The End

Sorry for the radio silence over the last few months. As time has ticked by from week one to week 17 of this last stint, I think I have a great idea for something to say, but then life would get away from me. In the end, what started out as something I wasn’t so sure about ended up being an assignment that I found enjoyable. Having not worked with the demographic common to my home state in a long time, it was good to be closer to home and get reacquainted with the issues of Appalachia.

But being done, the approaching end of the year, and life in general has had me thinking of ending.

Things always end. Always. The recent death of someone I knew drove home how sudden the end can come. Life is finite in ways I forget until confronted with death. How we don’t consider meeting our maker until we are step out of this life into the next. It makes me take account of how I’ve led my life so far. 32 years is long enough to make mistakes, have regrets, have great accomplishments, and joys. What can I say about myself in the end?

On a less morbid note…

I talk often about leaving a legacy. Even if I never return to a place I’ve worked at, I hope I leave behind the impression of a person who works hard. More than that, I hope I leave the idea of kindness in some form. I admit I gripe at work, but I hope my attitude with my patients and coworkers overall is one of helpfulness and giving.

There’s joy and sorrow in endings, but life continues on even in the midst of both emotions. 2016 (a not so fun year) will end. It’ll usher in a new beginning with its ending. It’ll have left its mark, for good and bad.

Remember me fondly even when my mistakes are unearthed. Remember my care, my compassion, my concern, my humor, and my smile. When I’m gone, remember those things because that’ll be all I can leave behind.

On to new beginnings. San Jose after the New Years! Too soon to be worried about anything except vacation.  I’ll try blogging a little more often now. Until then, thinking on your legacy.

The good and the bad of leaving home 

I’m off to my next assignment soon. Not heading far, as I’ve mentioned. It’s not at home, but it’s close enough to home that my mother is pleased as punch and is already planning visits. Other than pushing my start date back a smidge, it’s not been much that’s made me more worried than normal about beginning a new assignment. Except… 

One of the things I’m distressed/worried/wondering about is how my appearance will be received. My hair is natural and colored plus I’m proudly sporting a nose ring that I have no plans on removing any time soon. Will that cause issues? 

There’s talk of the appearance of the nurse affecting care, or the patient’s  perception of the nurse’s ability to provide care. I’ll save this topic for another post, but where I stand on that is if I treat you with the dignity, respect, and care you deserve, what does a nose ring and hair color have to do with it? 

This brings me around to the topic that’s been brewing in my head since I’ve been home. 

The Good and the Bad of leaving (and coming) home. 

Many new travelers struggle with leaving the first few times. One of the biggest issues travelers face is homesickness. You’re somewhere totally new with people who don’t know you or what your capable of doing a different routine than what you’re probably used to from home. Add to that being in a new city all a lone and you run the risk of spiraling into depression and succumbing to homesickness. Most people quit if it gets too bad. I’ve always loved being on the road so it’s never been too big of deal to up and leave. I battle the anxiety of a new routine, but have learned to remember what I’m capable of and that makes the first few weeks easier to get through. 

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been traveling for three years, and while I like being home, I find it exceedingly difficult. I’ve been examining why and settled on the conclusion that I’ve changed so much that being home reminds me how much. 

Some of the changes are great. I recognize my worth, I know what I can take on without getting overwhelmed, I know what I won’t tolerate, and I know I’m a good helper. I’m a good nurse. Even when I’m anxious about so many things, I know that. I also know I can be an independent person who goes out and explores without needing someone else there with me. 

Some of the changes haven’t been so good. I’ve grown impatient with others, I’ve fallen into some habits that aren’t healthy (physically or spiritually), I’ve developed a potty mouth 😳, and another of other things that I don’t feel comfortable splashing over my blog today. And let’s not talk about my backsliding as a women of God. Everything has consequences 

It’s also tough on relationships, traveling. I find it easier to move on than take a chance when dating is the way it is currently. It’s hard coming home and seeing everyone in solid relationships, having babies when not sure it’ll ever happen for me. Side note: I’ve wondering how my mother would do arranging a marriage for me. Hm… 

Working at home gets tough because I see clearly what needs changed and I can’t tolerate when I see how poorly the staff is treated by those high in leadership. Church is tough too because they know how I was before and I feel like I’m struggling too much to pretend I have it together like I used to. When you’re out in the world that’s when the test of who you’ll be is given. Who am I right now? Human. Admittedly, I know God can use everything and I need to let Him led. I’m still learning. 

