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The Artist graduates from nursing school this weekend. Her husband, the Nurse, wrote more eloquently than I could about the grace and balance she brought to a very challenging 3 years of school. Now she has the challenge of bringing that same grace and balance to the always difficult question, what now?

I remember the hectic months leading up to graduation and the myriad of people giving well meaning career advice, most of which I was not in a place to be able to use. There were also those classmates who seemed to have it all figured out, who knew exactly what their next move was and perhaps had known since the beginning.

The Artist is not one of those people. I mean that as a compliment. She is first and foremost an artist, which is so often about trusting and following what one finds compelling in the moment, even if, or maybe especially if it leads into the unknown.

In his blog post, her husband talked about the way she brought her tenacity and capacity to love and used it in the work she has been learning to do. He added that she did it the way she did it not because she decided to, but because this is who she is. He wrote, “She blesses us by her being herself.”

I wish I had really understood when I was younger that this is really what it’s all about. It isn’t about what degree, or license, or job title you pursue. It’s about bringing yourself to the work. I know that the Artist (and the rest of us too, if we’re honest), will still face some tough decisions about how best to build a career and a life from here, but I also know that whatever choices she makes, she will bring her Art to nursing. She won’t be able to help it. This is who she is.

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