The Vortex Effect

Well hey! Jumping right in here, hold your breath!

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A few days ago I stumbed on this article.  Which became the inspiration for my baby song list.  The baby song list? Yes, it’s the menu of songs I mumble/sing to tiny humans when they are being fussy, need a blood draw, or just need an extra dose of TLC.  The seasonal special right now?

Baby It’s Cold Outside

OHMYWORD POLAR VORTEX BABIES! I love them.  And apparently, if the baby forecast is correct, this is just the beginning of the “storm”.  Right now we’re entering some November territory, which if I remember correctly, was the start of the legendary Vortex of 2013-2014.  And if some of the theories suggested in this article are right, I guess sometimes CVS just isn’t close enough.  *shrugs shoulders* I’ll take it, the wind chill for 90% of last winter was enough to bring me to wear a week’s worth of clothes in one day, all at once.  The list of necessities became a lot shorter as the temperature fell off the livability scale.  In fact, I think the only thing I was willing to venture out for by last January was either cheap whiskey and toilet paper.  Ok new parents, ya crazy kids. Thank you for your chubby-cheeked late Christmas gifts! They are sassy and fine.

Some other singin’ favorites/car tunes:

‘Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’–Willie

Blood Red Sentimental Blues–Cotton Jones

Let Him Fly–Patty Griffin

Valley of Death–Blitzen Trapper

Not that you want more winding tales of the thug lyfe (also found under the title, “The Fresh Nurse of PA”) but it’s what’s for dinner. OK? ok.

So baby nursing.

How I feel about mandatory black/white uniforms:

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How I see the nursery:

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How I interact with most infants:

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When another nurse says “make the student do your _*insert task*” while gesturing towards me (while I’m clearly in the middle of doing my own official tasking. For my legit patients because you know, I have those now.  Also, have you seen my amazing new RN badge?! But sure.  I’ll do your _____.)

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“WAIT.  you say there’re cupcakes in the break room?”

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Your early discharge patient keeps calling you to tell you she’s ready, while you’re trying to discharge your other normal discharge patient and take an admission patient from the PACU.

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Looking for anything on the unit. Or anyone:

“Go get the nipple shields” they said.  “would be right inside the door!”, they said.  They lie. 

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The nurses station anytime there is a professional male sighted on the floor.  Male in scrubs.  (“and he’s gooood lookin’!”—Spunky Well-Seasoned Nurse) Oh wait…he’s a student? dang. *SorryWe’reNeverSorry* 

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Finding your nursling buddy for food minutes:

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Changing the baby in front of mom and dad after his circumcision:
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(or anytime the baby cries and I happen to be in the room)

When a patient requests you to help breastfeed:

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When you completely improvise this breastfeeding demo and what started out as dad trying to “milk” mom in front of a screaming infant, to you, grabbing your own chest** in desperation to demonstrate proper handling techniques to mom, to a quiet grizzly baby, relieved mom, and hands-off smiling dad!

**(realizing that you may need to make a Victoria’s Secret trip before your next demo because who’d have thought you’d actually need some material to work with before a show? I can’t wait to be able to tell the cashier that I need this psychedelically over-stuffed bra “for work”)

“Do I need to go to discharge class?” UMMM…..

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Your new nurse friend shares her chocolate with you because the gift shop line was too long during your lunch break and she knew you were itching for sugar.  All while you’re rocking a fussy nugget: 15hlil2

Watching babies sleep:

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Getting the vein on the first shot.  On what the PCT refers to as “a hard stick”:

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The few times I’m able to solve patient woes!

