Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Missed Connections

Testing, testing... is this thing on?

I'm back.  I swear, I'm back and I'm not going to leave again.  Not for months on end, at least.  I have no real excuse, but I can say that since my last post (when was the last post...?  October 12th?), a lot has happened!

  • I turned 26!  Officially late 20s.  Or we can call it the mid-20s for a little longer.
  • I went to The Florida Keys and Chicago within 2 weeks.
  • I hugged a sea lion and swam with dolphins.
  • I fist-pumped to my 6-month anniversary at work!
  • The year became 2012.
  • I got a lot happier.
  • Other stuff, but these bullets are making this seem too structured, and it's making me lose my train of thought.
One of the reasons I left for awhile was because all of a sudden, the emotionality associated with my job really affected me.  I felt like such a selfish person gushing about my life when all of these people I was meeting were suffering so severely.  I felt like being excited about my new car, or just talking about how nice the sun felt outside, was mean.  

To people who asked what happened with the blog (thank you, by way!), I was met with a lot of support.  I have come to the conclusion that I am doing no harm in sharing my joys.  It is my wish that joy comes from joy; that happiness is perpetuated in this unfair world.

In general, everything has been going swimmingly (always wanted to use that word).  I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing in life.  It's so nice to feel like I somehow wandered upon the spot where I am supposed to be.  


Yesterday was a holiday I have always loved, with or without a mate (I think about 70% have been without).  I really do like seeing the sweet things people do for each other.  I'm a sucker for that stuff.  I made a bunch of cupcakes for my friends at work.  I do love them, after all.  

When I got home from work, I kicked off my Nikes, read some of Craigslist's Missed Connections and ate some Hershey's Hugs.  Part of me really does think there is some old-school romance in those Missed Connections.  Hopelessly romantic.


Thank you so much for coming back to me after our little break-up.  I am so glad our romance isn't a missed connection here in Blogland.  


Here are some pictures from the past few months...

Road trip to The Keys with best friends

 Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key Florida

 Dolphin Encounter 

 Me in The Bean's reflection

 Had to.

 Millenium Park, Chicago

Cold walks in Chicago

Katie and I welcoming 2012 from a photobooth!

Monday, September 12, 2011

So this is me.

I don't really know where to start, and I guess that's why I keep putting off the bloggage, but from what I understand- y'all don't really care-- you just want the posts!  So, I will try to keep that in mind from this point forward.  Apologies... again...


Last week I bought a NEW CAR!  Well, new to me, but that's all that matters!  I love it so much and as geeky as this sounds, I sometimes find myself walking to the kitchen window just to catch a peek of my first big purchase.  For $xx,000-- I think it's a fair habit.  I found it online and knew right from the moment I saw it was in my price range that I wanted it bad.  So I started emailing back and forth with the dealership and was sure that because I wanted to look at it so badly, it would get sold from under me.  Well, I got lucky and not only did the car hold out for yours truly, but I got it for the price I wanted.  I had the greatest team of salespeople working with me, and it was from start to finish a really good experience.


Cars are a funny thing.  I saw on a documentary once (I think it was the docu Objectified) that people seem to identify with cars because of their face-like front and rear ends.  Which is why some cars seem cute and some cars seem bitchy and some cars seem snobby and some cars seem sporty and so forth.  I don't know what my old car "seemed", but it was mine and I cared about it and I loved it.  It was with me through thick and thin.  It was with me when I veered into the other lane without looking my freshman year of college and the lady in the beat up Taurus screamed at me, then asked that we please not call the police.  It was with me for 5 jobs.  It was with me through a high school graduation and two college graduations.  It was with me to the bitter end, when my friends started to jokingly make fun of me for having an old car.  It was my loyal steed, and when I excitedly hopped into my new car last Tuesday evening, leaving my trusty companion behind in the parking lot, I happened to look into my rear-view mirror to see the ole gal sitting there-- abandoned.  [Even writing this, I am feeling a little emotional... so silly!]  It's funny the connections we have with things-- namely cars.  I pride myself on not being a very sentimental person when it comes to things; I hang on to memories.  But leaving the Silver Bullet, as I lovingly called her for 7 years, in that used car parking lot really tugged on my heart strings.

Another funny thing about cars is how much we (well, some of us, if guiltily) associate them with status or personality or whatever.  The other day, I was running errands like a mad woman, and as I pulled up to a spotlight, the driver next to me casually glanced my way, causing me to take a quick, reflective third-person look at myself.  The phrase, "So this is me" popped into my head.  Why?  I'm not sure, but it stimulated a cascade of reflections on who I was thinking I was.  At that moment, this is what I thought (given recent experiences and my current surroundings):

I guess I'm a 25-year old nurse who drives a silver Altima and uses reusable grocery sacks when she remembers and worries about stuff like where used cars go to die and buys books but takes weeks to start reading them... and really loves her friends and family and people in general, and is living better than she ever thought she would at 25 years old.

