The dream to wear the green uniform had been with me since I was a child. I talked about it passionately to anyone who wanted to hear it. I remember my mom was admitted to the hospital when I was young. I visited her every day after school just to watch the nurses do their work. One afternoon after school, I went to the hospital and they told me my mom had been discharged. I was angry. “Why did you discharge her? Who’ll I visit when I come here?” In my mind, it was a good thing for my mom to be at the hospital only because it allowed me to see the green army doing their work.
As the sunflower likes to face the sun, I grew up facing the sunny side of my childhood dreams. Right after SHS, I wanted to enter nursing school but my grade was bad and I needed to better the essential courses to be able to gain admission. While waiting to write the exams, I took a job as a receptionist for an office closer to my house. I needed the money and also needed to keep busy. It was in that office that I met Alexander. He was a client who came there often. We established some sort of friendship that grew like wildfire.
We talked on the phone needlessly for long hours. He wanted to visit my home and I said no. He wanted me to visit his place and I pushed against it. He was stubbornly taking over my space and wanted to know everything about me. One day I said yes to his proposal and the two of us started dating. Alex is the kind of guy who wants to be with you every day. His love didn’t leave spaces. If he had the power, I believe he wouldn’t leave any space for the air to pass between us. He was that clingy and that’s exactly how I love my men and I was happy to have him. A man who was determined to love me just the way I wanted to be loved.
At some point, I told him about my dream of becoming a nurse in the future. I told him why I was working where I was working: “Just to while away time while waiting for the opportunity to jump into my dream job.” He was OK with it and even said, “Every woman wants to be a nurse these days. I want to see what’s there that everyone wants to go there.” I told him mine wasn’t just a desire to be there to add to the numbers. I wanted to be there and be counted as someone who made a change. It’s a huge thing for me because all my life I’ve dreamt to be a nurse.
A year after being together with him, I got an admission to go to school. He was happy for me. He contributed money and also contributed other resources to help me go to school. I love that about Alex. He knows how to love a woman and knows how to work to keep his woman. He was there and happy for me until my second year in school. I don’t know what changed. I don’t know who told him what and I don’t know what he saw. He just woke up one day and told me to change direction.
He started by saying, “Must you become a nurse after nursing school? Can’t you do anything different with the education you receive from the school?” My answer was, “I don’t want to know what other options are available for me after school because all I want to be is a nurse.” He said, “I don’t like it. Please change it.” I asked why and no explanation was given. It was all about his dislike for the job and nothing else.
We had the conversation only once and nothing happened so I thought he had changed his mind about it until recently he came up with the same argument again. This time he wants answers. He wants me to promise him that I will do a “normal job” after school and not practice the nursing I went to school to learn.
“Alex, seriously I can’t promise you that. This is all I’ve ever wanted and you knew about it right from the start so why do you want me to change it now? That’s not fair and you know it. What’s wrong with being a nurse that you want me to change? You haven’t given me a reason. Why do you want me to?”
“It’s a dirty job and I don’t want my wife to do that. You go and dress sores and put pampers on adults and come and cook food for me with the same hands? What kills me most is the night shift. Who will lie next to me on the night When you’re out there working? When we have kids, who’ll take care of them while you are out there in the night dressing sores and cleaning vomits? I want us to go to work together in the morning and come back home in the evening together as normal people do. Am I asking for too much?”
Yes, he was asking for too much. It felt like he was asking for more than I could give. His reasons were petty and to me, they weren’t things we couldn’t work around. I told him, “You’re getting the wrong impressions. Time will tell if all these things will happen. Let me finish school first so we decide on what to do.”
I thought I was going to buy myself some time to figure out what next to do but the problem now is, he has stopped supporting my dreams. He doesn’t want to hear anything about my school or anything concerning my future life. He used to visit. Now he has stopped coming. He used to call often in the evening and I’ll give him all the gist about the happenings in school and my friends. Now his calls are far and few. All the things that graced our relationship from the start have been pushed inside the bunker. I’m losing him and it’s getting me frightened. How can my future profession bring such friction between me and the man I love?
I don’t want to lose him but I don’t want to lose my dream too. I know we can reach a consensus if only he’ll listen and give me the benefit of the doubt. Without him, everything seems to be going wrong, especially now that his support isn’t coming. What should I tell him to get him on my side again? How do you convince a man who has already taken an entrenched position? How do you get him to sway? How do I meet him in the middle when he doesn’t want to move from where he’s standing?