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 in my roommate had bought a house without telling me nearly 30 minutes away from the old one… in the opposite direction of where I needed to be. I moved to the new space because I truly had nowhere else to go, but believe me, I was looking for a new space. So it was with that mindset that I set off into the woods.
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.