Traveling has helped me become someone better and different. That’s what happens when you’re on the move. Am I where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Yes, I believe that in spite of the struggles I battle against on many levels. I’m stronger in too many ways and I feel like more strength (as a nurse, as a woman, as a Christian) are coming. 

Leaving and coming home is an experience every time. And while I’d much rather stay on the road, everyone has to come home to rest. 

Travel on, Road Warrior 

The cost of resentment 

Adios, Plymouth! 

I’ve made my way home which means I’ve completed another assignment. This was one of my best assignments even with the usual crazy staffing situations we ran in to. And after how difficult I found my previous location, I needed somewhere welcoming. 

Quick plug: any licensed Mass travelers, look into Beth Israel Deaconess in Plymouth labor and delivery. In 10 years of nursing, they have the best providers I’ve ever worked with in my career. Nothing but respect and comradery amongst nurses/doctors/midwives. If I wasn’t such a rolling stone (and didn’t possess such an aversion to winter), I’d put down roots. I never felt like “the traveler”. My help was appreciated and that made me feel like an asset. I do plan to return AFTER winter because I think it’s a good place to work. 

There was a little bit of a shake up right as I was leaving. It made me think of things that happen in our lives that breed hard feelings. 

No relationship is perfect. Things irritate us about our loved ones and its hard to not let resentment build up. In a love relationship I can be feeling unappreciated or taken for granted or not listened to. In a working relationship it can be making decisions without regard for staff or a lack of team work or punishing the whole staff for the behavior of one employee. 

But looking broader, resentment can come when someone voices a hurt, concern, trauma and instead of responding with compassion or action you ignore, belittle, or downplay the pain by pointing to something that has little to do with what’s being brought up. Looking at some of the issues facing our country today, it’s evident we have a serious resentment problem that’s exploding into something dangerous. People who aren’t heard tend to react with anger, sadness, violence. Why keep trying when you simply disengage and shout your anger to the world? 

So what’s the answer to resentment? Aside from Jesus and a bat to the back of the head? 

Listening: always the first step. If someone keeps saying they want something or are hurting, don’t add your two cents! Open ears and shut your mouth. 

Checking in: ask how they are and care about their answer.  Don’t let what they say be about how you feel. Let me repeat. DO NOT LET WHAT THEY SAY BE ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL. If they are talking about issues in their life, your response should never be explaining how you feel about it or how it has an effect on you. 

No excuses or apologies, but action helps: we want better relationships. It’s easy to say it’s not your problem and they need to open their mouths or fix their lives or stop complaining. That doesn’t change anything. You’ve added more anger and resentment to an already tense situation. Instead be an advocate, counselor, teacher to others on their behalf. Be a champion. 

That makes change. Listening and hearing and acting make change. 

Where to next? I’m actually headed closer to home. I’ll be in Charleston, WV until the beginning of December. So I’ll be in WV for a while for those in the area. They are going through and medical records conversion which increases their need for staff. 

I’m nervous because I’ve not truly worked in the state in over 3 years. I’m not used to the people or the issues anymore. I’m also not sure how I’ll be received. I want to be liked and seen as someone there to help. How will things be? We’ll see soon enough!

Travel on, road warrior. 

I’m not saying we’re Sensitive Sallys, but…

My travel life is a series of furnished apartments and hotel rooms. I can’t say that bothers me, but it definitely made me chuckle as I gathered my breakfast this morning. That’s travel life for you though, I’m an semi-permanent tourist/resident. 

Anyway, my trek up to Plymouth starts this coming weekend. Someone asked me how I was feeling about it. Usually the nerves start right around now, but I just kinda want to get the first 3 weeks over with. I want to know if it’ll be a good temporary fit or if it’ll be 14 trying weeks. Fingers crossed for the good fit, eh? 

On to my topic. I’ve noticed more and more we’ve become a society of sensitive people. Everything offends us. Every. Thing. 

The question is: are we really so sensitive?

(Note: I wrote a post last year about being over sensitive. Before I said it hinders discussion, but now I think it has the ability to lead to great discussion if we ask why.)

It’s argued that 20 years ago we weren’t so easily offended by everything. We also weren’t a society so tied to our electronics. Many times when you were offended, you’d hear about it and beat each other up. Now saying things offensive across the interwebz could lead to you losing your job and serious ridicule. 

