Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Awkward





I am awkward. I think I used to be less awkward, but somewhere along the way some neurons either quit firing or maybe they all just started firing at once. I imagine my brain operates like a bunch of little old western movie stars, firing pistols everywhere except the target.

3 days a week sounded like cake, until I couldn't function on my days off, my social experiences became desperately slim, and even making food requires excessive inner prompting. 

I got tired. Misplaced anger, sad diagnoses, homeless, entitled, unhealthy, unfair, abused, cruel, lonely, psychotic, needy, prideful.  I'm tired. I'm tired of being sad for people I'll never meet again. I'm tired of being the shoulder to cry on, and then the punching bag. I'm tired.

I'm also alive. I'm healthy, free, friended, loved, remembered, full, forgiven, malleable, learning, teaching, moving, able. I'm alive. I can't believe I'm trusted with so much responsibility. My thoughts matter, my words carry weight. I'm a comforter and a hand of reassurance. I'm alive. 

On the inside I'm that floppy inflatable thing outside of car dealerships.


via GIPHY

I'm proud to do what I do, I'm also embarrassed by how little I know. I've always believed if I work hard enough I will be excellent and whatever I try. The inconvenient truth is time is part of the equation. Yeah, maybe if I put in the 10,000 hours I'll be a master at this but 10,000 is a big number and I'm pretty exhausted already. I see it on the faces of my co-workers, this silent frustration, this deep and powerful exhaustion. The limit does exist, the limit of our interventions, of our capabilities, of our compassion.

And yet, here we are. We pick up extra shifts, we smile, we laugh at our frustrations, we offer to help, we encourage each other, and we come back tomorrow. We are all insane.

Truth be told, I love this work I do. I love the challenge, I love learning a new medication or treatment or trick for starting better IV's. I'm addicted to the challenge because I know I'm not great yet, but I can be.

I always thought I'd only feel alive when I reached the top of the mountain, when I abseiled in to the cave, when I lost my breath taking in beautiful surroundings. I feel alive right here, in this flat flat Oklahoma. In this wild ER. I feel awkward and it is kind of wonderful. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fragile

full disclosure, this picture is here so if I post this on social media it won't be a large picture of my feet on the link. 

I've never thought of myself as fragile.

Not to say I think of myself as tough, maybe stubborn is a better word.

Easily broken is certainly not on the list of my self-proclaimed characteristics, but every time I do something new I am reminded of my weaknesses. In the past year I discovered I actually believe I am capable of being/doing anything I set my mind to. Anything. From building myself a tiny house to being the owner of 6 pack abs- two current beliefs I hold- I know I can make them happen.

I believe I am capable of almost anything, but I also expect failure. I anticipate I'll forget houses need insulation or abs require eating less peanut butter. I'll fail and I'll break and then I'll adjust, move on, and if my goal is real and rooted in something deeper than just a desire to be a hottie I will attain it.

Last night I started kicking things. Under instruction of people who know how to kick things of course, and I was once again reminded of my fragility. "Don't kick with your feet, kick with your shins" a lesson I apparently will learn from extensive bruising and cuts on the top of my fragile feet.

This picture takes me back to almost 2 years ago, when I believed I could add 3 hours on to a 6 hour hike by climbing a mountain straight out of fantasy and then complete the rest of the hike no problem. I had never done a 6 hour hike, certainly not a 9 hour hike, and certainly not in the blazing heat of a New Zealand summer day. And yet, I stood at the foot of that volcano and looked at the stranger next to me, with all the confidence in the world and said, "lets do this!"

I'm also reminded of that time I played soccer (football) after years off a field and was reminded of the fragility of my quadriceps. I had the pleasure of wearing ace wraps around my legs as penance for  thinking I was capable of sprinting down a field (as if that has ever been a strong suit of mine).

So, I don't think of myself as fragile, but I suppose I should stop being surprised every time something new is also something painful. I'm stubborn enough to let the belief in my own abilities guide my actions, always forward, always struggling. I suppose the things worth doing are painful, my sunburn and my cramped toes sang me the song of success after the hike of a lifetime. Every tortured step after thinking I could casually jump back in to playing soccer took me toward some of my most treasured memories from living in Nelson. I think we all know we have to endure pain to find success, but I guess I'm learning I have to recognize my own weakness and vulnerability before I can attain what I really want.

This week I am recognizing the vulnerability of the tops of my feet.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Movement

Moving, moving, moving. Just when I think I'm stationary, I take another step.

I cannot fathom how it has been almost 10 months since I returned to the states. Ten months of friends, travel, conversation, joy, fear, unknown, rejection, acceptance, learning, and occasionally sleeping.

Any fears of complacency or settling have been pushed aside in a whirlwind of activity. A few months ago I was confused by my joblessness and all the time I had to read, hike, and think. Now, here I am a short time later with a life- once again- wilder than I imagined.

I haven’t written in a lengthy bit of time, but not without reason.

Reason #1: two jobs are keep me moving, and truthfully, I don’t really feel like the minute details of my life are worthy of putting on a blog right now.

Reason #2: I’m writing for another blog and, though I’m only writing monthly, it takes most of the creative energy I have left to come up with content.*

You can find my words on aforementioned blog more frequently than you will be finding them on here for the time being. I did however promise a summation of my road trip from Washington. I chose to go above and beyond the promise and deliver a summation of my time since coming back to the states last September (in 1 min and 23 seconds). 