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So there’s the comic strip, and know that in between all the sass I do really enjoy the nurse life so far.  Can I keep on that for a second?  Well yeah I can, so thanks for parking it.  Despite enjoying OB nursing, I’m finding myself missing med-surg clinicals.  Holy cow what is coming out of my fingers. Of all unholy things! Med-Surg.. of all things! I can’t believe I’m typing that.  My internal nursing student PSTD-self is shrieking.  Med-surg was essentially the reason my junior year roommates couldn’t use the TV because I had LOTR on replay 24/7 in an effort to self-soothe after long clinical days.  So what’s with the rose-tinted rearview mirror action??  I think I miss having patients without an entourage.  Not that nursing in any area doesn’t involve the patient’s family but I miss patients who aren’t the popular item–do you get it?  I miss the elderly man who’s kids live in California and his wife has to work so she can’t make it into the hospital to visit.  I miss the little lady who tells you about how she fell in love with her husband while you’re changing her sheets.  I miss visiting with patients who actually seem (or pretend) to enjoy the light-hearted chatter or just a casual checking in-turned-to-conversation.  Cripes, I miss patients who can’t talk at all because they are waiting to escape a painful, ending body.  I even miss the grumps, the emotionally crusty patients who don’t want to give you the time of day.  They offer choices that no other patient can in regards to character–how you perceive and react to them is a practice in human puzzle solving.  Sometimes the puzzle isn’t necessarily solved, but you know the pieces make a bigger picture that just isn’t clear without some work.  Those patients are the essentially why I need to practice nursing like a vitamin.  That’s what I said, to do nursing like a vitamin.  It’s a practice that targets and supplements some areas of my own human deficiency in my ability to love others.  The use of the word “need” is a new concept to me in regards to a career because I really don’t think I need nursing to be who I am or anything like that, I could quit tomorrow and be just as complete as I was today, and I’m completely open to the idea of closing this career book someday if the time comes around.  I am using ‘need’ because I’ve been thinking a lot more about how I landed in the field, especially when I’m doing something else that I love, that makes me feel amazingly tuned into life (playing music! no pun intended..).  It’s easy to wonder why I chose to do something else while feeling so ‘tuned-in’ seeing the smiles (or the eyebrows) of the audience.  (Well, here’s a good reason–street fiddling doesn’t buy the moccasins.  Also I’d probably have to know how to read music so there’s that.  All pretty solid rationales to why my day job is a necessity. I digress.)  Honestly, if I had a preview of what school and post-school nurse life would be like before entering that crazy world, I would’ve quickly shut the door and walked away.   Sometimes I laugh when I think about how God may have “tricked” me into this predicament, but everyday I understand a tiny bit more of why he did!  Because I’m not naturally externally-focused.

” My life testifies that the first thing I believe is that I am the most important person in the world.  My life testifies to this because I care more about my food and shelter and happiness than about anybody else.  I am learning to believe better things.  I am learning to believe that other people exist, that fashion is not truth; rather, Jesus is the most important figure in history, and the gospel is the most powerful force in the universe.  I am learning not to be passionate about empty things, but to cultivate passion for justice, grace, truth, and communicate the idea that Jesus likes people and even loves them.”  –Don Miller, Blue Like Jazz p. 111-112.

Just an excerpt I read the other day, and as much as I wish I could smile and say it ain’t so, it’s simply too obvious.  There is this idea of a saint-like nurse, caring, smart, super intuitive, goes above and beyond set expectations out of the goodness of their sweet nursey hearts.  Goodness knows I might be one of those things on a reallly benevolent day.  The other days?  I’m selfishly thinking about how many hours are left till I can book it out of there, smiling to cover up the groan of laziness.  “hey! why don’t you/don’t you want to do ______”

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Cause’ that’s just how I feel too often.  Not that I don’t do the things, play the flute, whateverwhatever. But I’ve come to think more so that nursing is a life filter that someone upstairs is using to weed my overgrown heart out.  Because, yes I come into a day seeing people as their lab values and how many orders are in for them (aka how much work have to do) but by the end of a real day, these people are making my heart do emotional yoga. Making it stretch bit by bit, in different ways that make me able to catch a glimpse of their ‘puzzle’.  So yeah, I’m not a saintly Florence Nightingale, and I might not be such a great gift to my patients, but perhaps the most necessary understanding of being a nurse is to accept ‘gifts’ from patients in the ‘stretch’ they provide.  Nursing doesn’t need me so much as I need the puzzle time.  Are there predicaments like this which you find yourself in?  Things that expose tiny voids you didn’t realize were there?

‘I’m Set Free’–The Velvet Underground

O.K. DONE! You are free.  Thank you darling, this is yours.

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Vanilla ice cream met olive oil and they got funky with the salt

 

Aaannnddd you are sharing yes? Naw, it’s cool I had 3.

Your weekend is almost here, one more day!  Hope it’s swell, hug a tree, kick a rock.

Where All The Things Meet

Bittersweet Symphony–The Verve

Seemed like it’d never happen! Then it did. Finally graduated from the Penn State College of Nursing alongside my fellow nurslings.

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Reading all the Facebook graduation statuses I felt a little obligated to mark the occasion with my own social media shoutout but didn’t really know how to say anything other than “Status: Graduated” or “Official P-RN” (Pre-Registered Nutcase).

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Holy cow am I the mini-female version of my dad or what?! Same smile. NoteToSelf: Never graduate again because those outfits are not your strong point honey. Some hats can’t handle the size of my head. Or the whiteness of my face. And if I ever betray my curly hair again please cut it off in my sleep ok? ok.

