Coming of Age Drama Fiction

So… let me just start off by saying that it was never my intention to lie. Never! I pride myself on being one of those people that usually overshares the truth. I like to be as transparent as possible, because I just can’t live with myself if I have something festering on my heart. I call it my “Catholic guilt.” I just couldn’t bare the thought of failure, either. I also have this idea in my head that I have to be perfect, currently working on that one, but I digress. Let me take you back a couple of months, before I landed myself into this anxiety ridden mess. A vortex of chaotic emotions steeping within myself like a forgotten cup of tea. Growing stronger and more potent by the minute.

I was thriving in college, attending classes to attain my certification to become a CNA. This was about a four month program. It was quite rigorous and required 100% attendance and no grades lower than a 79%. Assignments were due once a week online. In our two physical classes, we were frequently tested on our skills to make sure our knowledge was up to par. Finally, we moved to the actual care facilities and began to look after actual patients. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what that is, it’s a certified nursing assistant. It’s very hard, grueling, and sad work. I wasn’t necessarily happy with my classes mainly because I have a very sensitive spirit and watching others in pain or hurting really tugs on my heartstrings, but I knew that I needed to complete the course, pass the boards, and just stay strong for a year before applying for nursing school.

Weeks and weeks before my final exam, I began to prepare because I don’t test very well. Day and night, if I wasn’t in classes or chasing after my toddler, I was studying like my life depended on it. Flash cards, tik tok dances to memorize certain body parts, endlessly watching videos to go over the skills I would need to perform during the boards. It felt like all I did was eat, sleep, and live the contents of my study guides and video tutorials. I was the Rocky Balboa of CNA study prep, fitted with a sweat band and all.

Finally, the day of the final comes. I wasn’t feeling very confident, and my anxiety was through the roof. I knew this information! I had this! I paced around the house hyping myself up until I finally decided it was “go,” time.

There I was, profusely sweating while typing in my school information. Each click of the key one step closer to my life exam. My insides were screaming! Finally, I hit “start exam,” and surprisingly started breezing through the majority of the questions. Feeling pretty confident, I got to the final twenty. Oh no, the dreaded questions I had been hoping to not get. As I steadied my breathing, I did my best through those questions. After finishing, I reviewed my exam for what felt like five million times. Eventually, I shook out the nerves and took the plunge. Immediately, my brain went blank. I was so scared. I couldn’t fail! I didn’t spend all this time studying, all those hours in clinicals and labs just to fall short. I went through the exam. Over and over. I went through this exam with such a fine tooth comb that I’m pretty sure that was my down fall.

78%. I needed a 79% to pass the course. It felt like ice water coursing through my body. I couldn’t move or speak. All of a sudden I had to teach my body how to breath. One breath in, one out. I didn’t know what to do or how to process what just happened. I failed. I worked so hard, but I had failed. For an entire month I beat myself up mentally. I felt like the words biggest failure. I’m talking Oscar the Grinch type of down in the dumps. I cried, I was in denial, I was just completely and utterly disappointed in myself.

“What could I have done differently?”

“Why didn’t I study harder?”

“What am I going to do now?”

Eventually, my health made it physically impossible to complete the activities required of a CNA. However, for quite some time, I just used the white lie that I couldn’t watch these people scream

and cry for their family members, and then die slow and lonely deaths. I witnessed so many people calling out for their deceased spouses, or children that no longer came to visit. I had patients that threw themselves out of bed because they weren’t receiving the care that they needed, and mainly all they wanted was attention and affection. Although, I truly don’t consider that a lie. It really did crush my soul watching these beautiful elderly people being stripped of all their freedoms, only to be left in a room all day. During my time there, I did my best to try and connect with my patients. I would look around their rooms and find little things that would connect me to who they used to be.

In turn, I do believe everything works out the way it should. I learned that I couldn’t personally give myself in that way in the health care profession. What began as a white lie, then became turned into a journey to taking charge of my own health and figuring out what’s wrong with me. That is my eventful story of a white lie I’ve told, although like most stories, it came full circle.

”Little white lies are apart of everyday life. If you’re in court being charged with a felony, you’re probably going to be tempted to lie. Or your girlfriend asks you if her sweater she is wearing makes her look fat; you’re going to lie because to love that person. There are different reasons and justifications to lie; it’s human nature.” - Monica Raymund

August 13, 2021 20:24

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Eliyas Shiek
07:19 Aug 21, 2021

Totally relatable, Driana 😅. White lies and their uncertain consequences. I think you've been stalking me. Nice work 👍👍👍👍


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Rodrigo Juatco
06:24 Aug 21, 2021

Having gone to university, I felt your pain pertaining to exam anxiety. "I had to teach my body how to breath." Brought back memories. Very interesting piece.


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