That’s one of my favorite songs from the Counting Crows.
I am ever hopeful that 2017 will be better than 2016. 2016 was rough. In some ways, it seemed as if the black cloud that appeared in May 2015 carried over until May 2016. So while the first half of the year kinda sucked, the second half seemed to be improving. My health is finally on the right track [even if not as fast as I would like]. I’m working to finish school in order to change my career [even if it’s not the one I originally thought I’d be in]. Other areas of life are getting on track too [turns out dealing with issues is a lot better than sweeping them under the rug]. I’m finding out who my real friends are and who doesn’t deserve to be counted in that group.
I’m employed. I’m in school. I’m currently sitting in a hammock overlooking the South Carolina marsh. It may be 35 degrees at night [which in all fairness, is not too bad for January], but I’m away, exploring new parts of my home state… [little tiny coastal communities plus a couple of the state parks I missed out on back in October due to Hurricane Matthew.] I’m dating a person I love and who loves me back [and who is spending the weekend with me in this beautiful house].
My cats are only minimally psychotic; life is good.
In some ways, 2016 has been great; and yet, it’s been rough in lots of ways. I have had four physical addresses in the last 6 months. 4 times of packing up my stuff and moving to a new location. 4 times of unpacking boxes. 4 times of trying to get the kitty cats comfortable. 4 times of trying to get settled. 4 times of buying duplicate things because I couldn’t find what I needed at the time. 4 places where I’ve tried to make a home. On top of that, I’ve had three jobs + some freelance work in the last year. It was the opposite of what I needed, but in reality, I had no choice. It was either move or be homeless. It was either work or end up at the *poor farm.
In June 2016, I quit my toxic hospital job. I had worked in a hospital (not necessarily the same hospital) on some level since 2003, and it was a big deal to leave. Even though that was one of my goals for becoming a RN. Even though my latest work environment was toxic; even though my co-workers were cruel and hateful. The hospital had been my one constant my entire adult, working life.
Also in June, I left a living situation that was no longer working for me. And it didn’t go well. In the time from telling her I was moving until the day I left, it was beyond stressful. The cats were mistreated; my things were mistreated when I wasn’t there [and let’s be honest, I was only there to sleep because I felt so unwelcome.] A few things went missing or were broken. A number of mutual friends, while still cordial when out paths cross, aren’t exactly people I’d call friends anymore.
And in July, one of my closest friends, for lack of a better term, ‘broke up’ with me. He was my main camping buddy and hiking partner, and while it sucks not to have a person to do that kind of stuff with anymore, it certainly won’t stop me from doing these things.
I’ve always been more on the private side even in real life. I strive to be truthful and honest in all my interactions, but here lately, I’ve been even more reserved. One of my goals in this new rendition of the blog, is to be more open and transparent. But some things will always be private.
I started a new job at the end of June. It’s been three weeks now, and I’m still loving it. It’s crazy busy, and keeps me on my toes. It’s still healthcare, so what I can say about what I do and where I work is quite limited. I now work in physical rehab. It’s so different than what I used to do, and I get to use both of my skill sets. I have a lot more freedom to do what I need to do, to do what I think is the right thing, and I love that. I love that my skills and knowledge is valued, but what I love more, it that it feels like what I do matters. And I haven’t felt like what I do matters in a long time.
I also have new living quarters. It’s palatial by New York City standards, and more space than I really need, but the price was right, the neighborhood is good, and the landlord is chill. After living with roommates since 2006, it is nice to finally have space of my own… where it doesn’t matter if I empty the dishwasher the second it’s done or if I leave clean clothes in the dryer for a week. A place where I can decorate as I choose, and a place where the kitties and I can relax however we see fit. And most important, a place where I can start to feel settled.
The Next Steps
In August, I head back to the classroom (metaphorically speaking–all my classes are online). Depending on which option I pursue I could be finished by the end of next summer (with a BSN) or three years from now (with a MSN or DNP) Who knows what direction my life will go, but at least for the next year, I’m going to be pretty stationary. I’ll still find time to do the things I love, and hopefully, deepen relationships with all my friends.
I don’t know where the road is going to lead me, but I hope you will hang around for the ride.
Today just happens to be my birth day. I just happen to be in Italy. It happens to be Carnavale. How is this my life?
You know, I was thinking back to this day last year. It pretty much sucked. The lowest of the low. It was the last day I ever talked to my dad. On my way home from the hospital, I saw my then-boyfriend riding around with another chick in his truck. Then called him and said ‘what the actual fuck is goinig on?’ We broke up that day. A mere 365 days later, I am in Italy. I’ve been to the Olympics. I’ve explored a medieval castle. I’ve consumed more wine than I can remember. I’ve participated in Carnavale in Firenze. I bought a masquerade mask.
I took a train ride through the Alps. I kissed an Italian. And I still have three weeks left on my Italian vacation. I’m going to Rome. And Naples. And exploring Pompeii. Maybe I’ll learn more than a few words in Italian. Maybe I’ll learn to cook. Maybe I’ll become a expert wine drinker. Maybe I’ll ride on a Vespa. Who knows what will happen. This I know for sure:
Italy is awesome.
The Winter Olympics are amazing.
The Alps are amazing
The history is exciting.
The food is orgasmic.
Snacks are orgasmic.
Gelato is orgasmic.
People are friendly.
And so full of life.
I could probably live here.
I could never dress as well as Italians do
I could never wear high heels like those Italian women do
But today is my birthday. And this is what I did…
–>I concocted the best [portable] meal I could conceive of…
a small vat of green olives, a passel of green grapes, fresh bread, chucks of cheeses, clementines, and a large vat of Chianti. Throw in a view of the Mediterranean and it is quite simply amazing.
–>I took a train from Rome to Sorrento
–>I had an amazing meal
What an incredible way to celebrate another trip around the sun.