In May 2016, I embarked on my first overnight hiking trip since the breaking of the bones almost exactly one year prior. I have a tendency to take to the woods whenever life is throwing me curve-balls, and lately I’ve been striking out on all cylinders.
I first visited Kings Mountain in August 2015, after I declared my ankle healed. It was an easy hike, with rolling hills and a good first outing post-fractures. I also discovered there was a 16 mile trail which would, at my pace, take two days to hike. The seed was planted.
In May 2016, life sucked. I hated my hospital job. My co-workers (with very few exceptions) were generally not nice people and made life hell. My living situation was also not good…
As far as hikes go, it was an easy 16 miler. Camp set-up was easy; I had plenty of access to fresh water both for cooking and drinking, and I made a wonderful dinner of spaghetti Bolognese. It went great with the loaf of french bread I’d brought. I was in a bear-free area [my biggest worry when camping is bears. And boy scout troops. But as it was during the week and school wasn’t out yet, I wasn’t too worried about a mass of prepubescent boys interrupting the peace. I should probably be worried about other critters, but no–just bears and snakes that can kill me] so my only true worry was rattlesnakes or Copperheads. [Luckily I only saw a black snake. No bears.] It gave me a lot of time to think about where my life is heading and what I want out of life.
- Thoughts: My job sucks. Maybe I should not have become a nurse in the first place. My manager won’t let me transfer because the unit is so severely understaffed. Time to look for another job at a different hospital/facility.
- Results: A mere two weeks later, I had an interview at the company I now work with. The hours are better, the pay is more, and it’s closer to my house. OF COURSE, I took it.
- Thoughts: My living situation isn’t tolerable any longer. I avoid the roommate at all costs, yet I’m worried what she will do to my stuff/cats when I’m not there. The polite/proper thing to do would have been to tell me she was looking at a new house while she was actually looking at it. Or while it was under contract. Not two days before closing. I’ve been locked out twice, and I take a small amount of joy in banging so hard on the door the neighbors come out.
- Results: The same week as my interview I agree to terms on the duplex I’m now renting. It’s 3BR/2BA; I’m one person with two cats. The three of us agree it’s perfect. Me: I have all the space. I can clean or not. I can cook or not. Cats: Extra beds to sleep on. A couch to snooze on. A yard to chase birds in.
In addition to working out those two huge stressors, I gave myself a couple of goals to work towards during this new phase of life. It’s not exactly a new year, but it kind of feels like it is.
- I began the new job June 20, 2016. I plan to stay for at least a year while working on my BSN.
- It is within the realm of possibility to finish my BSN in one year. Let’s do it. (I’m on track to graduate August 2017).
- Find new ways to inject adventure into my life. (Travel nursing, peace corps, working in Saudi Arabia)
- Investigate options for becoming a nurse practitioner. Do something about it.