Tonight is my last shift as a trauma nurse. It’s bittersweet.
I’m excited about starting the new position but I am really going to miss my coworkers. I can say I worked with a great group of people. I know that is something not a lot of people get to say yet I have the privilege of saying it. The nightshift crew was a special breed. I think it had to do with the fact that most of the time we really only had each other to rely on. There is no management at night. No secretary, often times no tech, no leadership besides the charge nurse. It was us… We made it work. The teamwork was amazing and that is something I can say is not always common (the teamwork at my last job was horrible).
Honestly, if the commute wasn’t so long I probably wouldn’t be leaving. However, I’ve been lucky enough to get a position in a hospital within walking distance of my house and going from an 1.5 hour commute to a 15 min walk is going to be amazing.
But I’m nervous.
I’m going from what I’m used to into something a little less familiar for me. It’s still nursing but not bedside, which is what I’ve been doing for 8 years. There is a part of me that wants to just stick with the status quo since it’s the easiest thing to do. I know not to listen to that part though. That part of me is afraid of change. That part of me will keep me from progressing.
Here’s to the start of something new… 🥂
There have been a lot of changes happening in my life. Career, mental health, life in general. I’ve noticed that when I stop trying to avoid change and instead embrace it things tend to turn out positive.
I have a bad habit of trying to plan every little aspect of my life. I keep trying to make things go down this path I have created in my mind. That mental path had no twists, no turns. It’s straight from point A to point B.
It’s completely unrealistic.
Life is rarely linear. There is no straight line when it comes to life. I get frustrated because I see where I am and where I want to be and tell myself it’ll be a straight shot. It never is. There is always a detour along that path. There is always something that changes the path as I am walking along. Things go left here, right there. Those twists and turns help to build me into who I am. I realize I am better as a person when I finally reach point B thanks to all the things I encountered when leaving point A.
I want my first response to change to be excitement instead of fear. I need to be ready for all the stops along the path. I need to understand that those stops, turns, roadblocks are all a part of getting there.
I cleaned house. Emotionally and literally. I took the time to give the house the top to bottom scrubbing it needed. A few hours and some of the most ratchet music I could find was all it took. After cleaning the house I lit incense and let the scent fill the whole house.
I went further than that.
I threw out anything left from my last relationship. I found teddy bears, pics, other small things that reminded me of her… And him. If you have been following this blog then you know that before her I was engaged to him. Neither relationship ended well. I still had things that reminded me of both of them.
So I tossed everything. Anything that belonged to them. Anything that was given to me by them, and it wasn’t much, is gone now.
I feel better. I feel lighter. It sounds so stupid when I say it out loud but cleaning really did help. More than the physical cleaning, the spiritual cleaning really took weight off of me. I’m going to spiritually cleanse more often.
South Carolina holds a lot of bad memories for me. It is where my mother died. It is where she is buried. It is where I suffered from a drinking problem. It is where I stayed in a terrible relationship for far too long. It is where I first began sinking into depression.
I left and never looked back. Best decision of my life.
However, the negative memories I have of my life down there have caused me not to go back and visit the family that I left. I abandoned them along with the state. I feel guilty about that. While my sisters and I are no longer all that close, for various reasons that I won’t get into, they are still my blood. I have 12 (or is it 13?) nieces and nephews that I don’t see very often. All of this because that state holds so many bad memories for me. That’s completely unfair to them. I am depriving them of an aunt and depriving myself of the memories being made as they continue to grow.
I have to do better.
So "she" called to tell me she loves me.
She did not call to tell me she is sorry for not being a part of our household.
She did not call to tell me she is sorry for not showing any sexual interest in me while we were together.
She did not call to tell me she is sorry for expecting all and giving nothing in return.
She did not call to admit that she used me.
She called to tell me she loves me, because saying you love someone is apparently good enough.
The call did not go well.
I am a woman. I am proud of this. I do not consider myself the “weaker gender”. I am strength and courage. I pride myself in that.
However, I no longer base my womanhood on how feminine I am. This is a change for me. It wasn’t a conscious change, one day I just realized feminine does not equal womanly and vice versa.
As a kid I was a “tomboy”. Covered in dirt, scratches, and bruises with the boys, that was me. As I hit adulthood I was told this or that wasn’t “lady like”. I needed to be softer, gentler. So I stopped embracing my “rough” side if that’s what you want to call it. I kept my hair long and relaxed because guys “prefer” long hair on girls. I started wearing makeup because that’s what grown women do. I tried to dress more feminine and “cute”. I tried to soften up. I tried to learn to bite my tongue. I became a “woman”. I place the word in quotes because I became what people said a woman should be. I was always a bit uncomfortable with the “woman” I had become. It wasn’t me but I kept at it.
And then I did something I thought was insignificant. I cut my hair. Not a little trim this time. I walked into a barber shop and cut it all off. I loved it. It was freeing. That’s when I started to notice a change in me. My womanhood was no longer based on how I looked. Strange right? A haircut shouldn’t really have that much power, but it did. See, the way I got my hair cut made me look a bit “dude-ish”. Without makeup and in my comfy clothes I started getting mistaken for a guy. I got called sir a few times actually. It didn’t bother me. In fact, I would answer with no correction of pronouns. Why? Because I realized I was a woman no matter how I looked and no matter what someone called me. I am a woman. Period. I am a woman because I say I am a woman. Makeup or no makeup. Long hair or short hair. High heels or sneakers. Skinny jeans or baggy clothes. I am still a woman. On the days I am feeling super feminine, I will rock a face full of makeup and strut in my heels with the best of them. On other days, I’m in a beenie and a Nintendo tee shirt hanging with my boys and fitting in flawlessly. I can be soft and gentle and rough around the edges. I’m still a woman. I am more comfortable with the woman I am now than I’ve ever been. Short hair, bare face, loud mouth and all.
Your surroundings influence you more than you realize. The places you go, the people you choose to keep around you, it plays a part in your story.
For a very long time I was going to the wrong places with the wrong people. For a while I can honestly say I was an alcoholic. I was a true alcoholic. I went out with the sole purpose of getting as drunk as I possibly could. I went to the same clubs with the same “friends”, making the same dumb decisions every weekend. I have been to work drunk. I have driven home sh*t faced. At that time I saw nothing wrong with it because the people I was around were just like me. They were drinking to get away from their emotions just like I was. It was normal. I was in school but didn’t really have a plan for my future. I was there because I was supposed to be. That was the only reason I went to college originally. Before my mother died she made it clear that she wanted me to continue my education, so I did just that. In school and just as lose as I wanted to be. I didn’t have anyone around me to help me focus. Add in an unhealthy and abusive relationship and that was life.
I remember the moment I knew I was done with how I was living. I was about to graduate with my Associates in Science and my dad told me I could move to Virginia and live with him. As soon as he said it o started planning. I felt no connection to where I was. I didn’t feel sentimental. I didn’t even feel like I was going to miss anyone if I left. I simply made plans and drove six hours from South Carolina to Virginia. Done.
That was the best decision I have made to date. Granted, I’ve made some dumb ass decisions while up here too, but I’m surrounded by people now that will call me on my sh*t. I have a small group of friends that keep me sane, keep me moving forward, keep me focused on doing what’s best for me. Instead of helping me self destruct my surroundings now help me grow.
Change your surroundings, change your life.