 

This is how I felt wearing my graduation attire:

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So there ya go, that’s my status. But wait! Is that all I have to say after 4 years of glorified chaos? oH no, come on you know me better than that. So stop here if you wanted that reader’s digest version of a simple life update.

If not, well, come sit down buttercup!

So the past week began with me taking (severely under-studied-for) Final finals, to moving out of the sweet Dirty Hersh, and ended last night walking across the stage beelining it to one of my very favorite clinical instructors for that magical hug I’d been hoping for since her medsurg clinical junior year! So needless to say it’s been a wild few days and right now I’m not sure how it all pulled through. Feeling like that about the entire nursing school experience right now–I have no idea how it happened and I actually rolled out alive on the other end. It’s like crawling out of your basement fire cellar and laying on the ground realizing you forgot what the sun felt like.

Right now I’m watching the last 30 minutes of LOTR Return of the King in the other corner of my screen.  We’re at the part where Frodo and Sam are stranded on an island in the middle of lava pouring from Mount Doom and Frodo is saying his famous “it’s gone, it’s done” and from that point on I’m emotional toast.  During the graduation ceremony I was sitting between two pals and that scene fell through my mind, it was so nice to be with them at that moment!   It was one of those snapshots where I might get confused and forget I was actually 22 in the present moment, not 82 remembering the day I graduated nursing school.  Another weird thing I tend to do in these situations is look at the scene and people interacting around me and wonder how we will all be in 10 years, also even weirder and slightly morbid–I wonder a lot how we’ll die.   Yes, you may tip-toe away now.  It’s odd and I don’t think about it in a sad way, just more matter-of-fact way.  Have you seen the movie ‘Big Fish’?  Remember that part when the dad as a young boy goes with his friends to the witches house and they all look into her eye and see how they die?  OK moving on, we are not dead! We are very much alive right now and people are just moving through their stories.  Sitting down to write now I’m feeling a little like when Frodo is finishing Bilbo’s book at the end, sitting there saying “how do you pick up the threads of an old life, how do you go on when in your heart you begin to understand, there is no going back?”  (oh gosh Domico, DRAMA QUEEN much? but really. let me have this.)

It’s barely been a couple of days since leaving the Village but I must admit I’m developing separation anxiety from the nurslings.  Nothing requiring treatment yet but just feeling that little hole in my heart fill up like a dentist fills a cavity.  For something I was such a total brat about for the longest time, some of the most wonderful moments did occur in the midst of the Dirty Hersh, and it goes to show that I really don’t know what was best till it’s reviled to me after-the-fact.  Recently, I stumbled on this Lewis quote:

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”–C.S. Lewis

Perfect.  This sentence encapsulates exactly what I can safely say I know about myself now.  Myself a few years ago might have been more doubtful that God would do good for me, or that I could trust Him to not hand me a ‘Plan B’ life because I screwed up too much for ‘Plan A’ to work out.  Right now though, I can no longer say honestly I fear God’s purpose to do good within my life-I know whatever He does will be good regardless of what I feel or think–I fear the pain of real life.  It is tempting to live for enjoyment and pleasure. Many times it seems more promising to take what we want through the means which we see immediately available rather than allowing the rest of the story to unfold because we fear that if we don’t take the opportunity we will miss out on what was best for us, what would bring us the blessing we want.  I don’t want to give you some cheesy post-grad-life-wisdom-lecture, as if walking around for a day in a funky flat blue hat and matching gospel choir robe makes me any less a fool than I was 4 years ago.

Right now I’m just going to share some reflections and encourage you to think about your life, whatever it’s been for the past few years–what the heck, go ahead and do a full on life review, it won’t kill ya.

Meanwhile: I never not enjoy watching the music video to #SELFIE.  There’s a basic bitch inside us all.  