Before the light turned to green, I made a mental note of that proclamation.  I hope it doesn't sound like I think too highly of myself, but that's what I thought at that moment and for a second, I felt proud of myself.  Sometimes you just gotta put it all down-- write it down, jot it on your mental notepad of thoughts, sing it, say it in the mirror.  It's good to get a grasp of who you are, even if pieces and parts are silly and superficial (I drive a silver car?).  Have a third-party perspective of yourself.  It's like believing in a higher power; stepping outside of yourself to recognize that you are not the end-all be-all of existence.  You are an ant on the anthill, but you are important.

So with this new reflection, I will be moving- driving- forward into all of the different phases of me, however unpredictable they may be.  I will focus on acknowledging the moments and the details and the pieces and parts that are defining the experience I am having, and my role in those details since they must be culminating before my eyes for some purpose.  Silly things (like the purchase of a new car) can be friendly reminders to live an intentional, awake life, so don't pass them up.  Be awake and aware, and find time to enjoy superficiality if you are so inclined.  Just don't forget, the definition of superficial is on the surface, so it stands to reason that there must be something else underneath...

Now this is a moment to be awake.

Unrelated, but my hair this morning.  When I moved my eyebrows up and down, it wiggled and made me laugh out loud.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not Healthy

Oh.... my god, y'all.  I am going crazy today.  I was so excited last night that I had a lunch date with two of my favorite people today (Aimee and Bilal), that I didn't make any other plans for my day off.  The lunch date was perfect.  I laughed the entire two hours.  My dates with Aimee and Bilal have little to do with me... I just like to go so I can watch their interaction.  It's so awkward and beautiful.  I'm like Aimee's cheerleader.  She brings the jokes, I'm the easy audience, Bilal is the victim of the jokes.  It's all in fun.

We went to Bento downtown (or, according to Bilal, "Bentos"... personal pet peeve when people add an S to the end of an establishment... as to imply the name is possessive or plural. It's not.).  I got the Caliente Roll... crab and fresh jalepeno = yum!  Afterward, we went to Mochi for Fro-Yo, which is- in my opinion- way too popular for health.  It's like bagels were in the 90s... "healthy".  Yeah right.  I even convince myself of this lie every time I eat it.  It is not healthy.  It's loaded with sugar, and the cups are pint-sized so no one eats a proper serving size.  Regardless, perfect, if not-so-healthy, start to my day.  (Oh yeah- I had the best sleep of my life last night and woke up at 10, so lunch was the start of my day).

When I returned home from lunch, the rest of the day was a big question mark.  It was super hot and muggy out, and the sky was gray with stratus clouds everywhere and scattered cumulonimbus sitting Indian-style,  so a walk or the pool was kinda out of the question.  (I have been big into walking everywhere lately.) Also, I didn't want to go shopping, or spend money for that matter, so that further limited my out-of-the-apartment options.  I have a book to read, but I have also self-diagnosed myself with Adult ADHD, so laying in bed reading wasn't appealing to me.

I ended up downloading two albums on iTunes (thank you, JM, for the gift certificate!).  Foster The People and Nicki Minaj (JM would not approve of the second).  Then I listened to iTunes for 3 hours.  I just scrolled, selected, and listened while browsing Facebook and Blogger for three hours.  Then I started going a little insane.  I have got to start volunteering ASAP.  And get another job.  If you know of anything, I'm your girl.  I'm good at everything.  (Kidding, but I can try.)  I got hooked up with an awesome volunteer shindig (hate that word), so I need to get on it.  Otherwise, this is my face:

I work tomorrow and have something fun to do most of the day Saturday, and work Sunday... then I am off for 6 days.  I better get something figured out.  I know this post was the furthest thing from intellectual, but this is my outlet and I love you people!  You and you and you and you.  xoxoxoxoxo

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clinging to Life

I'm back. F'real. As you know, I had family in town and it was so nice. It's nice to have people at my home, enjoying my space. I would let them eat all of my food and mess up my carpet and throw my pillows on the ground if it made them happy. Luckily my guests were more polite than that, but I loved sharing my space and my things with my people. It felt great.

I took my parents to the hospital where I work. Showed them the floor. The whole nine. I'm sure some of my coworkers thought it was a super nerdy move, but I don't really care. They're my parents and they care about me and they wanted to see! My parents are so supportive- I was so happy to share that with them too.

Luckily I had 3 days off in a row while my parents and sister/brother-in-law/niece were in town. We went shopping, walked around Lake Eola, got massages, had lunch downtown, swam in the pool, had dinner parties, and played my favorite game- Scattergories. Dad definitely won for funniest answers, though his tally marks suffered on the point sheet during the game. "Funniest" is always the best consolation prize, anyway.

