23 June 2011

Pushing out the doldrums

Last night at the ball game, my daughter drew a tattoo on my thigh with a blue sharpie. This morning, I pulled a pair of red scrub pants over it. I'm not going to shower- I don't feel like showering. I'm in one of those blah moods where I am feeling stuck and unmotivated. I grab my Mighty Mouse top because I know I will need some super power today. The shirt feels like one more reminder that I don't fit in at my job.

We all get accommodated eventually to our situation and begin to complain about it. I wish it weren't true but it is. I was (and still am) so thankful to have a job. Many don't. But after a year of doing the same thing, I feel unsatisfied. I have a longing to find a job that I really belong in and feel like I make a difference. I interviewed for a position I really wanted and after weeks of waiting I find out that they are still interviewing other people. Still holding out for someone better qualified than me, even though several people that work there had put in good words for me. It can be pretty hard to accept that the world really does operate like that. I still haven't heard about the job. Maybe I'll actually get it. But in my mind, I'm moving on. I have to.

I know I need to find peace and happiness within myself and within the life that I have. It's just one of those days where things are foggy. I feel jealous of my women friends who have the luxury of staying home, although I see them complaining just as much about their situations. We all lose our perspectives at times. I feel guilty that my husband has had to support me for so many years and that sees me as useless and dependent, unable to even clean my own filthy car out. I want to be strong, powerful, colorful. I want to be what everyone wants me to be.

I've been listening to old 80's stuff in the car on the drive to and from work. Trying to tap into the strong feelings from that time. Trying to see if those feelings mean anything now, or if they are just relics of a distant past. Working on focusing on the things in my life that I am really happy about- and there are many.

21 June 2011

I was out somewhere the other day and a friend didn't recognize me in my scrubs. It's okay; sometimes I don't know myself in them. I am still a newcomer in a foreign land, still going through my days wondering if I will ever walk into my workplace and feel the ease of belonging. Will the native language ever sound familiar to my awkward ear?

Last night Joe and I were talking about our "ideal life" and the various ways that we picture it. Mostly I was letting him talk, and he told me that something he likes about his job is that he feels like there is room to advance. He described it as "a road out of this cul-de-sac I am in." These words struck me because I feel very much right now as if I am in a cul-de-sac. I mean, sure- there's plenty of ways to advance as a nurse. If you have the opportunities. The money and time to advance.

If you love ti enough. If you fit.

I like where I work for the most part, but often I feel like I am riding on a large continuous passive motion machine. Mindlessly doing the same tasks over and over. And then I think: well, what is it I want from life, anyway? I wanted to learn a trade so I could help my family out financially, and here I am. I am doing it. And I think I could be content there if I just accepted the fact that it's my fate to be there.

Then I remember my dream: to work with pregnant women and make a difference in their lives. To build programs that educate them and break the chains of poverty and abuse. To help them take charge of their health and their parenting. And then I get restless where I am.

10 June 2011

End of a Long Week

Today at work, I described it as "All-star Friday" because our schedule included an absolutely amazing array of frequent fliers and typically complex patients. I felt like I was in the medical version of "Mars Attacks." The other nurses realized I was right on and were chuckling. After almost a year, they are finally sort of getting used to my sense of humor and the odd things I say. One especially crazy day, I made the comment that it had been a very "tangly" day. Which makes perfect sense to me. The lab girl looked at me as if I'd spoken Aramaic. But this is who I am. Most of the time I think I'm pretty ordinary, and wish I were a bit more off the grid.

I did some really tight blood draws today- I was really on my game with that. And yesterday I flushed out a patient's ear that had something very much resembling mold in it. She said that she did get outdoors quite a lot, and that perhaps some gnats had gotten in. We'll never know. We also had the couple in their (upper) 80's who came in together saying that their blood pressures were so low because they have sex all the time.

But it wasn't really a great week overall. The time crawled and I daydreamed while counting pulses and wondered to myself if this is the end of the career road for me.

