountered and become a part of. Yes, we've adapted to, and recognize our participation in the privileges that come with being in an ivy league environment. The resources are incredible. I will miss that about this experience. I will miss the buildings, their mahogany and marble and stone beauty and solidness. I will miss the opportunities to go to talks, presentations, receptions and luncheons about a very wide variety of topics. I will miss access to a massive network of information- miss clicking on links that automatically take me to articles instead of pages requesting payments for the right to view. I will miss the 24hour access to a quiet place to study and the door to door transportation that takes me there. I will miss being able to check out books for months at a time... more books than will ever be available at a public library. Yes, I'm going to miss this place. Honestly, what I just described is one of the reasons that I'd love to work at an institution like this. But surprisingly... I've put my PhD aspirations on hold for a minute...

I had wanted a PhD in nursing, but lately I feel like I want it in anything but nursing. I still haven't fell in love with the profession, and I don't think I ever will. After fighting for respect as a midwife (which is a given and something one pretty much expects and accepts as part of joining the profession) I do not want to do the same in nursing. It's too much. While I appreciate the idea that multiple paths/entries into nursing and midwifery allows a larger cross section of women access to the profession, I do not like how much that negatively impacts the way other people and profession view us. I also don't want to spend my entire life in a position or profession where I am & for always will be a "midlevel" citizen. I already feel that... that... smallness... in other areas of my life. It's odd... I thought it'd be different because these are woman-dominated professions. I thought I'd feel more empowered by belonging to them. I thought I'd find the challenges of working within these communities negated by a sense of sisterhood. But that hasn't happened. I find myself wanting to study something different, but similar. Something like public health, or reproductive biology, or health sociology- with a focus on women for all of them. I don't really know.

All I know is that because I am unsure, I can not simply go straight into a nursing PhD program. All I keep thinking is... yes there's a shortage of nursing faculty, yes that shortage is only going to get more and more drastic... but at the same time, we know why there's a shortage, and we aren't that close to solving it... the salaries are not going to reach those of other postgraduate educated professions, despite the fact that we're still paying the same tuition as everyone else... as long as it is a field dominated by women, and women are undervalued in society, the pay is going to continue to be measly... and I deserve better. I've worked too hard. Sacrificed too much. Have waaaaay too much debt. Am simply... unwilling... to give my entire life to a profession that can not give me what I need. But, what I can do, and am planning to do, is define what kind of midwife I want to be with careful thought and investigation about combining midwifery and something else to make the perfect career for myself.

I must put in the effort to create a career that is personalized, fulfilling, and sustaining.