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Posts Tagged ‘life’

It’s after midnight. December 23rd.  And like last year, I am awake and pausing to reflect on where this year has taken me.  Last year, I was dealing with things collapsing around me regarding my ex-friend, I was grieving being single at my age and facing the reality of not having kids — maybe never getting married, finding that partnership that we all seek and that person with whom I’d want to have kids.

I was pretty sad — I was in the beginning stages of what was a difficult beginning to this year.  This guy was one who I thought was a best friend, who surprised me by changing the status of our relationship. Who then didn’t follow through, lied about me to those around me, apologized, and when I’d forgiven him and reached out when I needed it most he betrayed me. Now, most of this happened at the start of the year, but it began late last year and I was in the middle of this on my birthday last year.

It was a poignant reminder that I am single and have been for a very long time.  Last year I felt like I was on the same path that I’d always been on, that nothing really had changed ever.  I felt frustrated and inhibited by my life and felt like I was making no significant contribution.  It was a very difficult birthday.

But how am I this year? I’m okay. I don’t love birthdays. I do find them difficult.  It’s another year where I’m single (as always), no prospects and facing another year with that major path the same as always hurts. I don’t like it.  But it’s a very different year.

This year my grandma passed away, I dealt with the loss of someone I thought was a friend. It was a year partly of grief. It also was a year of major decisions and life changing choices.    I ended up choosing to obtain my original birth registration and my adoption file it was a profound experience to consider ideas of identity, self, life.  I haven’t finalized this exploration or this path.  But for now, I need to set it aside. I’m not ready to open the door to a reunion, though I suspect I may have found (through the wonders of social media) my biological family.  Will I walk that path one day? Maybe.  Right now I need to concentrate on another path.

As regular readers of this blog (if any are still checking in after my long period of being AWOL!) will know, I’m in nursing school. Making the decision to go back to school was difficult.  I did not want to give up a regular paycheque and the stability of the ‘known’.  But I felt trapped, useless. I was in a job that I was trained to do, but couldn’t see any growth potential. I have things that excite me but nothing in the job that would directly take me to a place where I wanted to go.  Plus, with the instability in biotech I felt like I was trapped in a low paying job with no recourse to building anything better.

So I took the leap and decided to go back to school — nursing school.  So, now, I’m back in an undergraduate program, have little work and no money.  But, I have peace. I know that I’m doing something radical, yet it’s necessary.  It will bring me to a place that will let me make a difference in people’s lives. It may be on a small, individual, scale and being able to affect people’s lives is what matters to me. It’s why I went into research — to make a difference, yet now I have a chance to do it directly.  It’s a major change to my world, but it’s one that’s finally ‘right’.

I spent the early part of the year trying to run and dance as much as I can, though in recent days that’s tapered off.  I’m going to go to Portland for a dance weekend over New Years, and it’s possible that this will be a tapering off of my dancing for the time being.  I LOVE dancing when I’m in other cities, but don’t always love it here.  So I’m trying to plan my time carefully. With so little free time the question becomes ‘how do I want to spend it?’ As one friend has commented — the live music is often better — with those with whom we most enjoy dancing.  So, if I can manage the time, I’m going to try that — I want to make sure that I’m going to have fun in my free time as much as I can and if I can focus on the venues that are open and fun.

And running.  Running is something that’s kept me sane this year. I ran a second marathon. One that stressed me out much less than the first one — I was too busy stressing over school! But, I did it! My second marathon. My life in the fall was intense — I trained for a marathon, worked ~10 hours/week, and was a full time nursing student (in an accelerated program).

So, although my ‘big issue’ — that of relationship and family — hasn’t changed. I can easily say, I’m not the same person I was this time last year. I’m not thrilled about my birthday, but I’m at peace. I’ve made changes that will lead to better things, better days in a mere 16 months.

So I wonder, where will I be this time next year? Will I still be single or will that path take a turn too? This time next year I will have finished most of my courses and will be facing only one more term — my clinical major and my practicum.  I will have started to work as an employed student nurse and will hopefully have clearer steps about what will happen after my program is done (will I leave Vancouver as I hope, or will I decide to stay? What area of practice will I choose?).

This year has been profound, full of transitions. Some transitions I hope continue and I hope for a year of more joyful times in my life. For now, I’m going to stop, enjoy my birthday, finish preparing for Christmas (one more gift to buy and I’ve been sick so need to brave the stores on my birthday… ugh!), and will work on a post of some thoughts and goals about 2010.

