God bless the weary traveler.  The red-eye flyers.  Those of us that curl up on benches and try to sleep.  Interrupted every few minutes by the loud intercom informing us on the current security level threat.  Reminding us to not leave bags unattended and to report any suspicious activity immediately.  

I have to say the Orlando airport is quite conducive of middle of the night naps.  I’ve been in airports where they hit you with a stick if they catch you sleeping.  Also places that you just wouldn’t want to suddenly become unconscious.  Tonight, I easily found an unoccupied bench next to this ridiculously large water fountain thing.  I sprawled out, putting my feet up on my silver and black luggage (the type that looks like it’s bullet-proof) and plopped my head down on my messenger  bag.  My money stashed safely in the depths of my cowboy boots.  My leather jacket sort-of keeping me warm, I spent way too much time in the sun and my pink skin was feeling chilled.  A hoodie covering my face.  Surrounded by palm trees and actually nicely dim lights and the lull of the water, I almost felt like I was dozing in a park.  Not in some busy airport in some shithole part of Florida.  

Saturday we flew down the east coast in my buddies truck, spanning 7 states in less than 24 hours.  I mastered the art of peeing in a coffee cup while squatting on the floor.  Around midnight we passed that lovely South of The Border town between the Carolinas.  Strung out and crazy from the road we stopped.  I had an overwhelming urge to buy fireworks and a sombrero, but despite being lit up like a mini-Las Vegas, to my dismay, everything was closed.  

Spent yesterday and today on the beach.  The ocean is like a reset button for me, it clears away all the jumble.  Now, drinking coffee and watching the puffy-faced travelers I’m eager to arrive in Austin….


lucky pennies

March 28, 2009

A whole slew of random hair-brained ideas actually all came together today.  I’m reassured by it all.  My faith in the uncontrollable unfolding of life is reinstated.  I feel like a warm, smooth, glowing bullet filled with potential, a bullet that’s going to take off at astonishing speeds any moment now.  We won’t know when, there will be no warning, it’s going to happen fast…

I have this week off from school and I decided that I need to get away, far away.  And not just one place, not a simple there-and- back vacation.  I need an unplanned adventure.  So, I sort of had it in my head to go to Austin because there is an Open House at a hospital there… more thinking, more searching, I found a couple more hospitals that looked pretty dang good.  I’ve been filling out applications and writing essays, and cover letters and gathering my official transcripts and letters of recommendation.  I held off on buying a plane ticket until yesterday because I just felt like I should.  Then low and behold one of my best friends was either going to lose his job or have to relocate.  Relocate it is, to Florida.  Ah-ha!  I’ll hop in his truck and we’ll drive straight down the east coast until we hit warm, sunny beaches.  Perfect.  He’ll ditch me at the airport and I’ll fly into Austin.  Texas sounds so majestic to me lately and I’m curious as to why I’m being drawn there.  There is an invisible force at work now.  This afternoon I got a phone call from a hospital down south and we set up an interview in the E.R. with the director of nursing! woohoo! I fell in love when she said “That’s 1:00 hun, Texas time” in a cute little southern drawl.  

The man at the post office today gave me two shiny new pennies as change.  He said they were good luck and I believe him.


March 19, 2009

I should be relieved that I have less than two months left of school.  However, I’m incredibly anxious.  This is because I don’t have a job lined up, no one in my class does…. Apparently the economic crisis has crept in and affected even the Nursing shortage.  People have lost their jobs, thus their insurance, so less people are going to hospitals, which translates to hospitals in the midst of a hiring freeze.  That’s not my only concern, I have something else that is gnawing in my belly….

I feel like I’ve been running in place with someone’s hand pushed up against my forehead.  Their hand is big and strong and my head is sweating.  I’m running and trying to push past this thing that is holding me in place.  I’m exhausted, I’ve almost lost the will to keep going.  I’m scared because my enthusiasm has dwindled.  Nursing school sucks the life out of you.  While I’m surrounded by some wonderful people I’m also surrounded by complainers and very negative people.  I’ve been knocked down so many times by my clinical instructors that I feel unsure that I’m even washing my hands correctly anymore.  When I started school I was fresh out of a hardcore Wilderness EMT course.  I was fired up.  I was sure of myself.  I felt there were limitless possibilities.  I’ve been repressed in this sucky school system forced to take classes like math (not math that I’d use) and technical communications!  They just want my money. more more more…. I have none left and by the looks of it, no means to gain any in the near future.  I don’t even care about the money thing so much right now.  I care about my passion and where it has gone to…  I know it’s in there, in here, as I feel my heart thumping in my chest.  I’m ready to explode, I need the next thing.  Something to look forward to and plan for.  I want a job that I’m thrilled about.  I swear to god if I have to work in long term care I’ll…. I’ll what? I don’t know because I won’t work there.  That would be like studying to be a gourmet chef and end up flipping burgers at McDonalds.  

