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my happy ending

It’s been one month here in the city by the sea. Where was I before I came here? My memories feel dimly lit. A haze of pain, disappointment, restlessness, and melancholy clings to them. A fog drifts through and covers them. What is there to look back at? Happiness feels so much less inspiring when it comes to writing. And so very much more private. Pain is universal, pain is something I could shout out to the world, and all of your echoes back to me eased the ache. But happiness? It’s just so intensely mine. I couldn’t possibly fling it out here so recklessly. And so, it seems I’ve found my path, and it wasn’t anything like what I thought it would be. It’s more perfect than that. Life as a blogging single mom traveler enticed me because it meant I’d be out there, away, anywhere but where I was. But now? I like where I am. I am home. My life branches out before me, full of all the promises that used to ring empty. Every where I turn to look feels bright and hopeful. It’s dazzling, how quickly that all changed. And all I did was jump… jump right out of the old and into the new. My faith has paid off. Thank you to all of the bloggers over the years that kept me sane. Thank you for your likes and comments. Thank you for the posts […]

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California, what are you doing to me?

Yesterday we went to the beach. I walked to the edge of this continent and felt a sense of coming home. The incoming waves glided slowly toward me and kissed my feet before receding back with the tide. I felt the full intensity of the sun shining right through me. M and I ran across the sand, through the shallow pools, laughing and squealing, ageless. Hours passed and we felt not a single minute. The ocean breakers in the distance rose and fell and crashed, like the inhale and exhale of breath. The other day I was driving back from East Bay, and somehow got routed down a rural road. We wove through the emerald hills, while the sun sank down and tinted them gold. I pulled over three or four times just to take photos, just to let my eyes absorb it all. Is this the same country I’ve always lived in? Has it always been so beautiful? Why do I love these hills in a way that only someone born there should? Not to cheapen the poetry with finances, but my paychecks are now rolling in every week. I can afford to pay my bills. I can afford childcare. I can afford to send M to a Montessori through 8th grade. I can even save some money. A huge weight has lifted off of me… oh my god, I can be a single mom here and be ok. They pay […]

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made it to the other side

I’m finally comfortable at work, and can start relaxing and breathing through life again. In fact, dare I say it, I’m even having fun here on my fourth night without a preceptor. There are some cool people here, and it’s business as usual as far as nursing goes. I’m chatting with people, starting to eat again, and have gotten some nice compliments on my nursing care. THANK GOD. Today was the first day that I had a sort of routine with M, too. I increased her frequency and length of school day, so that I can sleep until 2 or 3 while she’s there. Then pick her up, do something with her, clean the house, feed her dinner, get ready for work. By then she is tired and ready to just lie down with grandma. Up until now, I’ve slept and woken with anxiety and panic. Today… no! It also helps that I’ll be off of work for several days after this, too. I feel freer. So I’m doing it, guys! I managed to be a nurse somewhere else… it was crazy hard (mentally), but four shifts in I’m feeling totally fine about it. Free from anxiety, I can now be super excited about my future, and my life here.

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waves of anxiety

I’m on a roller coaster. At times I’m fine, thinking that everything was fine at the new job and I’m going to get through every night just fine, take it one night at a time. I got this. Then there are some hours where my body is in agony, panicky, unable to eat, my stomach churning. Luckily, I hadn’t really had panic or anxiety like this in years, and I didn’t expect to have it like this again, if I had I never would have come. I still feel like I’m in the right place, but I’m begging the universe to let this anxiety calm down in the coming weeks. It’s exhausting and I’m already so exhausted. I know that night shift is the worst possible thing for my panic attacks (it was so bad for me when I did nights in 2010). When I’m tired, I’m prone to anxiety. I also know that evening (right before I work) is my trigger time, and not drinking enough water. I’m trying to force myself to eat and drink as much as my stomach will allow me, and remind myself that I’m overtired. I keep telling myself that it’s ok for me to be anxious right now. Every single thing in my life changed in a week’s time. It was all like a vacation until they put some patients’ lives in my hands, and I was in a social situation with strangers for hours on […]

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still alive

I’m still alive, promise. Thanks to everyone who wondered! I did my week of classroom orientation, which was a great week. I met other travelers, did fun things with M, had play dates with other moms. Then reality hit- I had to actually work on the floor. My anxiety was so high, I just wanted to puke and cry the entire day, but once I was actually there it was a little better. The second night was a little better than the first. If only I could’ve brought my last unit and job with me on my back. Then my life would be perfect. Tomorrow is my first night on my own, without a preceptor. Pray for a manageable assignment and friendly co-nurses on that night for me, please! I need it. I’m a ball of nerves in that place. It is so hard to be new again, and I’ve actually cried for my old job. M is doing great in school and swimming. But my going back to work was definitely hard on her. She has gone back to crying that she wants to go home to Michigan. The mom guilt is hard. Being anxious and panicky again, for the first time in years, is hard. But I’m pulling out my old tricks and telling myself that if I hate this hospital, I can leave in 11 weeks. Telling myself it’s normal to feel this way. Surely I felt […]

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when I love it I really love it

It’s the eve of my first day at work but I think I will be in an office type building doing some kind of orientation… So not real patient care yet. I spent the day figuring out the Muni system. M and I took it to an indoor playground, then up the opposite way to the hospital. It’s easy to use and there are lots of apps to tell you which route and when the next bus is. Easy peasy. Hopefully it will stop pouring rain eventually and I can ride my bike. Things I love about SF already that make me feel like I’m in the honeymoon stage of a relationship: 1) My face and legs and everything else are not freezing when I walk out the door. Also, there is no snow or ice on my car to scrape off. 2) Parents speak to their children with patience, kindness, and respect, even when the child is completely losing it. It’s like a different planet than the Midwest, the way people are parenting here. And it rubs off on me… Sure I constantly strive to not punish or threaten ever, but gosh it’s so much easier when everyone around me is parenting the same way! 3) There is so much to do, everywhere. We never have to repeat activities (if we don’t want). I got so sick of the handful of things to do with kids in my part […]

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