Morgan moved into her own apartment this week and I helped her get groceries this evening. I was so tired and so hungry by the time I got done. Ez and I got Japanese food and crashed together in the AC and talked about dating and what there was to do when I was his age. I enjoyed thinking back to all those times hanging out at Nite Lites, the Fort theatre and game room, and the skate jams. I tried to give him a timeline of my old boyfriends, but I noticed it was all growing a bit fuzzy.

07 June 2011

Cleaning Binge

I guess I'd have to describe my housekeeping habits as somewhere between Bad and Occasionally Mediocre. I pick up, though not faithfully, but I'm not that great at the actual cleaning bit. Basically, it's dusty as hell around here and don't even look at the baseboards and all that. But for some reason, if I'm pissed off or have a lot of things on my mind, I tend to respond by cleaning.

I've thought a bit about why this is, and I think it's because when I'm feeling vulnerable, I want to wrap myself around something I can control. And that is something I can have a direct effect on.

Today was one of those days. At work, I felt average. I felt like, even after almost a year, I'm not getting any better at my job. I got reprimanded for not having a particular form filled out for a particular type of visit, which cost the doctor ten minutes' time. I know it sounds nit picky, but I should have picked up on that and made sure it was there. I should know by now. I didn't know which vaccines were in which combination..the Rotarix, the Pediarix, the Twinrix! It's so confusing. I felt out of place. I felt bored. I counted the hours until I could leave.

And I'm dying to put in my notice at my weekend job. Each weekend I toy with the idea, think of the money, reconsider. It's a terrible game of tug-of-war.

On top of that, I've been waiting for about 2 weeks to hear about a job I interviewed for. It's a job that I am trying very hard to remain neutral about, and not get myself built up for another disappointment. But here's the catch: this is my dream job. So I clunk along at my other jobs and try to push off the restless feelings of an exciting change.

And Joe isn't here this week to distract me from my thoughts. Normally I'd pop a bag of popcorn and get on the bed and watch him on the computer and talk. But I can't.

So I respond by attacking the baby grand and it's layers of dust. I drag a damp rag beneath the long strings. Rub with a shishkabab stick. I immerse myself in this task and blow off as much of this emotional energy as possible. Then I straighten the DVDs, putting all the stray discs back in their cases and dusting the tops.

This is serious.

And I am supposing it's a very good thing that I get in these occasional modes of deep-thought and almost-angst. Otherwise the place would really fall apart.

05 June 2011

Ariel Gore on Writing

"If you don't have time to write, stop answering the phone. Change your e-mail address. Kill your television. If you don't have a baby, have one. If you have a baby, get a sitter. If you work too much, work more. If you don't work enough, work less. If there's a problem, exaggerate it. If you're broke, go to the food bank. If you have too much money, give it away. If you're north, go south. If you're south, go north. If you don't drink, start. If you drink, sober up. If you're in school, drop out. If you're out of school, drop in. If you believe you have a year to live, imagine you have a hundred. If you believe you have a hundred years to live, imagine you only have one. If you're sane, go crazy. If you're crazy, snap out of it. If you've got a partner, break up. If you're single, find a lover! The shock of the new- shake yourself awake. There is only this moment, this night, this remembrance rolling toward you from the distant past, this blank page, this inspiration yielding itself to you. Will you meet it? 

-From chapter one of How to Become A Famous Writer Before You're Dead

02 June 2011


Me, to patient: So, what's bringing you in to see us today?

Patient: My ear is really hurting. It's hurting all the way down into my neck. I got into a mess of seed ticks a few days ago, and I'm wondering if maybe one got into my ear.

Me: Gosh, that's an awful thought.

Patient: Weeeeell, it happens.

Me: (stunned silence, contemplating the logistics of digging an embedded seed tick out of a man's hairy ear canal.)

Patient: And whiiiile I'm in here, I need the Doc to look at my toe. The nail is ingrown and when I tried to cut it out myself, it got infected.