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… don’t worry, I haven’t vanished, I haven’t stopped posting permanently. I just haven’t had a free second. I’ll try to find time this week or maybe next weekend to write a trip summary post — the individual posts I was describing likely wont happen very quickly. Then I’ll give you my first impressions of nursing school. Tomorrow (er… later today) the real work begins. Last week was orientation for nursing school.

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Have you ever felt like you know that life is changing? Things in my life are in flux. There’s nothing obviously different, but as a friend said to me (about my life) in an email today “I have been feeling like everything is massively shifting”. I have started to feel like my life is really shifting. I don’t know how it’s going to be different but I feel as though my life in 2009 will look very different than it does right now.

I often use the analogy of a path when thinking of my life, but right now I feel like I’ve entered a room. I’m just at the entrance and there are multiple exit doors. The room is pretty big and the doors are far enough away that I can’t tell which doors are real, which doors are just painted frescoes, which doors are real but locked and which door is real and unlocked.

I hate this place. I am fine dealing with what is known, good or bad, I find it stressful not knowing where things are at. Things feel like nothing is actually different, but I’m at that phase that is about to shift. What’s frustrating is that I don’t have control over much of this change. When it involves other people, I guess I have to learn to release control.

I was talking with a friend last night and I was pretty vague about what the changes were, this friend knows me, and may even read this blog (not sure though), but we were talking about life and I mentioned some gossip about friends in Seattle that eventually may mean we wont be able to stay there as often. It made me think, too, about my life. One door could take me much more frequently to Seattle – but this door may be locked, or a fresco. Another door could keep me in Vancouver with a reduction in my trips to Seattle. This door is the one that I hope is the unlocked door — if I can be patient enough to wait for it to be presented to me. But it might be locked.  Yet another door could keep me here but could lead to me being a student again.  This door is separate from the others I have been referring to, and is unlocked, I just can’t see beyond it, so I don’t know if it’s one I should walk through it — or not.  Another door was presented to me today that could take me away from this area altogether.

This last door is related to the test I took last June and I’ve received information that could lead to a job and all the cities are well far away from here. The other doors were more personal or my work-related doors don’t affect the personal doors. This door would transform my life entirely.

So do I know what 2009 looks like? No. I have guesses what the doors are, but I suspect that there also could be another door or a combination of the doors that will really be the ones that open. But I have a hard time being patient. I have no choice, though.

So this frustrating week has ended, and I’m going to keep going with my usual intent of choosing to do each day what I need to be happy. And tonight, I’m going to go with my continuous backup plan — and I will enjoy it because it’s a good start to a very long weekend. Hopefully this time of flux will come to an end before too long and I will try to find the enjoyment in this season. I haven’t found it yet, but it must be here, right?

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Tonight was an intense night. Things happened that needed to happen and I don’t know that I feel good about them yet. It was intense.  I need to blog, I need to write, but the words aren’t in me.  When thinking about life, future the way things need to go, I know that going through this intensity is a must.

But I don’t want to. What I want to do is to take my entire life and redesign it from the ground up.

One thing I’m learning is the value of good friends. Some friends are friends for a season, others for life, some come and go depending on where your paths take you.  All those different friends have great value. Those who are for life, I don’t know what I’d do without you.

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So I worked late today. As of yesterday I’ve switched to 8am – 4pm and it’s wonderful! But, today 4pm rolled around and there was no one in our department. So I stayed around.

I was after 8 hours so I figured that I was just there to deal with anything if needed, so I pretty much just surfed the ‘net. And of course at 4:50pm, a rep comes by to ask a question.  Then at 5pm someone calls in. Fortunately their question means I have to talk to the scientist — who had already left for the day, so I didn’t have to stay beyond 5pm, but still. Late.  That’s okay, I didn’t mind it. Had I checked and considered, I could have figured out that this would happen and I could have started at 9 instead today. Oh well.

I was pretty tired when I got home so I napped. Woke up late and chatted with one of my girlfriends. It was getting late-ish so I had to choose: Showboat or Running. I came up with a compromise. Run to showboat. Was not the easiest run with a backpack on, and it was a short one, but it was better than nothing.

At the dance it was amusing to see one of my friends KA. She had on a bikini top under her sundress. And one of the leads somehow managed to untie the back of the top, while dancing.  And her sundress started to slip. I didn’t know whether to congratulate the lead on his talent or shake my finger at him. I danced a couple of dances but didn’t really have it in me.

