When I was a little boy and day dreamt of what I wanted to be when I grew up I would always stumble through a list of professions I wanted to do, but what was repetitive in my head was that I wanted to help people. I wanted to be a lawyer or a magistrate as injustice was/is a pet peeve and was something dear to my heart. I actually really wanted to be my favourited performer on my favourite Tv show at the time.
When I was 6 years old, I desperately wanted to be Danielle Minogue or marry her, I felt singing and looking amazing would help people too.Dannii was the most popular girl on Australia TV! Young Talent Time was my favourite show and Dannielle was my favourite gal. I always knew Dannielle would grow up to have an incredible life and career.
Infact I had an amazing career on stage in my town and before my voice broke, I was poached rather ferociously by the Anglican Church to join their choir- I preferred their choir robes to my Catholic (tight arse) choice of no robes.
I swear to god the day I was born a midwife spat into my new born mouth.I think there was something planted in me that would one day bloom into a big ol Nurse who wanted to storm troop through the wards cure everyone and make that “clicky noise” when I shook a thermometer just like my aunty used to do… No matter how hard i shook that mongrel thing I couldn’t get it to CLICK!!!.. little did I know she had arthritic wrists and the thermometer was innocent.
I was a devout “A Country Practice” and “The Flying Doctors” fan and in particular LOVED Georgie Parker’s character “Lucy” . Lucy was super nurse to me and I wanted to affect people’s lives like she did and the best patient advocate like she was.
After my parents passed away in 1990 & 1991, I was talking to my Aunty one day about my life dreams and I recall telling her I wasn’t too clear on what I would become. As if my mother was channeling and spoke through Aunty Robyn she almost robotically answered .. “Craig, you will be a Nurse”. I was left feeling a little dazed, I had many relatives in the Nursing profession and as a kid I helped out with my father before he passed away- but never really entertained the idea of being a saintly, inspiring, clicky wristed Nurse!. I never felt I would be worthy of such status. I felt my Dannii dreams fading, good thing as I was fast approaching 5ft10, then sky rocketed to 6ft2 and looking like a rugby player, albeit a retired one.
I was 18 years old, I was recovering from a serious bout of Glandular Fever- my throat almost seized up and I almost choked to death one night. I had gone to the country to stay with friends for two weeks and it ended up being a year. I was annoyed that after my trial HSC exams I was still not cleared to resume the hectic timetable for the big final exams. I had loved living in the country again and wanted to stay.
I had signed up for a course in aged care and an incentive was that I was to be paid whilst I trained on the job. I had found a place to live, I was studying like crazy and I was best mates with the Director of Nursing daughter, who was also my age she had a raging crush on me. I broke her heart after a drunken night out after a yet another gruelling evening shift. Georgie begged me to come out drink until 4 am and boy did i come out!!! I bought the night to an abrupt end , I had confessed I was gay. I was expecting her to have already guessed, I had guessed wrong! she cried for 2 hours non stop! and oh by the way and we were due back at work at 6am.
By the time 7am rolled around we were giggling and carrying on like drunken pork chops, the DON/Mum standing at the end of the corridor screaming “I can smell you BOTH from here”.
I worked such hours and heavy manual lifting and industrial strength nappy changes.I was in heaven when I was writing my reports and listening to the golden oldies stories but I was a young kid and my peers knew I wasnt destined to stay there for all my career. I applied for a job at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and I put every effort and prayer into my application. The process was long and I waited.. and waited.
After an exam and a couple of interviews I was whittled down from over 4,000 applications from around the southern hemisphere to the last 80. I suited up for my final interview and I was carrying a leather man bag, slicked my hair( yes was even grown to my shoulders) , spritzed with Joop (yes it was THAT long ago) and pressed my dimples in a little deeper, smiled and charmed those old boiler panelists so much they thought I was sent from heaven.
I remember the day I got the letter stating I had been accepted, I immediately though of my parents and wished they had lived to see this moment as I felt the tears rumble to the surface, I put my smooth chin ( no beard till I was 27yrs old) up and BEAMED. I was to present to the Nurses Quarters at RPAH in a months time. My housemate had been accepted to go to the UK and work and we parted on our big journeys. Minogue music would go on to take me away from the reality of my nursing career.
I wanted to save the world and make a difference. I still do - most days.