When I think about most of my college-aged life I recall my trend being very much like a mixture of a Jacob story and a Leah story.  Funny, these Biblical people were actually married to each other, however I’ve found a lot of fasciation and relateability to their individual stories and how God worked through each of their broken lives.  Yes, we’re about to get Sunday Schooled.  It’s been a while so you can deal, ok? Ok.  In a nutshell the Leah story is about a girl whom finds herself as an undesired obstacle between her husband, Jacob, who was tricked into marrying her.  Basically he ran into her crazy beautiful sister, Rachel, in some field and he was all smitten and pledged to work for 7 years if he could marry her.  So he does and is all pumped about finally getting the trophy wife he thought would bring him every happiness in the world and on the wedding night her dad slips in Leah instead of Trophy-Wife-Rachel!  OUCH.  So…talk about the awkward morning after?  So he’s tricked into marrying Leah instead of Rachel and he’s ticked (duh) and so he works another bunch of years so the dad will let him marry Rachel too.  Well, now he’s got HotStuff Rachel and the MistakeWife Leah, yes he’s way into Rachel more.  Here’s the thing, Rachel can’t have kids but Leah can.  So Leah is pumping out babies and miserable because her husband doesn’t even like her and never wanted her.  Yeah, don’t blame her for being a little disheartened here.  But get this, here are the translations of the names of her children in birth order from first to last:

1.  Reuben–>means “See, a son” and Leah’s response was: ” Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”

2.  Simeon–> means “heard/sign”, Leah’s response: “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also”

3.  Levi–> means “attached”, Leah’s response: “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons”

4.  Judah–> means “praise”, Leah’s response: “This time I will praise the Lord”

Umm can we side-step for a second and reflect on how if you and your sibling were married to the same person it might be a little..uncomfortable? Whatever.  I’ll leave it at the times.  They were into that sort of deal back then I guess.  Do me a favor and save me the typing, but read this: Genesis 29:1-35 even if the Bible isn’t your jam, I’m asking you to read this just to get the context of the story I’m referring to.

Read that again.  Pay attention to that birth order.  I’d love for some more info on Leah’s life during those childbearing years and what she was thinking and how God was working in her everyday life.  The Bible doesn’t give us her personal diary account but leaves it at her children’s names, which provides us with unique insight into what those years may have been like as far as her relationship with her God.

There was a conversation I had with a close friend a few months ago in which I was attempting to describe some things I’d noticed about my own life each year of college (and I’m only using college as a time-reference, I’m not trying to imply that it was the defining aspect of my life, as my life would’ve probably happened anyways for the past four years with or without participating in college).  Going into nursing school I’d had many expectations and plans to acquire the blessings I wanted, especially if I lived as that good little Christian girl should.  “See? I did what you wanted right?  Now I should have ____.”  Reuben.  Sophomore year was similar in many ways to freshman year, basically a continuation of “I know God see’s and hears me..I’m still trying to make this work…am I not following “instructions” right?  The roots of ache for blessing were so deep inside of me, and the more they were uncovered and exposed to light, the more frustrated I became.  Simeon.  Junior year. Oh boy.  Well that was something I’d never order on the menu again.  And by saying that I really fear God will hand me another similar time potentially worse, but with the same holy outcome.  Crap, I know I’m supposed to look forward to the future with all that Christian joy and pizzazz but guys.  I do not. Sure, sometimes I do get a little rush out of thinking of the future and not knowing what will happen but equally as many times I am filled with the desire to not know because I don’t’ want to know the pain it will bring as well.  OK back to the point–Junior year was one of the scariest times of my personal emotional/mental life (so far).  Sure, school was so so hard but it was just the tip of the iceberg.  School wasn’t’ my problem, it just aggravated the real problem–myself.  Ever heard the saying: “We stopped checking for monsters under the bed when we realized they were inside of us?”  During this time I became so frantically unstable that I was desperate to attach myself to people and things I believed would satisfy my blessing ache even if it was just partially.  I didn’t care about what God wanted me to do, I decided God had seen me struggle and stumble enough times and I’d be better off just numbing myself to him and living in apathy and bitterness.  I knew I was fallen and ruined in some way, and at that point I just took what I could see.  I wanted something, even if it wasn’t’ the whole thing, I just wanted whatever I could get.  What do you think happens when you attach yourself and your contentment to something you can lose?  You drown with it.  Levi.  Senior year was a surprise Judah.  I never foresaw any praise after the Levi Year.  I walked into Judah unaware that the raw, open lacerations leftover from Levi were the portal in which joy would leak into my veins and permeate  my body.  Perhaps my eyes were just opened enough to see more tiny moments of beauty and blessing because I had to be desperate enough to ask?  I have experienced tears of joy this year just in moments where God allows me to see a mini-movie of these years in my mind and given me insight into where he was within the story.  Do you know the ‘Footprints in the Sand’ poem?