I went up to the top to watch a little bit. Peppered all over the area where all the groups were hanging out, there were individual guys — each surrounded by at least 3 women. It just made me sigh.  So many people are looking for the same thing and so many of the guys seem to just enjoy the attention but are without any intent (though I haven’t asked every guy, perhaps this is an unfair blanket statement). I look at the situation and can’t help but think, no wonder I just stay in my oblivious self-protective shell, refusing to jump into the mix and ‘compete’. There are so many women all looking for the same thing and sometimes I wonder if they (at times, we???) are looking in the wrong place.

The girlfriend I was chatting with earlier tonight dances. Sort of. I say sort of not because she’s not good — she’s a fabulous dancer and easily a favourite of many of my dance friends. But in the last 7 months or so she’s gotten involved with this great guy. She’s fallen deeply in love. I think her exact words were “He’s the love of my life”.  This guy isn’t a dancer, so she has to make the choice — time with her guy and her friends or time dancing.

Needless to say dancing loses and it’s a choice she’s happy and even very willing to make. She comes out occasionally, and he even comes with her occasionally (that impresses me!).    I too would choose to spend time with a guy who is the love of my life. Easily.

So I look at the guys and can’t help but think “WAKE UP” there are many amazing women in the dance scene and the guys would be lucky to connect with any one of them.  There’s several who have commented that they wont date in the dance scene – perhaps they’re afraid of ‘dividing a small scene’ if a break up happens, perhaps they’re afraid of ‘the fishbowl’, perhaps it’s a fear that if something goes wrong in a couple they could end up leaving dancing. Perhaps it’s something else. I don’t know. All I know is that so many of these women would make the same choice as my friend. I’d make the same choice as my friend. In a heartbeat.

I’m not even sure what my point is. Perhaps how futile it all seems, how regardless of what I may or may not feel and think, I refuse to jump into the mix because I don’t want to be just another one of the crowd.  How sad it is that so many people seem to be looking for the same thing yet aren’t finding it.  No clue. It just struck a chord in me.

So with that melancholic pondering running through my mind, I decided to leave. I slept wrong last night and my neck’s been a bit stiff anyways. So it all felt a bit ‘off’ tonight. I stopped at Safeway (and mental note: next time, IGA is also open late… I picked the grocery store farthest from my house and had to haul groceries home by walking. Not the brightest idea…), grabbed some groceries. As I was entering into the parking lot of Safeway I looked down the street and out in her yard was a woman who goes to my church.  I don’t talk much about church, and haven’t seen anyone from church in a while. She didn’t see me. She’s very wise, and very trustworthy. Had she seen me I probably would have poured all this — and all that I’m not saying in this public pondering post out to her. But she didn’t see me. I didn’t go up to her.

I was craving ice cream. I miss my Jules and our gelato tradition. I kept myself from buying ice cream at the grocery store as that’d be too much. But I decided if I still craved it I could grab one from McDonald’s (the only thing with ice cream open right by my house – sadly enough).  I did. I had a Rolo McFlurry. I asked the sales girl to add chocolate to it too. She did but apparently they don’t use real rolo piece. It was this horrible fake chocolate stuff, with no caramel in the middle. Not real Rolo Chocolate. And since she added chocolate she didn’t add the caramel. And she was being very kind and added extra chocolate syrup for me. So it made it too runny.

All in all a disappointing ice cream. Next time: I’m just going to get a twist cone. If they still exist.

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6am. Awake on a Saturday morning.  I am still smiling from last night, but I’m groggy from a serious lack of sleep…

Last night was a blues dance night and for the first time in probably 2 months, I genuinely had a great time.  I dragged myself there, but loved every minute of it. My dancing was chaotic but I had fun. I even felt like I was being asked to dance because the leads wanted to dance with me and not just because they’re my friends and they’re concerned and know how stressed out I’ve been about my personal life.  I had a memorable dance with a close friend of mine — I always enjoy dancing with him, but this one in particular made me go ‘wow’. I don’t remember the song, but I will remember the dance.

I left at 1am (this dance goes until 3am). I was happy to leave on a high note, with not a moment of frustration at the dance, but I was also sad to leave while I was in the middle of having fun dances.   But I had to go, because I had to get up around 6am today.

6am. Awake on a Saturday morning. I am still smiling from last night…

My automatic coffeemaker has brewed my coffee, and I take my breakfast and coffee onto my balcony. The sky is perfectly blue, not a cloud in sight. The weather has a cool warmth to it. The kind of weather that is nice, comfortable at that moment and speaks volumes about just how hot it’s going to get.