Many things said that others consider offensive are. Think about it. What you see on the Internet is racially charged, sexually offensive, derogatory, and nasty. I ask you why those things should be allowed without consequences? Why someone gets a free pass to spew anything without backlash? 

No one can encroach on another’s free speech, that’s your right. There are many places where free speech is stifled in every way. For a lot of our complaints as Americans, we have a ton of freedoms. But you aren’t free from consequences of exercising said freedoms. I call it being mindful, responsible, and self-aware. Others may not agree, but I’ll come at you another way. 

If you’re on the receiving end, you expect someone to be mindful of how they talk about you or your family. More than that, a lack of that personal awareness shows how little you care about the margianalized person you’re talking crap about. I challenge you in that case. If you look at me and can then say whatever you want about black Americans or women then I question your Christian concern. 

Lastly, I challenge you to ask why someone became offended by it. Reverse the roles and check your pulse, then get back to me. 

We want to be understood. Understood, valued, and recognized. We want our history, our struggles, and our present selves validated. Nursing teaches about cultural awareness and how that can have an effect on a patient’s care. I challenge everyone to recognize how a broader understanding can make others make sense. 

Here’s what I’ll say in closing. A recent conversation about how we deal with those with addictions and how we care for them made me think. It was mentioned that coming in with an attitude makes people mistrust and lie to you which impedes caring for them AND their infant. Dialing back your conscious and subconscious prejudices/judgments makes people open up. 

Yes, we are a sensitive lot of arm chair, internet warriors. Some of the stuff that fires us up is silly, but some of it is worth the fuss. Some of it is worth asking why it bothers someone soo much. 

Off my soapbox, for now. Just wait until I start talking about slippery slopes. Definitely saving that for another day. 

Travel on, road warrior. 

Did I choose right?

I’m nearly done with week 2 of this second contract out here. The previous experience has me extremely on guard, but so far I’m not clamoring to get out. Yet.

Recently at work, one of the perm staff members made this comment (paraphrased)

Why are you worried about this? No one cares if you do the comfort rounds because you’re not full time so what you do doesn’t matter. And I don’t see the sense teaching you this because it’ll just confuse you when you go to the next place you move on to  

A fellow traveler was sitting with me as we discussed doing a task I knew the floor was getting audited over. I wasn’t offended by the comment, but was shocked with how she essentially disregarded us because we aren’t staying. My friend had an excellent reply.

“It doesn’t matter if no one else cares whether I do my work or not, it’s about my own personal integrity.”

Yes. Exactly. All of that.

Most places don’t care about our work as long as we aren’t damaging the patients. Our contributions to the floor mean little. It’s part of why I try not to offer much of an opinion about how things are run. I know they won’t change anything at my suggestion be some get offended that you’re offering an opinion at all. 

Regardless, I still take serious pride in everything I do. So even if no one else cares, I care. On good days, I know my work matters. I know the patients appreciate my care for them. I know my coworkers appreciate my part in making the floor run smoothly.

But on bad days? 

I wonder why I chose nursing. I wonder why the thing that used to make me feel like I was making a difference, also makes me feel anxious/upset/irritated/angry/sick to my stomach with worry. When I’ve been berated one time too many, I wonder what I was thinking. When nursing students ask me about nursing, I ponder telling them to run and never look back. 

Real talk here! I don’t sugar coat for nothing. 

Even the thing we love can be become work. Work can become tedious. And tedium can lead to disappointment and wanting to jump ship. 

I have to take a step back on days like that. I have to remind myself why I do it. I have to dig deep and reevaluate. 

It’s okay to not always love your job even when it’s your passion. Life makes it hard and dealing with people for a living makes it harder. It’s okay to say, “this sucks”. When it gets unbearable, take a vacation and remember why you wanted to be a nurse in the first place. 

I’m a nurse because I want to help people. I want to be the hands, feet, eyes of Jesus and show compassion to the most difficult. I want to be a healer, a caregiver, a smile. I told my students you have to have a true love for this or it will eat you alive. 

This job is no fun sometimes, but I am here to serve. Keep serving in the face of terrible odds, friend. 

Travel on, Road warrior 

Nurses always come through (Even when they shouldn’t)

A series of posts cometh. Basically, I’m offering observations with a side of things you didn’t want to know about me thrown in. To keep things interesting, of course. It’s the end of the year and I’ve been lazy about posting so you’ll get a few leading up to the new year. 

