Something Beautiful

So this happened 😀

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Threading the beads and doing the backstitches took forever. I just can’t believe it’s finally all done!

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I just wanted to show close-ups of the beads and the shimmery blending filament :). IT’S SO PRETTY AND SHINY!!

It’s taken eleven years to finally say the Cinderella’s Castle kit is done. I don’t know if it’s just me being sentimental and giving more meaning to this kit than it should have, but I feel like since I’ve worked on this project for a good chunk of my life, it’s also become symbolic of that part of my life and metaphor that life can be a bumpy journey and that’s okay.

Before I get into the similarities of this kit and my life, here’s my life timeline when I first got the kit.

WARNING: long potential melodramatic story ahead. This may be one of the few times in this blog I get into detail about my life.

Eleven years ago when I got the kit, it felt like I was at a prime point in my teenage years despite dealing with my parents’ divorce and frequent fights. The main reason I got the kit was from the prize money I received from a piano competition (the kit was priceyy!), and I was accepted by the rigorous high school my parents had set their eyes on. I felt like I was mainly studying to fulfill my parents’ path for me and followed what they said because I truly didn’t know what I wanted for myself (and still don’t know now!). Fast forward to my college acceptance, naively I thought my life would continue upwards.

Boy was college a smack to my face. I was not prepared for the studying required for college. My university also had a huge student body and it brought out what I thought was mild shyness to something pretty full blown, and seeing all my classmates who had their lives together made me feel more and more like I couldn’t keep up with them (In hindsight, I shouldn’t have compared myself to others, but I didn’t know better XD). My grades dropped in my gen eds and I switched through many majors in my first two years and dodged a lot of my parents’ questions about my progress. I never straight up told my parents I struggled because I was afraid of their disapproval and them feeling like I wasted their time and money, but I figured they had a sense of what happened.

I began to feel helpless and hopeless, thinking that I’d take forever to graduate and I’d never find a job. College counselors suggested that I find tutors which for some odd reason I thought was looked down upon at the time. I took tests to find out which careers might be suited for me, but that didn’t really lead anywhere. I went from a pre-pharmacy to an accounting and to a history major. Eventually, I declared a psychology major, at this point still not telling my parents.

Classes in psych became much more manageable. I didn’t think much of how well I did because of the stigma of the difficulty of psychology courses compared to other hard sciences. In my junior year, I searched for pysch internships and got research assistant positions in the applied behavior analysis (ABA) department which sparked my interest. Between my psych classes and working as a research assistant, I felt more capable and things started to look up. I can’t remember exactly what prompted me to see a school psychologist (maybe because it was part of the psych department) but after talking things over with the psychologist about how I was overwhelmed by life and my social anxiety, I was able to take steps to talk to my parents about being a psych major now (it was still a difficult talk!), reach out to people, and not feel so anxious and alone anymore.

Sometime in my junior and senior year, I started wanting to go into the occupational therapy route and took classes and started applying to grad programs. Sad to say by the time I graduated from college, I hadn’t received any acceptance letters. The feeling of hopelessness started again.

In my six months after college, after the typical job search and leaving a few temp jobs not fit for me, I worked part-time as an ABA registered behavior technician and part-time as a reader/secretary for a journalist in a senior living community. My parents floated around the idea of me going to nursing school. After I got over the thought of not having many job prospects with my current qualifications, my dad paying my tuition again (making me feel more even more obligated to him), AND having to go through school again, I started nursing classes.

Working while taking nursing classes and clinicals were tough, not gonna lie. Two years went by quickly, and when I got to my exit exam before graduation, I hit another roadblock. The passing score was a 75% for the school to let us sit for the NCLEX, the nursing licensure test, and we had three attempts, and if we failed the last attempt, the school would require us to take remedial classes and pay tuition again. I scored somewhere in the 50s on my first attempt. I waited a few months, studied my ass off with a group this time, and scored in the 60s on my second attempt. Remember that hopeless feeling from my university years? It returned XD.

I was reluctant about taking a NCLEX prep/review class because of its cost. Since this was my last attempt at a shot to take the NCLEX or go through remedial classes, I dropped $900 from my paychecks, not through my father’s money this time (My guess is that I worked even harder to succeed because I paid with my own money). Between attending this review class and going to work, listening to the lectures on repeat, taking practice tests after practice tests, going to study groups, and cutting back on social outings, I felt like I studied nonstop and had no life. When it came time to attempt the exit again, I was sooo nervous, thinking about how I thought I did well during my previous attempts but ended up failing. It’s an understatement to say that I was relieved and shocked when I got a 76. It was barely passing, but a pass nonetheless. I was allowed to sit for the boards!

I was still a nervous wreck because of the NCLEX. My NCLEX prep coach/teacher said I should be ready to take the NCLEX in a few months. She said that I should take more tests because even though I was passing, she wanted to make sure I was scoring high enough to pass the NCLEX. Welp..so I scheduled the NCLEX one month out because there were few testing dates (I don’t remember even telling anyone the exact date when I scheduled it). I had also agreed to go to a friend’s graduation trip a few months out prior to talking to my NCLEX coach. By choosing a later date, I’d risk taking the exam after the trip and when the information was no longer fresh in my mind. I continued my previous study regimen for the most part, in addition to purchasing a month subscription to Uworld, a question bank to help me even more for the NCLEX.

I probably should have been more worried and nervous, and probably did most of my preparation from the exit, but sitting the NCLEX was a less nerve wracking experience. The waiting game was the worst part. I could get into the details of the exam and what made me think I passed or failed afterwards, but that would just make this story go on much longer than it needs to be :D. After checking multiple sources for my score and refreshing sites like crazy, I got the official pass, a few days after I tested and just before my friend’s trip began :D.

I’ve been working as an RN full-time from October of last year up until now and can’t really complain. Things have been going relatively smoothly and looking up. Had a small scare from my dad’s pituitary tumor diagnosis a few months ago, but he’s recovered nicely. Life’s been pretty good as of yet :).

Thanks for reading all of this longwinded and seemingly directionless writing for those of you who did! Didn’t mean to make it this lengthy, but had to write it all out to make it a bit easier to understand. I guess my point was that the setbacks I thought I had, although I thought they were the end of the world then, are like the knots I made intentionally and unintentially in the back of the pattern. I felt bad and wanted to take all the “knots” out. Even though the “pattern” took a long time to complete and it didn’t look perfect in the back, I continued to work on it and it resulted in something beautiful.

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3 thoughts on “Something Beautiful

  1. You sure have been through a lot while stitching this piece and that’s what makes it even more special. It’s so lovely and special to think that the kit has taken shape at the same time as your life. It’s beautiful 😊

    Like

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