Learning to Fail.

Today I arose from a deep slumber (perks of being sick) to the frantic texts of someone I care about, let alone to seeing them cry when I FaceTimed them.

It turns out they got a C+ on their one exam, when on their others they received a B and B+ respectively. While a C+ isn’t the greatest mark, it’s not the worst mark either. Upon trying to come up with a way to console them I decided the best way to go about it was to be honest and realistic. I’m not going to coddle someone and tell them life is all peaches and roses or even that life is always going to go how you expect it to, because in truth life has many unexpected bumps and blips and you can’t control that.

Marks don’t define who you are. Some of the most successful people in this world did not go to school or even if they did they did not complete their education, take for example Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. Steve Jobs, Elton John and even  Thomas Jefferson. These are all notable people who made significant contributions to our society who performed somewhat poorly in school but used their intelligence, passions, and tenacious ambitions to crush it in the real world and will leave a lasting legacy.

In the real world, your grades don’t matter, as a nursing student I know this. You also can’t change what has happened in the past, especially when it comes to exams, papers, assignments, or even presentations. What you can change is your mind set and how you look at failure. School can be quite hard and takes a lot of time and effort. However, that doesn’t mean that an individual isn’t ambitious and full of talent. We all choose to apply ourselves differently and to different things and in an ideal world that is how we would be measured. Not by the letters on a piece of paper from our time in school. In university, it’s all about grades. In the real world, it’s about experience, balls and drive. Because once you get past the first job, no one is ever going to ask you about your final GPA or how you did on that exam you bombed back in third year.

As a lawyer you are not going to win 100% of your cases, as a doctor you are not going to save every single one of your patients, and as a nurse you are going to miss signs and symptoms that could have potentially saved a patient from dying. But you know what? We are all human at the end of the day, mistakes happen, failure happens, and uncontrollable events arise. What we can work on is reflection, a concept i’m so glad has been emphasized early on in nursing school. We need to reflect on our experience, on our failures, and understanding what we did wrong or why something did not go to plan. It makes me angry to think that society has put such a negative stigma on things like bad grades or even failure in general. We shouldn’t be afraid to fail because success is really the ability to pick yourself back up from setbacks and how to we learn to improve things.

We can cry about menial things like not doing as well as you had hoped on an exam or a paper, but it doesn’t change anything. One exam is not going to decide your whole fate. As I pointed out earlier, marks DO NOT define you or what you know. They are often used as a gauge to see where you lie in comparison to your peers, but it doesn’t factor in some people can be better test takers or can simply read a textbook and not understand concepts deeply.We know now that there are is a variety of intelligences and grades only measure a select few, and do so poorly. A exam or paper does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence, nor does it measure their leadership ability, it does not necessarily measure their ability to think outside of the box and solve problems. It does nothing to evaluate a person’s ability to predict the needs of society, patients, or consumers. It does nothing to illuminate the ability of an individual to work with others and find middle ground in standoffs or conflicts. All of these things are vitally important to an individual’s success in the real world and in life in general and ironically almost none of them are measured by grades.

I’ve experienced failure many times, my first paper in my Master’s was 100% of my mark, I received a 48%. Was I crushed? Hell yeah, I was devastated, but the more I cried over it the stupider I realized it made me look. What I needed to do was understand why I got the mark I received, understand where I went wrong, and learn for future reference what I needed to improve upon. Turns out, I didn’t actually fail in the end upon talking with my supervisors about it and reviewing my paper to understand where and what I did wrong, but it gave me the grounding and fuel I needed to be successful on future papers in which I got a number of Merits and Distinctions. But what I took out of this situation was that a) in the moment I couldn’t change anything I could only change things going forward b) my mark did not define who I was as a person or speak against my intelligence (I was already in one of the top schools in the world) and c) failure is a part of life and in order to be successful you can’t take it personally and d) if you’re afraid to fail you are never going to grow as a person. I can honestly say i’ve learned more from my failures than I have from my successes and i’m so grateful i’ve had the opportunity to fall on my face because that allowed me to pick myself back up, learn, and move forward and into an even better spot.

What we can change and have control over is how we push forward and use our failure to better ourselves and learn! Life is all about learning and improving, there’s no point in sitting and crying over spilt milk. Use your failures and stumbles to become better, faster, and stronger and use it as fuel to reach what it is you want. What matters most is the ability to pursue your goals and dreams and having a sense of purpose. Learn from your mistakes as the cliche goes.


Nurse in Progress.

For someone that came out of one of the toughest years of her life, I must say I am pretty proud of myself for pushing through. The struggle of feeling left down, unconfident in my abilities, and personal struggle led me to believe I wasn’t worthy of good things. That because of all my struggle I would be a failure and wouldn’t even make it through the first semester of nursing school. But I did it and I did damn fine. The nights I spent crying and very much struggling to stay focused and motivated paid off. I mean anatomy and physiology is a completely different story (ask anyone I swear!), I must say I have a renewed energy this year and I want the best for myself and my future.

