My desire to become a nurse has not faltered since the day I stepped onto the second floor of Seattle Children’s Hospital. As I emerged through the double doors, I felt my body tense and awareness pique. I was immediately on guard, and the hospital seemed to have the power of changing my entire mindset. The stark white walls and seemingly never ending hallways were my enemies and I held a hatred towards them stronger than I had ever known before.
In that farthest left corner of the hospital, buried away from the comforts of reality, I felt admittedly frightened but also called to make a change. In a place intended to restore health and vitality, I saw nothing but sadness and destitution and this juxtaposition enraged me. My drive to someday serve as a nurse highlights a paradoxical yet natural human response to the places that scare us. Our environment somehow has the power to awaken a dormant sense of motivation within and we thus feel compelled to make a change. Fear ultimately serves as a catalyst towards reform.
How can a setting have so much power over us as to change the entire course of our lives? At first, the fear manifests itself into utter shock. I experienced this my first few days at the hospital as I recoiled and turned inward in a desperate attempt to shut out that which surrounded me. The place seemed to drain my energy and thus I learned that motivation does not come immediately. We must take time to adjust to our surroundings before we can allow ourselves to be called towards something positive. In order to draw inspiration from a negative, even terrifying, experience we have to give ourselves time to dwell for in the misery of our surroundings.
In our everyday life, the true importance of environment cannot be downplayed. This was never more evident to me than that first day at Seattle Children’s. After the fear began to ebb, I felt as though the hospital rooms and the bare, white hallways were directly challenging me, willing me to do something about it. The features of the hospital seemed to come alive in their misery, taunting me with their sorrowful appearance day after day. When asked why I would want to become a nurse after that terrible experience not so long ago, my answer is clear and definite. Terrible settings ignite within us the flame of fear. As that fire spreads, we shift entirely away from fear and towards an inexplicable motivation and irresistible need to make a drastic change.