So, I’ve been scouring the internet. Goddammit I can find what I want in this vast invisible world.  Google, search, link, google some more, pulling at strings here…. I’ve applied to some awesome new nurse graduate programs in Austin, Texas and L.A.  Who knows? But I won’t settle on waiting around here for some crap job.  I’ll move, again and again, I’ll relocate in order to dive in somewhere worthy.

I’ve hit the wall. I seriously don’t give a f*** about school anymore.  I’m getting just fine grades, but I’m certainly not putting my all into it anymore.  I’ve just got to get through.  It’s a joke.

double diamond

March 10, 2009

I dreamt that I was skiing down a mountain.  No, more accurately I was plunging headfirst down a steep and icy slope.  It was a nightmare.  A beautifully white snowy world, but terrifying and somewhat familiar.  I had no control and the forces against me were strong.  My feet were not just getting wet, they were soaking wet.  And cold, cold feet.  

I walked home tonight wearing sunglasses in the dark. My hands are covered in paint and I’m trilled by the randomness of Brattleboro.  The scene was: a funky apartment above a sub-par sushi joint.  The place disheveled because of a recent break-up.  The cast:  too unbelievable to write about.  But we are all strong and broken and hurt, yet still smiling, and still hopeful.  That’s why we’ve banded together on a Tuesday afternoon to play music real loud and paint and laugh.  

My horoscope said this “You must expect sudden and even radical upheavals in your affective life: love at first sight, sentimental tornado, possibility of a drastic change”.  Okay, bring it…


March 5, 2009

I’m almost sad that February is over. The dreaded month here in the northeast is always a good excuse. An excuse to be crazy, depressed, lonely. Blame it on February, on the cold, on the dark. Relieved is another feeling I have. Because sometimes it honestly doesn’t feel like we’ll survive it. Each year I take drastic measures for those 28 days, operating on pure primal instincts; usually I hide. One year it was in the bathroom with a bottle of scotch and the radio playing Tom Waits was teetered on the edge of the tub. I was daring it to fall in, egging it on. This time was a blur… although late nights filled with dark whispered half-truths come to mind. I was urging myself to disconnect. Keeping disappointment at arms length. 

I’ve gotten closer to people lately. Realizing how much I need my best friends that I’ve know forever. Discovering how amazing it is to meet new people. To become woven in with the human race is a powerful thing. To know people that will allow you to squirt ketchup all over their bathroom then sit, drunk in the bathtub while eating tator tots on a Thursday evening is a beautiful thing.

When I left the small rural hospital today where I had clinical in the E.R., the sun was out. I really should have been home studying but I HAD to be outside. I pretty much ran to the top of the nearest mountain. After an hour, sweaty, my heart pounding I lay on the rock at the top. Just long enough to feel my back turn cold. Then I scurried down the mountain. I felt so goddamn good. I think March is going to be a pivotal month, it needs to be. Then after I got back in town I donated blood. It seemed appropriate.

psycho men

February 15, 2009

It’s almost 1:00am and I keep checking to make sure the door is locked. Every time I hear steps in the hall I hold my breath. There was this guy that I had gone on two dates with. Everything was fine, but just fine, nothing spectacular and I won’t settle for anything less than spectacular. Plus there was something that didn’t feel quite right. Today I didn’t have the energy to tell him that I wasn’t interested. I was tired because I spent the night with my lover that keeps up late. My lips raw, my hair a matted mess, I got home this morning and went back to sleep. Eventually I arose and got dressed. I went out for a beer with one of my friends. This man I had just barely began seeing arrived in the bar. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and pretended like I didn’t see him. I just wanted an easy mellow evening, but I could feel his eyes on me. He had called me way too many times today, bordering on psychotic. So, I said bye to my friends and left. He followed me outside and yelled very loud “HEY” like I was his fucking dog or something. I stopped and said hello. He was very annoyed and rude to me. I kept walking, then sent him a text that said to leave me alone. Let’s hope he does.

early morning hurricane

February 12, 2009

I’d almost forgotten the pleasures of dancing alone in my apartment. Incredibly full of energy considering I got up at 4:30 this morning.  I’m impatiently waiting for my friend to come visit, armed with dinner from Sporty’s.  This warm(er) weather has broadened the smile on my face.  It feels so good that I’m afraid of what the real spring will do to me!  It’s always funny to come home after I had to get up early.  It looks like an actual fight took place. Coffee dripping down the cupboards, every single seed from my everything bagel scattered about, dirty knives, underpants and books all over the floor.  Last minute I decide I need to iron and my mini-ironing board is on my kitchen table.  It’s absolutely amazing that I can create such a mess in a half-asleep state in such a short amount of time.  Apparently manic Jen works in all states of consciousness.  Today was such a great day at clinical.  I actually felt like a real nurse.  Things are coming together between my mind and the hospital floor.  Random encounters and coincidences abound this week. This is the stuff I crave….