Yes this video is too fast, and you can't dwell on any of the pictures because they fly by. Similarly I have soared through the last 10 months. I have seen the beautiful, weird, boring, and breathtaking of our fair country, I have been fortunate to spend time with friends willing to adventure where I'm traveling or living and make friends where I land. This video is what ten months of wild motion feels like in retrospect. Of course, I left out pictures of the days I spent sleeping and working, or when Audra and I lit a bag-worm infestation on fire on our driveway. Full disclosure, I'm sitting on my couch at 3:45 in the morning posting this, I'll sleep all day tomorrow and then work all night. My life is not always exciting, the highlight reel suggests it is, but remember, it's only 1 minute and 23 seconds.









*Another blog?! *crowd leans in anticipating the next words*
Yes, crowd, another blog. I’ve been contributing to Oklahomacraftbeer.com. Brian Welzbacher is the creator of the Oklahoma Craft Beer Podcast, designer of so much cool OKC Craft beer swag, and blogger of his experience in the community of craft brews, brewers, and enthusiasts. I met Brian at COOP Ale Works (Where I work, for those of you not paying attention) and offered to do a bit of writing for him just for fun!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Welcome back

We meet again. Here on this screen where I ramble about my life and you read. I express anxieties, excitements, motivations, opinions, and plans, and you use these words to mold your picture of who I am. Welcome back, you've chosen a good day to read, at least I think you have.

So I suppose I should catch you up. Since I last wrote I chose Oklahoma as my next frontier. I
started a new job, in a new brewery, with new amazing people. I made friends, borrowed a comical car, made guacamole, and practiced a lot of yoga. I wore heels and borrowed my aunt's shirt for an interview. I got two job offers and accepted one. I bought a plane ticket and designed a 10 day itinerary down the west coast and back inland.

There is this quote (apparently a yiddish proverb) about making plans, and I think it applies to my life most appropriately. "We make plans, God laughs."

Yeah, He's funny, that guy. I guess when I say "I'm just trying this out to see what happens," He says, "Alright, you ready for an adventure? Something weird? Something you didn't expect? That's what will happen." So far His intervention has led me down some amazing and unexpected roads, and I anticipate the same going forward.

So there you go, questions? Yes, I thought you may have a few.

Oklahoma? My cousin got married here so I flew down for the wedding, my other cousin and aunt convinced me to stay for a while.

The Brewery? COOP Ale Works. I got a job by sending them an email with the subject line "Queen of the Keg Wash" It was silly, I thought I'd never hear from them. They asked me to come in the Monday after the wedding. I was paid in beer and t-shirts and then hired part-time.

The job? OU Medical Center Adult Emergency Department Nurse, Full-Time Nights. It's a teaching hospital, the only Trauma 1 in Oklahoma, and part of my next adventure.

The road trip? You'll see.


There you have it. Funny the directions life moves in. Funny how you don't get things you want because something better is on the horizon. And let me tell you, the horizons in Oklahoma are extensive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Twenty Three

Today marks the end of my 23rd year. A year I was told would be boring, and lame, a year where no one takes you seriously but everyone expects you to be an adult. 23 was supposed to be a bad year because "too many transitions," and "nobody likes you."

Me and a Kiwi shortly after my birthday

I didn't intentionally fight these claims about 23. In fact, I may have agreed with this perspective at some points during the year. But looking back, everything I did flew in the face of these ideas. 23 has been the best year of my young life- not coincidentally it may have also been the hardest. 

My 23rd birthday was spent with people who were complete strangers only two weeks earlier, in a country where I knew no one except them, and was wholly reliant on their generosity (which was abundant). 

I jump-started my 23rd year when I boarded a bus headed for a sulfur scented city; I found myself in a hostel dorm room sharing a bottle of wine and a can of jalapeƱo Pringles with a dutch woman enjoying her five week vacation. From here 23 became what the article linked above claims 23 cannot be. 

At 23 I abseiled in to a cave and spent 5 hours among glow worms and cave eels. At 23 I asked a stranger to climb a volcano with me. At 23 I house-sat for perfect strangers and drove on the left side of the road. I moved in to a hostel at 23 and shared a room with 5 strangers for 2 months. I joined a soccer team at 23, I bought a car and slept in it at road-side rest areas. I worked a job I had been previously denied 3 times and joined a church. At 23 I hiked trails on mountains, hills, farmlands, and beaches, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends. At 23 I read 29 books. At 23 I faced countless rejections for jobs and even more acceptance by strangers, friends, family, and coworkers. I walked on freshly solidified lava fields and gazed upon constellations I had never seen. At 23 I said my last goodbye to my sweetest of friends. I moved 5 times at 23, sometimes to new cities and towns, and often back to familiar faces.  


23 sometimes felt overwhelming, lonely, and painful. I discovered characteristics within myself I had no clue I was capable of. And even though I didn't always love my life, it remains the best year I've ever had.

Since I've committed to the business of exceeding my own expectations I intend to stay the course for 24. For those of you who read these jumbled words of nonsense, rest assured, I will keep you informed on what exactly that course turns out to be, just the moment I know it.