Fact: I can’t sleep without an eye mask and ear plugs. Doesn’t matter time of day, my body doesn’t think it’s bedtime until the earplugs and mask go on.  

I returned to my assignment last night and everyone was super happy to have me back. I couldn’t decide if it was because they genuinely like having me there or if they’d been so short staffed they were glad for a body. Which leads me to today’s post… 

Nursing isn’t fun sometimes. If anyone told me being treated like crap by patients/families/doctors/administrators would be a normal thing, that being short staffed and management not doing anything, that sometimes you get fatigued for caring without receiving care yourself, I’m not sure I would’ve done this. 

I reap satisfaction from my profession where I can, but I’ve learned that whining doesn’t fix it so I suck it up. 

That’s what nurses do. We come in extra when we’re short, we paste on the smile when someone treats us terribly, we continue to work for the patient even when it seems like no one cares. We come through and we pull together, even when we shouldn’t. 

The consequences of “sucking it up”, of making due with less, of coming in extra until your overtime check in one week could fund a 6 day cruise to Caribbean is twofold. 1) the nurse gets burnt out. This leads to severe fatigue, dissatisfaction, and ultimately the decision to leave bedside nursing (or nursing all together), and 2) it continually sends the message to upper management that it’s okay to cut staffing or to make that the area that’s less important because the nurses always manage

We do though. We always troop ahead for the betterment of our patience at the expensive of ourselves. And when things go wrong? The nurse is the first crucified because (why was she working so many hours? Why didn’t she say she was too tired? Why didn’t she catch that mistake? Why didn’t she execute this step even though she was struggling to care for the other patients in her heavy assignment?) they should’ve known or done better somehow. 

I’m not proposing a strike or a sit-in or let our patients suffer. Don’t misinterpret my point. What I’m saying is we’ve gotten so good at doing more with less that those higher up just assume we can. It’s sad and I think it cripples us. We lack the voice many other professions have because we let ourselves be taken advantage of on a regular basis. 

Do I have a solution? Not really. Just something I seek to change so we all can grow. Maybe if we acknowledge it as a collective and those outside our profession actually see, then something will happen. But I guess this is the same struggle those of another race, gender, creed, etc. feel. We see the problem, but until someone outside lobbies on our behalf, things may not change. Intelligent dialogue and verbalizing is necessary so here’s my part in it. 

Here’s to a new year where we as nurses are valued beyond the cursory lip service.  

Travel on, road warrior. 

What week am I on? 

I believe I’m down to 5.5 weeks? 

Sorry I’ve been super quiet. Between a stretch of shifts, my birthday, and switching back to nights I’m not exactly brimming with things to talk about. 

I’ll just touch on a couple of thoughts quickly. Some are work related and some… Aren’t? 

1. A small mental shift 

I talk to a good friend of mine about once a week. It’s an opportunity to share both spiritually and about the wide variety of topics in the world. I appreciate the depth of our conversations on many levels. Especially when it comes to topics that Christians have a tendency to beat to death and alienate others over. It’s refreshing to my soul. 

Recently, my friend passed along an article about a man with a particular inclination Christians like to crusade against. His issue isn’t what I cared about, but the heart of what he discussed is. He mentioned that when coming to God, He isn’t worried so much about the issue you’d like to get rid of, but about changing our hearts to see our need for Him. The sin is always a manifestation of our trying to do things apart from Him, but the more we change our minds (the more He changes our minds) the less that sin or issue will manifest. 

I’m paraphrasing poorly, but the core of it hit me. I ask constantly for my sins to be removed from me so I’ll stop doing them. God says come closer to me, let me change the heart of you first, the rest is just a reflection of that need. Paul asked for his thorn or affliction to be removed, but God said His power is made perfect in our weakness. Stuff doesn’t just go away, but God is in the heart fixing business and as hearts mend behaviors alter. Will my struggles always be struggles for me? Yes, I believe they will, but that’s okay. Not a license to continue, but an understanding of it not being the root problem. It’s not about the struggle itself anyway, but my heart. I’ll let that get worked on first. 

2. I took a job back home 

Well, kinda…

It may surprise people, but I took an OPT position back home. It’s not uncommon for people to remain per diem at their old perm hospital when they travel, but I gave mine up when I started because… I traveled too much. Only being home between contracts 2 days makes it tough to convince myself to work. 

