Ever had a surreal moment in your life? Like you feel if you are in a dream and someone should pinch you to make sure you really are awake and experiencing it? This happened to me this past summer, when I was nominated for a major award of my career as a nurse and ended up a state finalist for the award. I know I don’t talk a lot about being a nurse, but it really is my calling to work with kids and I have been a pediatric nurse for over 11 years now. So, when I was nominated for The March of Dimes Pediatric Nurse of the Year for the state of Arizona, I was stunned. Never in a million years would I have thought that anyone would have nominated me for such a thing. And never would I have thought I would be sitting at a luncheon as one of the state finalists for the award. But yet, there I was, awaiting to hear my category called and to see if I was a winner. And the winner is…
Wait…let’s back up a bit and let me tell you first what it was like to even get to this point before I tell you the results. I know, such a tease, I had to fill out this long ass application to even complete my nomination. Holy cow. As I sat and read through all the questions they wanted to answer, I doubted whether or not I should even continue, I mean, I have no special certifications as a nurse and I don’t teach or activate policies or anything like that. I am a floor nurse. I take care of sick kids. But what I do outside of that is something I am super good at…I do community outreach. Since that is what I was nominated for, I wrote about starting a quilt program and doing the giant 13 foot high duck in the 4th of July parade every year and collect comic book donations to encourage kids to read. But really…nobody is going to pick me. I don’t have all those letters after my name like my co-worker who also was nominated. She has a tone of credentials, teaching and higher degrees. I just come to work, take care of sick kids and nice families and go home. How is this even worth a nomination or a consideration for this award? Nope. I even told BFF that my application would go nowhere. When I got the email that I was a finalist? I sat there looking at my phone in disbelief. Wait. What? They must have read the wrong application and contacted me by mistake. My co-worker and I have almost the same name so it must be her. I was stunned. But it was true and BFF and I headed to Satan’s Asshole to attend the award ceremony.
It was at a fancy swanky hotel and BFF and I were lucky enough to stay the night before and hang out before the luncheon the next day. My boss and my co-worker, also one of the 3 finalists, were also coming so we met up with them and sat with others from our hospital that had been nominated for other categories. I mean…BFF and I can clean up real nice when we have to as evidenced by these photos.
I was super nervous and kept telling myself it really didn’t matter if I won or not. My c-worker was way more qualified than me. She would for sure win or the other gal that was a finalist who worked with cancer kids. Yeah…this was just a fluke that I even made it this far, so I just needed to calm down and eat my lunch. So much easier said than done. I was a nervous wreck. My stomach felt like there was a million little faeries fluttering around in there and they were taking up so much room, there was no room for food. Plus, I didn’t want to to come spewing back up at the wrong moment. That would be unfortunate. And gross. At least I had BFF with me to distract me. She is good at that. Finally it got to my category and my co-worker and I sat there anxiously as they explained what it took to even become a finalist and again I was floored. 10 people blindly read my application and sent it through? Really? Nah. Must have been one of those days where people were feeling generous towards the lowly peds floor nurse who really had no business filling out the application let alone even getting nominated.
Then the moment arrived and they said a name. Wait. They said MY name. What? I looked to BFF and she said “Oh My God! That is you! Stand up! Go!” I felt like it was so surreal as I stood up, hand covering my mouth, tears in my eyes and told myself “Do not trip up the stairs”. I want to say that I don’t remember much after that except for smiling a lot and pictures being taken. BFF said she really wanted to jump up and scream “Suck It Bitches!” to everyone but thought better of it and just clapped and whooped it up for me. Remember how I said I would be happy just being nominated? I lied. People who say that are liars. I was super stoked I won and there is no feeling like it. Screw that being happy to be nominated stuff. Winning feels AMAZING.
So yes…I am The March of Dimes Arizona Pediatric Nurse of The Year. #winning
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did win the biggest award of my entire career but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who lied when I said I was happy to be nominated Running. The experiment continues…