Week 13: I’m never good at goodbye

Here we are! At the end of another contract and doing that thing I do best; moving on.

I have a mental and emotional progression as I go through a 13 week contract. The first month of the assignment is difficult because I’m trying to figure things out. Where can I get a decent burger, gas, where’s the laundromat? Who can I rely on at work, where’s the towels/pads/gowns? What doctors are easy to work with, where’s the epidural cart? I’m nervous and excited, and trying my hardest not to let the newness stress me out as well as show I’m an intelligent/knowledgeable/safe nurse. The second month, I’m less anxious, but I’m antsy. The newness has worn off and I know where to get a good burger! I’m a lot more social, but the itch to move on is creeping up. The last month is where my coworkers start asking when I’m going and if I plan on staying. I can’t stay! Okay, maybe I can. If they liked me, they are already trying to convince me to stay. I’m present, but I’m already looking ahead to my next phase

As the last few shifts tick away, I arrive at the last one and I’m relieved and a little sad. I can’t believe it’s over, but it is

Goodbyes have always been weird for me. Mostly because I feel so transient that I don’t think I make enough of an impact to be missed by anyone. There’s a lot of emotion involved in saying bye. You have to relive your common, shared experiences and confront the real possibility that you’ll never see them again. That can be hard and as a traveler I try not to get too caught up. I have to leave because leaving is what I do.

I never expect cards, cake, or hugs. The assignments that send me off with those things have a special place in my heart. I try not to get too attached, but you do to a certain degree. You leave a little of yourself at every place you go. That makes saying goodbye hard every time.

To leave a good impression of travelers when I go is my ultimate aim. I may be a traveler, but I’m still a nurse, which means I want to work hard and be a good example. Liked enough to be asked to stay even if I can’t.

So, time to pack up and leave. I have another cross-country trip ahead of me, which means I’m off to another assignment and another future goodbye.

For those I’ve met so far in my travels, you’ve added something to my life and for that I’m grateful.

Til the next hello…

Travel on, road warrior

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