As many of you know, I have two jobs. I’ve had requests to write about these two contrasting careers, why I do what I do, and how I balance them. So here we are!
Here are a few questions I get asked on a daily basis:
How do you balance two jobs?
Why don’t you just pick one?
Which one would you choose if you had to pick one?
How do you have time to do both of those?
Do you ever sleep?
I am a pediatric surgical nurse at The Children’s Hospital here in OKC. I love my job. On my unit I see children before and after surgery…things like open heart surgery, brain tumor removals, spinal fusions, tonsils, suicide attempts, broken bones, car accidents, and SO much more. I never know what to expect and it’s something different every day. Some kids stay in the unit for a day…some stay for months on end and I feel like they’re my own.
To be honest, it’s a hard job. It can be physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging. When I lay down in bed after a 12-14 hour shift without a lunch break I’m exhausted. There are some days when I leave feeling like a complete failure and some days I leave feeling on top of the world.
At this point you’re probably wondering why in the world anyone would want that job. What you don’t know yet is that it’s as rewarding as it is challenging. Any nurse could tell you that, but it’s a feeling that’s just hard to put into words. It gives you a completely new perspective on life and you realize your own problems are not such big problems after all. I meet families every day that are having one of the worst days of their life and I have a chance to try to make their day just a little bit better. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t, but when I lay my head on my pillow at night I feel content and at peace – like I did something bigger than myself. Like I served someone else. Like I have purpose. There’s really no feeling that can beat that.
And then, there’s photography. I love my job. People trust me to capture their most precious moments: a five day old snuggly baby, a one year old’s first ever bite of cake, a senior’s last few weeks at home before a very big adventure. These are big moments and the magnitude of this privilege is not lost on me. It’s a happy job full of color, laughter, and light. I meet families every day that are having the best days of their life and have a chance to try to make that even better. I capture that moment in time so they can hang on to that happy feeling forever.
When I hold a healthy, squishy baby and watch them sleep in my hands I’m reminded that there is beauty in the world. That life is good. That God is good and miracles do happen. That prayers are answered. My heart does not take those moments for granted. There’s really no feeling that can beat that.
So you see, I really can’t do one without the other. I really can’t just “pick one.” To me, it’s the perfect balance of happy and hard, of death and life, of challenges and rewards.
To be completely transparent, there is a part me that wonders if this is right. Can I ever truly excel at one thing when my time and energy are constantly divided? I’m not sure, and I may never know. At this point in life I feel like I’ll do both forever.
What I do know is, I’m happy. My heart is full. I love my life, I love my jobs. I know how blessed I am to have two jobs that I love and I thank God every day. To me, it’s the perfect balance.
If you’re still reading, I’ll leave you with a little advice. Don’t listen to them when they tell you to choose one thing or one path. You may be missing out on a path you’ll love even more. You were created for big things, and not just one. Explore your options. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t stop until you find what fills your heart up to the point of overflowing. Don’t do something that you hate to please other people. Don’t waste your life doing something you hate because of the money. You’re so much more valuable than that – be brave, pray, take risks, and find your purpose. Find your balance.