Looking Down From 30,000 Feet

Looking Down from 30,000 Feet

I recently took a weekend trip to Atlanta, Georgia. A friend and I were chosen to attend a leadership conference for our sorority in which we were able to strengthen our positive leadership skills both within and outside of our chapter. It was during the flight to the beautiful city of Atlanta that I suddenly went into ultra-feely, reflective mode and realized a few things.

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I haven't been on too many trips in my lifetime. A few here and there across the US, and usually I don't feel as fortunate as some who get to travel all over very often. However, during this time, I felt so lucky. How fortunate I am to be a part of an organization that flew me across the nation, not only for the betterment of my chapter, but also for the betterment of myself. It was during this flight that I felt so much peace with what life has offered me. The places I've been, the people I've met, the highs and the lows I've been through, those who I have loved and currently do love… it truly doesn't take much to make us happy deep down. All the "stuff" I place happiness in suddenly didn't matter to me. All that seemed to matter were those things I just mentioned. Life isn't about the things. It's about the people we love, the places we go, and the memories we make. Once we are able to take time to reflect on what, I feel it's much easier to appreciate these simple happenings that, in the moment, may not seem like much but truly make up the best parts of our lives.

I think there's a lot we can all reflect on while 30,000 feet in the air. All I had were a few downloaded Spotify playlists and a small window to the left of me. No phone service. No internet. No social media. There was something so peaceful about being so far removed from it all for just a little bit. During this time, so many memories from the best parts of my life flooded through my head.

"Sometimes it takes the sky to see what's on the ground."

There's a song by Ben Rector that has always been one of my favorites. It's one of those songs that whenever I find myself on a plane, it's too fitting not to listen to at least 10 times. 30,000 Feet, the title of this song, talks so simply about how much life has given each of us. No matter how recently you have reflected on that, try it for a moment. Maybe even pull a "me" and listen to this song once or twice or seven times through.

Simply put, life is so good to all of us, and sometimes it takes a bind of hindsight to remember that. I know there are times in my life where I feel like nothing ever slows down, I'm constantly spinning my wheels and trying to "get it all done." It's so easy to get caught up in the small things that essentially aren't going to matter soon enough. There are hugely important things in our lives that deserve more of our focus.

"I've been better, I've been worse, I have loved pretty girl. I've seen a couple places that I'd never thought I'd see. I've walked into harder times, I've walked out the other side. It seems like you end up getting what you need. Looking down from 30,000 feet, life's been good to me."

After hearing these words again and again, I think they can be too true for all of us. We've all been through it, the best and the worst. We've all had a love that failed or a love we want back. We've all been places that we'd never thought we'd go and run into people we'd never thought we be blessed enough to meet. We've all been through terrible times and come forth shining. In the end, we end up with exactly what we need, what's most important. Life is really good to all of us in a lot of ways, but it's up to us to reflect on those and be thankful for them.

Take a trip somewhere soon. The plane ride is worth it. Sometimes it takes the sky to see what's on the ground.

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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