‘Stop allowing people’s opinions steer the direction in your life.’: Young woman’s inspiring journey to living life unapologetically 

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Just like for many people, 2020 was a time that changed Lauren McGee’s life. As a travel nurse, she was up close to the death and destruction of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her work forced her to reckon with her own life and mortality in ways she had never considered before.

6 travel nurses pose together in a hospital
Courtesy of Lauren McGee

“In July of 2020 I was deployed to South Texas as a COVID nurse. I was zipping body bags 7 days a week, just miles from the border of Mexico. I was running on adrenaline, working in complete chaos and disaster.” Lauren tells Love What Matters. “I wanted to travel the world and I knew I couldn’t go to my grave without exploring that side of myself.”

Travel nurse poses in front of the logo for a new hospital assignment
Courtesy of Lauren McGee

The experience made Lauren realize that she was stuck in a life that wasn’t making her fulfilled. She made the tough decision to completely change her life and follow her dreams. She broke off her engagement, packed everything she had into some suitcases, and set off on the road to travel the country.

“I was in denial about wanting to end the relationship. I kept going back and forth in my head about the wedding,” Lauren says. “The thought of leaving my fiancé and breaking his heart made me incredibly sad; but the thought of leaving big dreams unfulfilled felt equally devastating.”

Her experiences have shown Lauren how important it is to seek out change when necessary. It’s not always easy, but by following her passions, she has learned to enjoy life much more than she was able to before.

After changing her life, a nurse poses on a boat
Courtesy of Lauren McGee

“I’ve learned to trust myself and stop allowing other peoples’ opinions to steer the direction of my life,” she tells Love What Matters. “I don’t want to settle down or commit to a relationship just yet because I’m so much happier traveling from place to place and living on my own terms.”

Feeling ‘stuck’ in life is not uncommon, and Lauren hopes that other people will be able to take the leap that she did. In her old life, she had stability and predictability. But that also came with boredom. Now, she never knows where she’s heading next, and she loves every minute.

A travel nurse stands outside in a city
Courtesy of Lauren McGee

“Feeling stuck is part of the human experience. I felt stuck in my relationship because I was avoiding the discomfort I needed to confront in order to bring about change in my life,” Lauren says. “I feared that people would judge me for leaving my fiancé. I feared that my family would be upset with me. Sometimes, getting unstuck involves being uncomfortable and embracing uncertainty.”

A nurse poses in front of a large beach
Courtesy of Lauren McGee

Lauren’s journey shows that sometimes the best parts of life can be found in the scary and uncomfortable times. Learning what your passions are and how to follow them for yourselves without worrying what others think just might lead to the best lessons and experiences.

After changing her life a nurse poses in an orange space
Courtesy of Lauren McGee

This article was written exclusively for Love What Matters by Anna Steingruber. Be sure to subscribe to our free email subscribe for our best stories.

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