By Natalie Meyer
As quickly as it started, it was over. The last six years of my formal education, including receiving a prior degree, culminated in this one moment. I was twenty-four years old and just graduated from nursing school. Yet I felt more uncertainty than joy amid the occasion, for I had no clear sight of how long it would be before I would find a job.
It was August 2011. By now returning home to live with one’s parents had seemingly become a compulsory event of post-college life. No participating partynecessarily desires this arrangement, yet most not having any other affordable alternative.
I had been blessed to be part of such a dedicated family. The motivational and financial support they have shown throughout my life is immeasurable. How does a child go about repaying their parents devotion?
Throughout the years our relationship matured into more of a deep friendship. But we had also experienced this ride before and knew the ease of lapsing into old roles. I wanted to demonstrate that I was cognizant of this, that I deeply appreciated everything they’ve done, and that this layover would end quickly.
The relaxation of returning home was short-lived. I immediately felt the ambiguity of my situation. I sat my parents down. I had to outline my goals and strategies so as to make my plans tangible. I couldn’t help but cry for not being more in control of my state. I could sense their deep desire to help me as well as their helplessness. We agreed to respect each other’s honesty and boundaries and that remaining constructive towards one another would be most beneficial.
At times frustrations would intensify and arguments ensued. But we kept open and truthful, for the tension stemmed from a place of love. We knew this trying time would eventually pass.
It took fourteen months to land a nursing job. Two years have since transpired, but one thing remains on my mind: how can I begin to reciprocate the generosity given by my parents? I know this gratitude will never be fully satisfied, but I won’t ever stop trying.