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, many scenes of my life flashed across the sky.  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.  Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.  This bothered me because I noticed the low periods of my life, when I was suffering anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could only see one set of footprints.  So I said to the Lord, “you promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.  But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints int he sand.  Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”  The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.”–Mary Stevenson

While I was cleaning out my room in Hershey last week, I found this poem on a poster on my closet.  I’ve had the poster since freshman year, though not purposefully.  It just never made it in the trash like all my other posters.  Funny it was this one survived every poster-purge!  Realizing that the times of one set of footprints (Levi) was a time of blessing because I wasn’t doing the walking was so beautiful and simple that I couldn’t not feel reverent praise at such grace given within my own foolish being.  This past year I’ve felt significantly stronger as a person (not that that’s the adjective people associate with me when they experience the havoc of Rebecca during their day, but this is more about personal experience ok?) and more able to care a lot less about people and things in insecure attachment ways.  In fact, in comparison to myself a few years ago, I feel more open to the ride rather than the knowledge of exactly where we are stopping and going.  Just letting things play out offers some surprise joy without as much fear as begging for a particular future then not having it.  Sure, I’ll bet there will be tons of other hills n’ valleys in each of our lives so really I’m just digging deep into one tiny timeframe of experience here, nothing crazy.

Can I Biblical History-nerd-out on ya one more time here?  So, Jesus is actually a descendant of Leah’s bloodline. Regardless of your opinion of his divinity/whether or not he was who he says he was, stay with me here a moment and think if he is in fact who he claimed to be, the son of God and savior of mankind, the picture God painted through Leah’s life was indeed redemptive and stunningly beautiful.  The saving grace of mankind came through a line of an unwanted, broken woman.  Not from the worldly-favored line of Rachel (no offense against Rachel, she plays an important role in the story too but I’m just not going through it here).

So I mentioned Jacob’s story earlier right?  How do we relate to this guy?  Who is this guy who thinks he can just marry away and treat one wife like crap and love the other one more?  That’s a side note, not really the point here.  But what we know about Jacob and what the Bible tells us about his life is that his life is a series of pursuits.  Pursuits of blessing, from his father, mother, brother, and his women.  He chases after sustaining blessing through these relationships which all fall through and do not satisfy him in the end.  Later in his life (he’s married to Rachel and Leah with a bunch of kids and servants) when his brother is looking to kill him (!), he meets God.  Read:

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

–Genesis 32:22-30

Last year I heard my campus ministry pastor speak on this story and many points of this sermon pointed out the trends of blessing pursuit in Jacob’s life. (You can listen to the same sermon here! It’s titled “Meeting God”)  One of the things he said, “god is attracted to fools” was a novelty to me in my thinking of who God is and how he works.  The people God chose to pursue within these accounts were oftentimes outwardly insignificant people of their time by their society’s standards, and even rejected by their society.  This should say something about the character of God, this God chooses the lost and messed-up to build his kingdom and create his eternal story.

Jacob spends his life going after blessings (he goes to his father, mother, brother, wife for blessings and in all of these relationships the blessing fell out and he could not create the blessing and satisfaction he wanted from any of his pursuits).  So he goes through his merry way of looking for this fullness in everything else until he is isolated and alone, his family across the river and his brother waiting to kill him in the morning.  He meets some stranger and wrestles with him, oh and the stranger happens to be God.  Just another average day in Bible Times right?  Someone’s going about their business and then BOOM God shows up and tells them to do something kinda weird!  It’s like he’s the main character or something.  The big deal here?  Jacob finally realizes what he was missing in all of his other pursuits, similar to Leah, they both chased blessing so hard from their own means till they came to a point where they demanded blessing from God himself.  And God gives it!  We do this–we are looking for someone/something to BLESS us, to choose us, to tell us we are OK.  Even if you do not think you need this, do you have parents you care about?  A girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse?  An endeavor?  Music?  Academics?  Hobbies?  Why do you even bother to maintain relationships or academic goals if you don’t’ see some justification and self-benefit from them?  You don’t practice any of theses things or relationships without motivation.  You expect something to benefit you through these, and that isn’t inherently a bad thing.  These things are so attractive to us because they mimic shards of authentic soul-satisfying blessing.  Taking another point from that sermon, think of this, when a person meets God it is a personal experience.  It comes through authentic blessing that our soul’s recognize as the true love we’ve been designed for, and it occurs through “wrestling” with God himself.

