Scorched Earth

“Like after a prairie fire…It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone. But after the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow. Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.” – Little Fires Everywhere

I scorched my earth.

Maybe you don’t know this, but about two months ago, I was struggling.

It was like I woke up in a life I didn’t recognize. I didn’t know how I got here. For a minute, it seemed nothing was familiar. Nothing felt like it was my choice. I felt like my life wasn’t mine.

While these feelings were temporary, it made me question everything. Was I happy? Why wasn’t I happy? What does happy look like for me? Do I like nursing? Do I want to still be a nurse? Did I chose the right career? Where do I feel joy? Does everyone feel this lost?

I’m going to call this my quarter life crisis.

“Like after a prairie fire…It seems like the end of the world. The earth is all scorched and black and everything green is gone.

On the phone to my mom, in between sobs after a lengthy intense therapy session, I exclaimed, “I don’t want to be living this life by this time next year.” While that sounds dark, it doesn’t mean any more than what I said. This is not what I choose anymore.

  • I do not choose working 60 hour work weeks.
  • I do not choose that my children are being raised by someone other than me because of my career choices
  • I do not choose to wallow in a toxic environment.
  • I do not choose to maintain fake and toxic relationships.
  • I do not choose to value money over time.
  • I do not choose to let other people’s opinions effect my life choices.
  • I choose to be a problem solver.
  • I choose to look for the solution.
  • I choose joy.
  • I choose progress.
  • I choose love for myself
  • I choose whatever the hell I want.

I scorched my earth and I promised myself: My life won’t look like this a year from now in the best way possible.

After the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow.

People treat you exactly how you allow them to.

I won’t grow in toxic soil.

And I can’t grow in a weed patch.

And I’ve got to water myself instead of waiting for the clouds.

New things can grow. What an affirmation. If I ever got a tattoo that’s what it would say: New things can grow.

People are like that, too, you know. They start over. They find a way.”

I can grow. I will grow. Cheers to starting over. Cheers to scorched earth.

6 thoughts on “Scorched Earth

  1. Elle says:

    Cheers to your new chapter. You’ve been through a lot of heartache in the recent year of your 1st quarter!

    I would like to recommend a wonderful book that I read annually for nearly 15 years once we began our simpler/less expensive life journey. Janet Luhr- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8605.The_Simple_Living_Guide

    I read it until it was tatters and passed it on to a young woman on my team who was after the same financial and life peace.

    Peace to you this lovely Friday morning. I hope your new RN orientation is going well this week!

  2. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    Good for you for recognizing that you were hanging from a string at the end of your rope!! So many of us don’t see that until we have crashed. You have made choices that are right for you NOW and will allow you to get where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years down the road. Smart woman! The choices you make will be the best ones for your boys, your husband and for you. You all deserve for you to be happy and present, daily!

  3. Carolyn Sullivan says:

    GOOD for you! Nurse burn out is so high, as is parenting burnout, caregiver burnout. GFY for recognizing it and I hope you find a way to be at peace.

  4. Anita B. says:

    I was an RN for 37 years. I switched places of employment and types of nursing every 4-5 years because of burn out. Fortunately, I lived in a large city. I would not be a nurse in today’s world. I retired 7 years ago at 63 and let my RN license expire. It’s probably worse now than it was then. God bless those RNs who can stay with it.

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