Shots from the weekend:


So, something has been on my mind since it happened last week. I had a patient who was reaching the end of her life and she was very emotional. She was afraid of who and what she was going to leave behind. She missed the people and experiences that were gone, like trips to the beach she used to take with her sister and her mother, who have both passed away. She was literally clinging to life-- not quite yet medically, but emotionally. She wasn't ready to let it all go. She wasn't at peace. With teary eyes and white hairs sloppily affixed to her clammy forehead, she turned at me and said in a shaky voice that's likely spoken millions of sentences, "I just can't believe it's all over." I nearly lost my composure, but caught the quiver that was beginning to creep across my lips and eyes, as it made its way down to my throat. She grabbed my hand and squeezed it, tugging downward in a motion that signaled to me that I needed to take a seat. I had no idea what to say, so I sat there in silence. I had never been so close to death before, and I had never before needed to summon "What to say to someone who's dying" from my stash of go-to insightful messages. So I sat there with her in her silence. She held my hand and cried and prayed out loud. I was running behind on my meds and tasks and charting and a whole host of other things, but in that moment, it didn't matter; it couldn't.

Being with someone in their sadness is a really powerful thing. Being the outlet responsible for receiving the messages of someone in their most reflective hours is humbling, and for me this first time around, a little scary and overwhelming. I was scared of my own mortality in those moments. I was scared of the mortality of my mom and brother and dad and sister and all the people I love. I felt like I was the wrong person to be in that chair since I had little if any insight and nothing powerful to say and I couldn't stop the woman from crying and bring peace to her heart. I just entered her darkness with her and sat there, scared and overwhelmed.

But here I am reflecting today. Here I am appreciating what's around me. It's so quiet you could hear a pin drop in my apartment, and I'm enjoying that. I enjoy that only a few days ago, there were many voices in this apartment; Strawberry Shortcake the Movie was echoing from my room while the guys watched preseason NFL and my mom rattled around in the kitchen. There are more fingerprints around this apartment than there were before, and I like to know that they belong to people I love. I'm clinging to life, too, just not so urgently.

From darkness comes light, and it took me going into someone else's darkness to reach this light. I hate to feel that I in any way benefited from that interaction, but knowing this particular patient, I think she'd be happy to know that in her darkness, she shed some light on me. I feel more enlightened than before, and through this experience, I feel I more truly understand the meaning of that word.

Love the little moments while they're little moments.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ain't been no good.

i know i ain't been no good. my parents are in town and life is so, so sweet and fantastic. i can't complain about a thing. i am happy to acknowledge the fact that i'm in one of those "happy places" i envision in moments of anxiety. so happy that i don't feel the need to capitalize a damn thing. i'll have a goood post up tomorrow. i have to borrow a camera-to-computer thingy from mom since brother lost mine. what a jerk. this weekend, i went to a bridal shower (i'm in the wedding) for my friend jessica, and her friend uploaded this picture. :) love you (yeah, YOU!)... more tomorrow.

Bridesmaids of her highness, Jessica. I got my hair cut last week... 5 inches off! Can you tell? :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I'm making changes. The last two weeks have been a bit out of the norm, which is fine, but I'm ready to get a routine going, and these past two weeks have been a good foil to my normal routine which has provided me the opportunity to recognize areas that need improvement. Namely, health and time management- which, for my purposes, go hand-in-hand.

This week and last week have been spent sitting at a desk/table from 8-4:30. YUCK! Isn't that why I chose nursing? To avoid the butt-in-chair, feet-under-table 8 hour day? These sedentary days, with a 4-day weekend full of friends and birthday celebrations and sleeping all over the place and, yes, some booze squeezed in between have really made me desire an active, healthy, wholesome life. Just as we yearn for summer in winter and winter in summer, I am now yearning for a much more active lifestyle.

Fun weekend with friends.
Me and Easy E

This weekend I intend on getting a gym membership. Today I signed up with our local school system to be a mentor for an elementary school kid at the school where I subbed pre-K for a few months in 2010. I have become really interested in obstetrics lately, so I want to see what I can do volunteer-wise in that arena--maybe something with Planned Parenthood or a birthing center or something.

I want to spend my time being productive. I try to enjoy relaxing, and I can usually enjoy it in the moment, but once I start thinking about it, I always have the "Darn, I wish I had ______ today" conversation with myself. That happened today. I even bragged on my Facebook about how extreme my afternoon relaxation session would be. Well, I ended up feeling guilty. I am such a type A person, as they say.

Speaking of personality tests, this week in my training, we dook the DiSC Assessment. I am apparently an S type person, S standing for Steadiness. According to Wikipedia, this is the description of an S type person:

Steadiness: People with high "S" styles scores want a steady pace, security, and do not like sudden change. High "S" individuals are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. Low "S" intensity scores are those who like change and variety. People with low "S" scores are described as restless, demonstrative, impatient, eager, or even impulsive.

For those of you who know me personally, would you agree? Kinda funny my last post was about my guilty reluctance for change. My second highest score was I: Influential. Below you can see what an SI person has going on. I have to agree! (Although I do realize that personality tests can be like horoscopes- anyone can see themselves in it if they want to.)

SI: Sees the environment as favorable to the self.

Tomorrow I head back to the floor. No more training! For now. Plenty, plenty, plenty more to come. But I have missed my patients and the nurses and techs and docs (some of them) and everyone else whom I work with. I'm ready to be back in the kind of nursing I love- the kind where my feet are free of a table roof and my rear is chair-free and in someone's face as I pick up 10 alcohol pads that fell out of my pocket as I yanked out my pen. I should probably work on my ergonomics. :)