“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart form himself because it is not there.  There is no such thing.”–C.S. Lewis

So there you go, another dramatic novel by Your’s Truly!  Thanks for sticking around, and let me say that when I refer to different times in my own life as more difficult than others I do understand that this goes for everyone and my experience is only unique because it is my own but that doesn’t make it any better/worse than yours and I want to respect that.  I also don’t think that my life is all that notable and when I dramatize it in writing it’s simply taking a magnifying glass on a simple person in a simple life apart of a very grand story, much bigger than herself and that for me is thrilling.  I share these kinds of things with you in hopes you will find personal use and inspiration to think of similar moments of your life and how you interpret their meaning.  I do talk of God, well, because that is who I believe is driving the car, BUT I don’t expect you to have that exact same outlook on life.  That’s fine peaches! You still have a brain and a soul that I’d bet craves the exact same thing my soul does regardless of what we believe we came from the same deal.  I hope you have the most rich life of your soul and I want true and real things for you very much, I hope you do to.

Woah, well that felt good.  Not sure about you but it’s been a while and I love talking with you like this.  I hope you have a good night and sweet mercifully-dreamless sleep.  The next latte I make at the best job ever will be dedicated to you, and I wish I could give you all the lilacs I stuffed my face in on my walk to work today.

‘The Promise’–When In Rome

‘Forever Young’-Youth Group Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

*Thank you pintrest, tumblr, and Facebook for all images here.

Bury It Before It Buries Me

We’re sitting in my parent’s kitchen watching the Fluffnugget urgently push his food bowl under a kitchen chair to have a midnight snack.  And then work it off by doing illegal couch jumping (…mom law enforcement isn’t here!)

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Well, again, I’ve employed every single distraction in attempt to avoid blogging for quite a while.  All simply because it’s easier to scroll through tumblr or sleep than to translate substancial thought into words that are at least 50% worthy of people’s brain time and internet space.  When I’d look into the Blueberry Day’s graveyard  of unfinished posts left to rot, it feels so fruitless and wasteful! I start so many writings that just seem to go flat and seem really stupid about 2 paragraphs in.  Which then makes me mad and wanting to drop the laptop on the floor and sleep face-down chiding myself for even trying, and reminding myself that I’m not even a “real” blogger and that all I can ever talk about these days is my nursing life-because it’s all I see at the moment.  No, this post isn’t going to be a fussy 2-year-old. Just thought I’d admit that I’m a lazy bum.  Want to talk about something you didn’t already know?  Me too.

Cold Is The Night–The Oh Hello’s

Nervous Wreck–Sera Cahoone

Catch Yer Own Train–The Silver Seas

Auld Lang Syne–Sufjan Stevens

I didn’t even wish you a Merry Christmas!  Cripes.

Let’s cover all the bases–“Happy New Years!”

Hope you had a Merry Christmas though.  I did, it was swell.  Plus, I was again pleasantly confounded at how I managed to swing another semester in the Circus.  If nothing else, last year strongly enforced the belief that this is not to be taken for granted…so Merry Christakwanzakkah to me! This semester didn’t actually seem to be as soul-burning as the last couple but maybe that’s because there’s nothing alive left within me to burn…? *Insert Concern*  Eh, I’ll worry about potentially being a member of the undead after graduation.

Was 2013 good to you?  Here were some of my favorite happenings:

Traveling with friends was a big one this year

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Hearing both Devil Makes Three AND Trampled by Turtles live!

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Vermont:

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Recording music with friends

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Turning 21 (!)

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This Place is always a favorite:
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Holding this little guy:

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Being apart of this beautiful day:
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As far as past year reflection, I think 2013 was one of the most productive years I recall in my short life.  Not on the outside-I didn’t really do anything huge like graduate or other life benchmark, but it’s been a long year of with a lot of internal re-construction.  I can say that, although we all have continuous internal construction work happening, compared to this time last year I’m in a much more “built” place by a landslide.  Do you remember any specifics about yourself this time last year?

If I were to have a conversation with myself a little over a year ago, lets say last autumn 2012, I’d probably say these things:

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1.  The person/thing/activity you are always available for is the one that controls you.  The more pressured you feel to constantly be available at the drop of a hat for someone just in case they want to spend time with you– the less comfort and assurance in that relationship.  The more you have to convince yourself of how you think someone perceives you the less true it probably is (at least in this department).  Do yourself (and your clear-sighted friends who are tired of hearing about it) a favor and call it what it is.

2.  The only cure for self-hate and crippling insecurity is to decrease your opinion of others opinions but even more importantly–decrease your opinion of your OWN opinion of yourself.   Also, read this book sooner than you will.  Contrary to popular belief, you are not actually the most qualified judge of yourself.

3.  Stop wasting time trying to change how you feel about yourself.  If you don’t like yourself stop beating yourself up about it.  Your emotional windstorm isn’t going to help anyone, including yourself.  If you feel wretched about yourself today, fine.  Feel that way.  If you feel ugly, fine.  BUT treat those feelings like an expired credit card.  It will no longer purchase anything for you and is merely a piece of old plastic.  It simply exists, but powerlessly.

