(mention of sexual assault and mental illness in post) (...my tale of triumph is not to be mainpaged)

So, I'm pretty sure the last time I posted, I was coming up on month four of sitting in my parents' house, applying for jobs with no end in sight and just completed a telephone interview that went way worse than I ever could have expected. A lot has changed, folks, and I want to share my happiness with you because I know there are many GTers who are dealing with a ton of bullshit and perhaps my story will give you a bit of hope.

So to give some background, the first time I started university, I was a 17 year old straight out of high school, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and idealistic. I had been intellectually precocious throughout much of my childhood and teen years (... which led to me being bored and causing some trouble in school, sorry teachers!) and was excited to finally be challenged. I thrived in my new environment, was involved in student life and was excelling in my studies. Then I was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance over winter break *record scratch*. This threw me into a tail spin. I stopped going to class, stopped doing my assignments, and didn't bother showing up to my final exams. Nobody noticed, or if they did, nobody said anything. I didn't tell anyone about the assault for 4 years.

Obviously, I failed everything and couldn't return to school the following year, but I decided that I couldn't just hang around this city either. So exactly a year after the trauma, I picked up and traveled across the country for 8 months, had a life changing journey, rediscovered my belief in myself as a strong, capable human being and realized that I wanted to pursue a career in nursing. So I hauled my ass back home, upgraded my high school science credits aaaaaaand realized I had 5 big fat Fs on my university transcript. I went to the academic counselor at the university and she told me that I would never get into any other school. I cried for a bit... ok, for a few days. Then I said "Fuck you! I'm going to appeal the shit out of those Fs!", and armed with a letter from my doctor about my depression from the Year of the Fs, I appealed the shit out of my transcript and won. If there is such thing as a clean slate, this is as close to one as it gets.

I got into all of the schools I applied for. To this day, I still don't remember why I chose the school I did. Without getting into any detail because I could write a novel about it (so you'll just have to take my word for it), the 3.5 years I spent at that school were soul sucking and hellish. By the end of third year, I was burned out, depressed, and in burn-it-all-down mode, making stupid life decisions. During my summer escape to the west coast I somehow managed to get some clarity (...through all of the partying) and realized I had to get the fuck out of that place if I wanted to start out as a nurse that actually gave a shit, let alone end up as one down the line. So, I transferred to a small college closer to my parents' place, and it was the best decision I could have made.

So that brings me to the last few months. I finished school in December and have been alternately applying for jobs and studying for my registration exam (which is a three strikes, you're out deal). I stopped counting at 50 job applications and had begun to apply to non-nursing jobs as well with no luck, all the while not even knowing if I had passed the exam. I went to interview after interview, was offered a job, then the manager fell off the face of the planet, went to more interviews.

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Well, a couple of weeks ago I found out that I passed the exam (!) and I got two job offers on the same day not long after (deciding between the two was actually incredibly stressful, but I am happy with the choice I made). I start in what is basically my dream position at the end of the month and get to get a move on with my life. I know that there are going to be more struggles and hardships down the line and that my job is probably going to make me come home crying some days, but dammit, I am ready for this next chapter.

I also found out that one of my dear friends who I lived with while traveling is looking for a roommate right when I'm looking to move out of my (lovely... but ya know) parents' place. Aaaaand, I've sort of started seeing a guy. It's too soon to tell what will become of that, but I am enjoying it so far.

So, hold on if life is being an asshole. Also, punch life in the face if it's being an asshole. I am VanwithaG, and this is my tale of triumph.