There is not a sound. Even the birds are sleeping in. No cars, no people. Nothing.  It is a moment of peace. I have time to reflect on last night, and how happy I am that I found something that I’d lost a few months ago.  I feel like myself again.  My smile isn’t forced, and I want to weep with the relief that, for a short moment at least, I am not carrying a heavy weight.

It is a morning of peace.  Slowly the coffee kicks in and my brain wakes up. I get dressed and begin to make final preparations for the exam.  As I putter about, accomplishing nothing at all, I cherish this moment. Not rushing off to work, or to a weekend morning run.  Soon my email ‘you’ve got mail’ sound rings, and the exam begins.

I work on the exam with the least stress I have ever had. As a perfectionist, that is saying quite a lot. This whole morning feels like a new beginning. I don’t know if this exam will lead to anything career-wise. I don’t know, yet, if I want it to. But today feels like the beginning of enjoying the ‘now’. My backup plans are in place, I don’t have to worry about “what if”.  Without trying I’ve got two “what if” options available to me.  Somehow this helps to make it easier to relax in the ‘now’ – where I work, what I’m doing.

Yes, I do wonder if anyone who knows me through work has found this blog. But I’m okay with that. In reading my blog I hope they see that I truly enjoy where I work, and that in building back up plans — without really trying on my part — I am protecting myself from going through another 18+ long long months of not working full time.  I still wont let search engines pull up this blog, but I do hope my friends, family and strangers who have found this blog will keep reading. I welcome you and I hope you leave comments, they make me smile.  As much as I dislike making myself vulnerable, perhaps this is an important step to take.

So I am still smiling after a morning of delight and beauty and I look towards an afternoon that may involve, beach, BBQ, bicycles, but definitely finding pleasure in the beginnings of summer.

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Now that I’m working, I seem to have options for other opportunities sent my way. There’s the school option, multiple interview options – often with recruiters who I’ve worked with in the past – they all seem to have the ‘perfect for me’ job. There’s the test, too.

The test I’ll take, that could set me up for a job a year, two, down the road. School I am relieved to point out, I can defer. I had to write a letter making my request, and I have to wait for a response – which will take a few weeks. But, they said it’s usually not an issue. It’s especially fortunate that I am, quite honestly in the throes of family crisis, so my excuse is very very real. Ironically, today’s the day that I finally managed to speak with people (we’d spent the last 3 days playing telephone tag).  I get home and what do you know, another recruiter I’d worked with in the past calling to catch up.

Tonight was another dance night. So far, since moving my blog to this site, my dancing’s been highly ineffective. I always seem to be posting about unsuccessful dance nights. Well tonight, I was in a good mood, relieved over the school deferral, and ready to dance. I get down to the beach and there were one or two other dancers there but no DJ and no music. I know these guys so I call them and they’re having dinner and will be there after. No worries, I had some journalling that I needed to get done, and was hoping for time to do that.

But, they ended up taking an hour. Or more. A lot of people were there, waiting for them to show up. I suppose they eventually did, but I left before they got there.   The thing was, I was feeling in such a good mood, that I felt like I had the energy and strength to make a call to one of my family members. This is someone I love dearly and in my necessary hiding away as I process and sort through ‘stuff’, I miss seeing them.

So, while heading to the beach I gave this person a quick call. Left a message. And while I was waiting to dance, they called me back. Questioned why I’ve been hiding and what was going on, and when I explained it, spoke up with fears that I have about my hiding. I’m sure that makes no sense at all to anyone reading this, but it suffice it to say, it really stressed me out. Do they think choosing to hide is easy on me? The easy road for me is to not hide and to not deal.  But I’ve learned that I need to take care of myself or I wont make it with my sanity intact (no comments from the peanut gallery!).  If I’d taken the time I needed 6 months ago (though I know I wasn’t ready in some respects), perhaps the situation wouldn’t be what it is. But it is. So I am. Hiding and dealing.

But it did stress me out, and since there wasn’t music yet, I had no way of distracting myself (and it meant I heard my phone ring in the first place), and I was really hoping to be distracted. So I tried journalling, that helped calm me down – mostly, but not enough to hang out. I just wanted to go home and ‘process’. So I did. Sadly, I handled it with my favourite inappropriate way to handle stress. I should have gone for a jog instead. Oh well, next time.

So yet another unsuccessful night of dancing. OR not. Next week, I hope to get my dance back. When going about my day to day life, I’m feeling like ‘me’ again, and I want to have fun doing ‘me’ activities. Like dancing. I miss it.

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