3. Don’t leave your true desires in the storm of your emotions.   They are at very high risk to become warped by water damage.

4.  Developing what some may call a “bitch face” isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it’s your “I don’t have to see that crap to smell it” face.  If you smell it, it’s there.  Don’t participate in that fest.

5.  Start doing something that makes you feel strong.  There is no clothing size that compares to the satisfaction of looking at your antagonists and knowing you could take them out.  (Maybe that’s not the best advice, but it’s one of my favorite coping mechanisms…hehe.  And I don’t actually run around planning how to physically maim someone…most of the time).  If I can say, starting to punch things (not people, try for things that are meant for this activity) is amazingly relieving.  Do it for a few minutes and you just can’t care about anything else enough to bother you for at least an hour.

6. Being rescued from yourself is a great freedom.

So if I haven’t absorbed the memo titled: “Change, Everyone Has It.” by now I should be dropped in the ‘Lost Cause’ bin.

Now that I’m on this boat I also want to share some of my favorite articles/pintrest-y posters of the year.  Remember how I’m a lazy bum?  Well that should say something is worth reading if my lazy fingers actually copied and pasted these links when all they want to do is sleep.

Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle’

’10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out’

‘Single and Not Waiting’

Happy New Years darling, hope the best for you.

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*all those cool quote-y poster graphics are not mine.  Thank you pintrest and the rest of the internet

In The Pool

What makes winters lonely? Now at last I know.

I’m tired and so are you.  Why?  Because it’s Sunday night and the weekend was (hopefully) great because you got to see people you love and the sad part is you have to walk right back out the door about 10 seconds post-entrance.  Ok, not 10 seconds, roughly about 172,800 seconds. So now we are parked in my room listening to our melancholy melodies, remembering snapshots of the past 2 days and replaying a few in our head just to get one more smile before the picture becomes a file in our minds and the memory of exactly what we were thinking and feeling is dulled. Do you do this?  Re-think even basic daily happenings several times over while they’re still “fresh” because you know you’ll either forget the whole instance or it’ll become stale in a day or two?  You know what, I probably just spend way too much time alone and normal people don’t swim around their mental pond without a babysitter to tell them to get out of the water before they turn into a raisin.  So that being said I’m just a raisin now! Ew.

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but honestly I have nothing for you to listen to, eat, smile, frown, laugh, or think about tonight and this post was really my excuse to badger you before the week gets the best of us.  Ha, nice right?  I led you through a really gray paragraph with no lucky charms at the end!  What a jerk. 

Cool your jets-I have a little project for you before next time.  I want you to write a letter to yourself from yourself in the future (I can’t help but think of the scene from The Office when Jim sends faxes to Dwight from ‘Future Dwight’!!).  It doesn’t have to be profound, in fact maybe it’s best to write to yourself from next week, next month, next year, from you in 5 years! Go at it. What would you tell yourself?  I’m just curious.  Probably going to try this tomorrow. If you do this keep the letter and read it at the time you wrote it from.

If I end up being a mom someday I want to give my kid a box of letters when they move out, one letter from each birthday or Christmas (or some other yearly milestone, maybe I’ll just pick a date or month. And call the letters something like “The October Stories”.  

Goodnight! 

 

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Welcome To Camp

Hang Me Up To Dry–Cold War Kids

Oh! Hello there, nice to be here on this little corner of the internet with you again.  Let me debrief you on some recent happenings!  First: This nut moved a wide 2-hours away from the Nest to Hershey, PA for a (hopefully) sweet finale to 4 years of life living in the circus show! (Also referred to as nursing school..I prefer the more descriptive title) Let me fully disclose I’ve been and continue to be a stubborn brat about the whole ordeal just because.   Cripes!  Rebecca!  You stayed in your hometown 3 extra years than necessary because it was easy (there were other incentives, but let’s be real,  I did take the “safe” route) and suddenly you’re throwing a hissy fit over having to move just 2 hours away for 7ish months?!?  Babies take longer to cook than you will be in Hershey.  It’s not like many other 20-something humans did this years ago and had to move somewhere they weren’t familiar with, PLUS many of them went much further than a  2-hour drive! Suck it up buttercup–welcome to the grandparents of Reality TV…real life!  Where we do things we don’t want to do like it’s our job, because often it IS.   And more often these things are privileges and blessings we don’t want because they come in forms we didn’t “order”.  Typical.

