nursetoartist

A journey from the hospital to the studio


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The Beginning

How did I get here? It’s strange really, I like being a nurse, I enjoy caring for people. But that is not all that I am. I know this now and it took me a long time to figure it out.

I am inviting everyone on my journey with me. This is my story how an ICU nurse slowly turns into a full-time artist. I think I will always nurse, just not full-time. I truly feel this is my third chance at life. What was my second chance? Surviving stage 4 bone cancer at age 18. Cancer plays a pivotal role in my story. In late November 2012, I was stuck on 285 in gridlock traffic. My feelings of dissatisfaction had reached a head; and a memory, the kind you don’t like to remember, crept up.

My last living friend from childhood cancer clinic and I were watching the sun set on his back porch. The cicadas had begun their song. He had relapsed, and a few months from this memory I would be standing at his funeral. I told him the truth, a dark truth, I felt guilty for being the only one of our friend group to ‘get better.’ He grabbed my hand and smiled, “No, you just got to live for all of us. Live without regrets”

Grief is a funny thing, it attacks, sometimes without warning, on sunny days in gridlock traffic.

That day, I signed up for my first art course since high school. A community course at Abernathy Arts center. Slowly, step by step, I have evolved since that moment to attempt to be the artist hiding somewhere deep inside my heart.

Thanks for reading my thoughts,

Leigh

Ps. Be sure to check out what’s on My Easel today!

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