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 

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. 

Not Boston: week 4

End of another week. 

I landed a schedule working multiple days in a row (something I hate), but that gives me multiple days off (which I love). I’m currently halfway through my 6 days off. It’s insane how fast days off go compared to days at work. 

I’ll just update you on my general welfare as I’m at a loss for what to discuss in particular. Well… That’s not totally true. There’s a topic I’d like to introduce, but I’ll wait until it’s a little better formed. 

After my post about not doing so well spiritually, a good friend contacted me and extended the offer to talk once a week. I’m glad she offered because do I need the fellowship. 

It’s more than just “discussing the bible”. There’s a depth to every relationship and that exists in one with a spiritual focus. We discuss our lives. Work, kids, what’s going on in general. 

Being able to discuss openly, gain understanding, and take a serious look at the church’s role and response to current issues has been so refreshing. I’ve gotten off the phone feeling more renewed than I have in a long time. 

Am I back where I was? No, there are a lot of things to work out, but I don’t feel trapped and overwhelmed. In relation to “getting back to where I was,” I don’t think that’ll ever be possible. Moving forward is always taking every part of the journey in allow God to integrate it, right? I’m hoping to look back and see how all the pieces fit. 

I’ll keep walking. 

Travel on, road warrior.