Talking with one of my roommates this morning, I realize I need to set some resolutions for 2017. I’m tired of putting myself last. This year I vow to put myself first and I vow to become the best person I can possibly be. I want to do something for myself, so academically I want to maintain a 3.7 GPA or higher. Personally, I want to make decisions for myself and not be worried about what other people think using my own morals, values, feelings, and experiences. For fun, I want to learn French. It’s been three days of self-teaching myself, but I must say I am having a blast picking it up and hopefully my goal in the long-run is to become working proficient in allowing me to expand my horizons in either travel or even one day branching out into governance and policy making. Health wise, I want to eat more at home and luckily with the help of my other roommate pick up a healthy habit, which we’ve decided will be weekly yoga sessions.

Nursing school is hard. There is so much expectation and work placed on you, for someone that did degrees in health science and a master’s in ethics, nursing is a whole new level. It’s everything combined, ethics, science, arts, and skills building. But i’m taking it one day at a time, it’s all you can do really. I’m excited to be one step closer to writing the NCLEX-RN examination in 3.5 years and excited to become Megan Simpson, RN, BHSc, BScN, MA. As many tears I may cry, as much bile, excrement, sweat, or any other bodily fluid I may find myself covered in, and as much doubt that I may inevitably find myself having at points in time, I know one thing is certain- I am going to make a positive impact on the world around me. Because no matter how hard my day is, i’m never going to forget the reason why I want to become a nurse.

When times get tough, the tough get going. While I still have my struggles and anxieties, I will conquer nursing school and I will kick ass. Time and time again I put myself in a position to believe I wasn’t capable or that I was on the wrong path, and you know what? I am on the right path.

So here’s to being 1/8th a registered nurse.


Learning to Love What You Do.

It’s only the beginning of working towards my career as a nurse. Oftentimes, I question whether i’m good enough to take on such a large responsibility. Whether I have the capacity to love and care endlessly for all the patients that will come into and out of my life. But then I think about the adrenaline rush I get from reading about treating illness, the mysteries behind disease, meeting new people with interesting stories, and the feel of wearing a uniform that’s well respected.

The first term of nursing school has been hard for many reasons. Going through a break up, working through change and loss, balancing all my commitments, battling depression again, and trying to figure out school again has been difficult. It’s been hard to stay focused and motivated. Fighting my depression again has been difficult. There’s just so much going on and I can’t sleep, eat, or even think straight. I spend my days a waking zombie just trying to make it to the end of the day when I can fall back into my bed and think maybe tomorrow will be better. It’s like groundhog day. There have been many nights where I question ‘why am I even here?’, I didn’t ask to be here, I didn’t ask to take on all these responsibilities and have to grow up, and I didn’t ask to battle depression for 10 years. I’m tired of it all. I’m so tired of thinking and trying to pretending to be happy. I know I have so much to be grateful for in my life, but sometimes (I know it’s selfish), it doesn’t feel like enough to make me want to continue on this path. There have been nights where I read stories of innocent and helpless people dying and I question, why not me? That I don’t want to continue to grow up anymore and it’d be so much easier just to not have to anymore. I would be free at last. But then there is a part of me that is scared of the after life, of where does our soul go when we die. Would I be punished and stuck permanently being unhappy and in limbo leaving on my own time rather than in divine time?

I try to remain positive and push through but it’s been incredibly overwhelming at times. Somedays are terrible, somedays are okay, and once in a while I have a day where I am so grateful for being here. Lately, I have questioned whether i’m to weak to push through all of this, the immense pressure I feel to get maintain a 3.7 GPA, balance work and volunteering, trying to keep up with classes and falling behind, balancing a social life, all while trying to learn to adult at the same time. To try to build the “perfect” life it seems everyone around me strives to achieve. I question if I can’t even handle these simple stressors, how can I handle a job that will oftentimes be stressful, frustrating, exhausting, and overwhelming. What if I get to the end of all of this and it turns out it isn’t even something I want anymore? What if I realize i’m not good enough to take on this job or that it’s not what I thought it would be like? I get scared thinking maybe the job I think I want is all an idea in my head. I try to think back to what made me want to get here. I was the kid growing up taking all the pamphlets from the pharmacy trying to understand “how to treat asthma”, “diabetes prevention”, and “what to do when you have severe migraines”. The kid that would go to the library every weekend and take out all the books on health because it made me excited to learn about the human body. The teen that left her program in her first term because I so badly wanted to be in a health program in hopes it would get me into nursing or even medical school when I was done. But that person that every time I passed a hospital my heart would light up because I knew it’s where I wanted to be one day. I try to focus on this and remember I am where I am because I chose to be here.