OK my rant-to-self is done, thanks for sticking by!

So! About a month ago I was academically abducted from my little space shuttle nest here:

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……And went Nursing Camp!

Guys! We aren’t Kansas anymore…

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The Stages of Denial

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…I’m WHERE?
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If I ignore the problem it will go away.
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I think you are a big liar. Talk to The Foot.
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No really, talk to it. I care not. You’re a major fibber.
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*entering realization phase*
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*grumble growling*

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Nursing Camp, (Hershey, PA) is essentially a small retirement community for 20-somethings in the middle of a corn field.  Hence the accurate description of the “campers” as:  Children of the Corn. 

There’s a hospital too.  A nice one!

Weekly Activities (Class Descriptions):

Med-Surg Round 2: ANNNDD there’s That Look again!

Professional Development (aka ‘Scary Story Night’): How many ways can you loose your license?! Calculators couldn’t handle the truth!

Mental Health: Where you realize you’re more suited to be a patient here than the professional. 

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Nice to be seeing you again! Hope your September is swell.

It’s An R-V!

Remember Cousin Eddie?  I see this exact conversation happening at the future Domico Family Christmas..which Your’s Truly being the crazy bird parking their house in the yard 😉

Future Home:

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Really on a camper/trailer home kick lately.  Honestly, I love the idea of going on an extended trip around the country of just living out of your van/home-on-wheels.

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Favorites:

This 1977 Airstream Camper,  this remodeled school bus.

Oh gosh I want it.

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Really lovin’ on the campers recently.  Maybe I’ll just get one of these and park it in front of the Convent  Hershey nursing apartments instead of paying rent…? hmmm table that idea…

ANYWAYS–>  Things We Like Today,

brought to you by:

“My Money Tree Is Dead”

An upcoming novel by The PSU Nursing Students 

This interview, definitely this interview.  Humbling reality check for all of us.

This song. One of those radio songs, at first you’re not really having it ya know? BUT it starts to creep up, bit by bit….till one day you find yourself sitting in traffic too long and suddenly your head’s a-boppin’ and before you know it your really giving the neighbor cars a show.

This blog post by Joy The Baker, sometimes I wish I had the magic recipe for instant blog success too–but turns out blogs are successful when they are written only out of enjoyment and dedication of the author.

This essential oil.  I’m getting the sniffles and have been sprinkling it on a rag to sleep with at night (is that odd?  I’m sleeping with an old rag doused in eucalyptus like a baby blanket.  No shame.  I didn’t even tell you about”Scruffy”.

This zucchini bread from Smitten Kitchen, made my my darling roommate-mother person-returned-from-Wild-Africa, The Peanut Butter Jar! This recipe was a staple in our apartment this year.  Days immediately got a little sparklier when I’d come home to the smell of her baking (anything!) this ❤ sweetness.

This party!   from Delightfully Tacky.  What a cool idea for girls who have enough clothes to dress the state of Texas but still want to shake things up with new looks!  You get to hang out with your ladies, eat tastiness, drink fun, you leave with a full shopping bag AND all your $$$.  Yes Pleeeze.

This hair dye–after rolling in regret for dying my hair crazy red all year and living with the consequences of having hair the same color at zits after the intense red wore off I told Sister Claire to never ever let me do such a foolhardy thing again.  No more dying hairs!  I actually love my natural color, light ashy brown with real golden streaking, and don’t really understand how I convinced myself to dye it in the first place.  Unfortunately the post-red hair is pretty unappealing and I really missed being a brunette.  So today I got some crazy back, was careful to sneak around Claire (who to her credit, is very diligent about protecting me from too much of myself and my spontaneous nuttiness) and dyed my hair with the Natural Instincts Light Brown Brass-Free color.  The thing I can’t stand with dying my hair is that no matter the shade I’ve always had those nasty reddish brassy undertones that just scream “cheap-o not-natural-at-all”.  Going back to brown I really really didn’t want any of that and thought I’d have to just deal with it as a unavoidable side effect of DIY hair color.  Found this “brass-free” dye and was skeptical, but figuring I already expected the worst I went ahead and tried it out. The results were so much better than I’d expected! It was EXACTLY the color I wanted but didn’t expect to get!  The brass was way not an issue, and the brown turned out very close to my root shade.  I’m on a roll with these great hair decisions!  Bangs, brunette….who knows what’s next (this is next!)  I really just want my hair to stay brown/grow back into it’s natural brown and grow out to the middle of my back.  This will probably take years.

Happy Saturday!

 

(all photos: thank you Pintrest)