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My Career Search Part Two

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Lela has had many wonderful adventures in her life. This is my story...

The Parting of Friends

My best childhood friend and I wanted to be nurses.

My best childhood friend and I wanted to be nurses.

At the Age of Eight to Twelve

After the "Stumpy Incident", I continued my friendship with Nancy W., the daughter of Mrs. W., whose house had burned down.1

Nancy and I went to the same school together, we often spent sleepovers together, and we did what normal school age friends did.

Mrs. W. was a nurse of long-standing, and the perfect person for us to run to when we had scrapes and boo-boos. I remember Nancy and I being quarantined at some point because we had some strain of measles. The worst strain to get was "German Measles", but I don't remember much of that.

Mrs. W took all of us in the hood and nursed us through the quarantine. Nancy and I swore a pact to become nurses and be best friends forever. At some point, I had to wonder why couldn't we be doctors? The prejudice towards women was still a "thing". This was the beginning of the 1960 "hippie" movement, of which I would join in at a later time.

Unfortunately, tragic events in my family were about to happen. My mother and father got a divorce! This was the time of Leave it to Beaver, and the decade of the 1960s,years of free love, protests over civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, and Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon2.

These years were so very hard on a precocious child like myself. I had learned to read at the age of five! I was well aware of what was going on in the world. Predictions touting the "end of the world" were an everyday thing. We practiced nuclear war defenses, such as hiding under your school desk should there be an attack

I was bombarded with information about the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the assignation of President John F. Kennedy, and going through puberty. Add to that the constant moving from place to place because my mother decided we should move around Texas, to find a "good place to live".

I Missed My Dad So Much!

I still miss him to this day!

I still miss him to this day!

Perhaps I Would Have Become a Photo Engraver Like My Father

My father's career was quite varied, but at the one time I visited his workplace at the Houston Post newspaper, It kind of unnerved me. My father and mother were separated, and she always talked so badly about my father, but I was daddy's girl, and I never believed a word she said.

Photoengraving is now a lost art in this digital age, so forget that as a career choice.

What my father really taught me:

  • to love all humans
  • to read (at the age of five)
  • to appreciate knowledge of all kinds
  • how to catch a bird by putting salt on its tail (he really had a sense of humor!)

I cannot adequately describe how my parent's divorce affected me and my younger brother. I cried a lot. Likewise, I felt lost and afraid. Going to school was a nightmare. Bullies always wanted to intimidate me. My mother was rarely around when I needed a parent.

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Since I had learned to read at such a young age, I was definitely smarter in school than most of the other kids. They referred to me as a "bookworm".

Things at school got so bad, that I had to change schools. I was moved to my older sister's house, who was 8 years older than me, and married with 2 kids. She used me like a housemaid, but I did learn how to keep a house clean, and how to pay bills. She also taught me how to sew.

Unfortunately, my sister's husband molested me, and she believed it was all my fault. My brother-in-law was never punished for literally raping me (I was 12 years old). This made me want to be a police officer all over again.

Lost and Alone

I made the wrong turn, and ran away from it all. I travelled, on my own, hitchhiking through Mexico and the Southern United States. Not only that, but I took up with whoever would buy me a meal, and give me a place to sleep.

Mexico was good to me. They treated my like a loved and adopted child. I learned to speak Spanish, and this skill has been helpful to this day.

However, when I returned to “El Norte”, as I now thought of my home country, all the people I met seemed to be childish, “free love”, drug addicts. Freedom was a bit cool for a while, but I never wanted to live in a hippie commune.

I thought it was time to settle down and grow up. Unfortunately, the first man I liked enough to marry, was definitely not right for me. He had money and supported me and our one child, but he mostly just thought of me as a home-maker and mother to his favorite child, a boy. He actually had three daughters by another marriage which he also treated like second class people. Furthermore, he frequently liked to boast that he liked his women “barefoot and pregnant”.

I had enough of all this at the age of 20, and finally divorced him. I went on to seriously search for what I wanted to be when I finally grew up!

Married and Pregnant at the Age of 14 to 21


Nursing Careers I Considered

There are many levels of nursing careers3.

  • Registered Nurses, (RN)
  • Nursing Assistants and Orderlies
  • Nursing Instructors
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse Midwives
  • License Vocational Nurses (LVN)
  • License Practical Nurses (LPN)

If you are leaning toward the nursing profession, I advise you to research the government's qualifications and salary expectations, before you make a commitment.

And while I have a great respect for the nursing profession, I outgrew the notion of a "service" type job for me. Aside from that, nurses are overworked and underpaid. They take abuse from doctors, patients, other medical workers, and suffer through long hours under high stress conditions. The only good thing about nursing is that salaries have been going up and up for nurses, but they will never be paid enough.


  1. What Did I Want to be When I Grew Up (Part 1)
  2. 1960s - Wikipedia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. As of May 2021 - Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

© 2022 Lela

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