I know I should be proud of how far i’ve come and how hard i’ve worked to get here. I know there are so many others who would kill to be in my place in getting into a strong nursing school. That even getting into nursing school is a feat in itself. I recently found out over 1000 people applied to be where I am right now, and only 140 of us were selected because it was felt we possessed the skills, intelligence, and maturity to take on this challenge. I know I should be thankful, and I know over the past year the universe has given me many signs of what is to expect when I ask for signs, but I sometimes find it hard to trust my own intuition even though it’s never led me astray. I chose this path for a reason, because I want to be passionate about what I do and to pursue a dream i’ve longed to achieve since high school but never had the courage to do so. Largely because I thought I wasn’t good enough or smart enough to compete with the best and so I thought giving up my goal would help me find my happiness, instead it just made me more unhappy to know I was moving towards something I wasn’t passionate about, the typical 9-5  desk job.

Slowly, i’m finding my footing again. It’s been fun actually learning hands on knowledge. It makes me excited for next term when we actually get to begin learning and practicing nursing skills. What keeps me going is trying to make it to second year, to find the strength to finally get out into placement. I want to make a difference in the life of another person.  I’ve been reminding myself that I knew that nursing school would be full of blood (hopefully my own), sweat, tears and failure, but that when I finish this tough program I would be so proud of my self for succeeding and pushing through. That after many years of hard work, I was always known to persevere in whatever I do just to know I stuck it to the man and proved people wrong.




Winning is Habit

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. “

“You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them
right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and
that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay,
and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl
game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has
been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win,
and to win.
Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the
ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of
him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to
be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got
to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky
enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going
to come off the field second.
Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of
organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are
the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds
hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.
It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive
games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete.
To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to
win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.
And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run,
deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There
is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh
reality of head to head combat.
I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or
that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe
in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the
greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has
worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of
battle – victorious.” -Vince Lombardi

Youtube Excerpt: Winning is a Habit


Finding Yourself.

There are holes inside each of us that long to be filled. Needs that we desire to have met. For by filling the void, we don’t have to feel the emptiness that resides there after losing someone you loved.

The hole can represent the need to seek approval, the yearn for someones affection, one that needs the sense of security knowing someone is there or one that longs for a form of validation that make us feel like we are enough.

There’s time in our life where we all search desperately for ways in which we can “fill the void”—an aching, often empty, bottomless pit that encompasses your entire soul, that nagging feeling of needing something that if you don’t find and keep leaves you feeling like you’re incomplete.

Many of us tend to fill the voids that grapples our soul with unhealthy things. We latch on to the affection and attention of other people,  get involved in the wrong kind of relationships thinking you’ll find what you need, take drugs and drink too much, have casual sex, overeat on unhealthy foods, or spend stupid amounts of money believing that if we find the right stuff to fill ourselves with, the empty feeling inside of you will fade away.

But the truth is, none of these things work in the long run.

Oftentimes, we try to fill it with love from another person. Because deep down we don’t love ourselves the way we should. They go from one relationship to the next, with no time in between to be alone with themselves, to understand their self and learn to become resilient and strong on their own. All this in a effort to keep the emptiness inside of them filled so they don’t have to deal with the unresolved issues or the lack of self-love inside of themselves. I now understand why people cheat. The person they are in a relationship can’t fill the void, so they seek to have it filled elsewhere.

This is why so many men and women go from marriages into affairs, then right into a relationship with the affair person. Their spouse can’t fill the hole, so they look to someone else to fill it. That person fills it for awhile and makes them believe it’s not them; it was the person they were with. Until that relationship starts to show its own wear and tear—and ultimately falls apart.

And once again, they are left alone with themselves.

And the gaping hole that fills their soul.

And so the patten of trying to fill the void repeats.

The cold and hard realization: There is absolutely nobody who can fill that void inside of me but me.


It was excruciatingly painful learning to be apart from someone I loved and still love so much. And it has left me with a hole in my heart that was so big that sometimes I questions whether it can ever be filled.

For the first time in my life, instead of denying the pain or trying to stuff it down with unhealthy foods, I’ve decided to walk straight into it. I don’t want to run out and try to find someone else to replace someone who used to be there. I’ve just let the pain in, and it’s been hard let me tell you.

That if I can learn to get through this without latching  onto someone else to fill the loneliness and emptiness that fills all of me or use some other man to validate my desirability, I will learn to truly love and appreciate myself for who I am. To know I can learn to stand on my own, rather than rely on someone else to temporarily ease the pain. I want to feel whole and complete and perfect just being with me again. And the only way I will ever get there is to do it alone.


I’m still struggling on how to fill the void that now fills where my heart used to be, but i’m learning to embrace myself.


Letting Go.

“You get what you give. I think you can’t expect someone to treat you a certain way. Whatever it is, if you’re getting a lot of negative energy or anger, you have to say, ‘Why am I getting this? Am I doing something to create it?’ And if the answer is honestly no, then get out of that situation.” – Ellen Degeneres