I realized though, I need a home base work place again. Even though I initially had some anxiety about it (mostly because it feels too permanent. Yes, I know I’m crazy) I realized I needed to do this. You can’t think in what ifs, but my mother is getting older and I know a time will come soon when I’ll need to stop traveling and come home. Being established and having a small amount of roots is important even if it scares me 

Which leads to my next point 

3. I don’t have an assignment yet 

As I’ve mentioned before, I like having my next assignments well in advance. Months in advance actually. This time I’m coming up short. Partly because I need to get in hospital orientation at UHC (5 days. 5. Days. Why? Just… Why??? I’m a former employee. What’s changed in a year?) and because I only want to work 8 weeks. 

I’ve interviewed a few hospitals and altered my plan. Turned a few down and been turned down by a few. Decided to change to 13 weeks which takes me through the new year. With 5 weeks left, an iffy start date because of  orientation, and not even being sure what state I’ll end up at, I’m getting nervous. I shouldn’t be nervous, but I am. 

Where will I be next? I’m waiting to hear if Inova will accept 13 weeks, if Martha’s Vineyard will accept my start date, or if someone else better will call. I don’t know and I hate not knowing. 

That’s it for now. Sorry for the unusual radio silence. Life is being life right now and I’m just trying to stay awake to enjoy it. I’ll keep you updated as I figure things out, eh? 

Travel on, road warrior. 

Temp ACK Girl: week 3 A Hard Days Night

It’s funny how many topics float around in my head to talk about. Then by the end of the week I’ve forgotten half of them and the other half aren’t worth talking about… Yet. Here’s one worth mentioning.

First, congratulations to this year’s graduating nursing class. You’re about to start an interesting journey into the world of professional nursing. You’ll learn more than you ever could in school and many of you will do that learning on night shift.

There’s a pecking order and a general expectations that most new nurses end up on nights. It’s all part of the process of growing up: you finish school, work nights until that long time day shifter retires (or leaves), and then put in and pray you transfer to day shift

Many people scramble to get off nights once they’ve paid their dues into the system.

Nights can be an awesome place to learn. There’s not a ton of management trolling (yes, trolling 😒) around, the noise level is lower, and the number of visitors is decreased. The downside is the amount of regular and ancillary staff is decreased, which means if you’re crazy busy you can drown in an instant. The upside is it makes you incredibly close with your coworkers because you’ve learned to save each other’s butts! You can also learn well in this environment. If you can survive a trying shift and return the next night, there’s hope for you making it.

I’m back on nights as a Temp Girl in Nantucket. Trust, this is an excellent thing here. Even with the downsides of being nights at a CAH, still better.

Being day shift as a traveler can be hit or miss. Nights is always the shift that has the need.

I’ve snagged 2 straight day shift assignments in the last 2 years. My first 6 months were days at the Brigham and my last assignment in Ventura was days. Loved it, no lie

Mentally, I love nights. Physically? I’m up and over 30 so my body screams at me when I work nights now. Physically, days feels better. Because on your first night off when you work night shift, you spend it trying to not be a zombie. Your first shift off days is after a full night’s sleep with a full day ahead of you. 8+ of sleep and then I’m off to the beach!

There are some travelers who will only work days. I’m not so picky, but traveling affords you way more choices than being a perm staffer so there ya go.

I’ll never complain about being a night shifter and really I don’t mind being on nights. You get to know your coworkers and learn a little independence. And it’s only 13 weeks on whatever shift. There’s always a place that has days if working nights kills my body too much.

I’ll always be a night shifter though. Day shift. Just… Too… Many… People.

Oh! I know where I’m going next. I’ll clue you in on the next post.

Hope it was a nice Nurses week for everyone!

Travel on, road warrior.

Not Quite Home

About to board a plane to head to Nantucket. Wasn’t even home 48 hours before I had to turn around and leave again. It was two days of doctor’s appointments and errands so I got to hang out with approximately zero people. I promised myself 2 weeks off after this contract so I could just recuperate, which leads to my next thought…

The more I travel the more I notice that home isn’t really “home” anymore.

West Virginia, the place I’ve lived for 20+ years is home, but it isn’t where I feel comfortable anymore. It’s weird heading to places I know and feeling weird for being there. I’m so used to being a stranger that being in the familiar no longer inspires the same safe feelings in me.

I think that’s the thing with chronic wanderlust and not being able to stay still. I’m much more comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s strange to say that, but being mobile makes me feel stable. Knowing that I’ll be somewhere different in a few months, weeks, or days is exciting to me. It’s normal! If I sleep in my old room a month total in a calendar year, I’ve been home a ton. I’m far more acquainted with hotel beds than my own. I find I like it that way.

Losing that feeling of being comfortable at home is a little sad though. It’s not the same. There’s certain obligations when I’m home that I don’t have when I’m on the road. My relative anonymity and lack of additional expectations adds to traveling’s appeal.

Please don’t misunderstand. I love being home when I am. I love visiting with friends and family, but I don’t feel that same settled feeling others get when they come home. That renewal comes not when I come home, but when I leave. And I’m always leaving.

The road has become my home. The unfamiliar has become familiar. I find comfort in change and being somewhere different. Two years of travel for my job and previous years of traveling for leisure has made me this way. Permanent wanderlust without a cure.

Am I the only traveler with this problem? Surely not! Wanderlust isn’t a single person disease. Come on, admit it, you’re infected, too!

😉

travel on, road warrior.

Understand?

I talk about lived experience a lot. Mostly in the context of never downplaying someone’s feelings because you haven’t walked in their shoes. I’d like to travel down that road a little in this post. Consider it an invitation to discuss.

Let me get something out-of-the-way… We’ve turned into a group of over-sensitive people. Everything offends us. We take up arms over things that 25 years ago we would’ve let go. In my opinion, that extreme sensitivity makes it impossible to have true discourse. We will disagree because we don’t have the same thoughts/lives/experience, but we stymie conversation that leads to change or friendship with the way we petition and cry over silly things.  With that said…

You know me, right?

I’m a 30-year-old woman with an extensive travel history, education, and continued developing career experience. I’ve acquired degrees, taught, worked the floor, and a host of other things. I’m a daughter, sister, aunt.

I also know what’s it’s like to be nervous or scared because of the color of my skin in a particular group or crowd. I’m confronted with both my unintentional/intentional bias and that of those around me.

Unintentional bias: assumptions made or conclusions drawn about someone without realizing it. Ex: woman are primary caregivers or introducing a female senior exec as, “The top senior female executive” instead of just senior executive by way of introduction. That can be a bias against her.

Intentional bias: having those assumptions and using them to form a particular view against a group or idea.

I’d add stereotype and prejudice to the discussion. My definition of stereotyping is like unintentional bias in that your limited experience with a group of people has led to an assumption about them. Prejudice is turning those wrong assumptions into fact and allowing that to shape how you treat someone.

Being aware of my bias is important as I refuse to allow it to cause me to treat someone poorly. So not just race, but other differences. Disabilities or views or behaviors included here. I’d challenge the notion that treating someone fairly doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with what they do.

I remember the first time someone called me the N word. I was walking down the streets of Buckhannon, collecting can goods around Halloween for the Parish House for a college activity. A group of us were walking when some local young kids approached from the opposite direction. As we were crossing paths with them, they were gesturing a bit aggressively in my direction, but I thought I was being paranoid. Until they were behind us and I heard them shout that word. I was the only black girl in the group so who else were they talking to except me. I didn’t feel I could say anything to the others in my group because they wouldn’t understand.

That word was used as a way to threaten me and I felt unsafe after that moment. The sad part is that isn’t the last time I’ve been called that by someone with the intention of intimidating me.

Conversely, I’m in Nashville at the moment during the NRA convention. (Cue the bias!) While sitting in Ripply’s yesterday, I made a few observations we’ll say. “Look at all the bass pro shop, gun-toting individuals running around!” Bad, I know.

We were the restaurant with the country music playing and the predominantly white patrons, and I noted I was a little (okay, a lot) uncomfortable. My fears, unintentional bias, and stereotypes were swirling in my mind. Then I had to check myself.

What’s my point?

To note that experiences shape our reaction. I don’t believe every person is a racist and I’d hope people wouldn’t make unfounded assumptions of me based on my skin color, but it happens, it’s a reality. We do that, including against those who are the same as us.

Bias existing is a reality and until we acknowledge that, true discussion and change won’t occur.

A little less sensitivity, a little more conversation, a lot necessary action.

I’m little tired of being nervous.

To checking ourselves.

Travel on, road warrior.