Embrace the beauty in living life unfiltered.

Thank you for reading my stories, laughing along, and being brave enough to share yours! 

values & goals

I am an oncology nurse. Introductions at cocktail parties are always a buzz kill. A sudden and sullen turn of mood comes as new acquaintances take a glimpse into the struggle and sadness that comes with my job. They aren’t wrong, but the work isn’t always as overwhelmingly sad the way others expect.

With enough tenure, the heart of what any professional may do for work, can be lost in the day to day. A teacher may go a whole semester without thinking about the significant impact they are imprinting on students lives and how much the students are teaching them in return.

There are times of course, when the weight of my work hits hard and caring for patients with cancer, many of whom are in varying stages of dying before my eyes, reminds me selfishly of my own mortality and the mortality of those I love.

“Will it be sudden or will we suffer slowly over a long period of time? What would I do without this person and that one? What if I go first? I want a living funeral party! I want to hear the good things people have to say before I’m hovering over them as a ghost. I should make this known. Not the ghost part. That freaks people out. But I will totes be fun-ghosting on some people.”

Right now I’m currently involved with a project helping to train providers to have more meaningful conversations with their patients about their values and goals. The target population is those with a serious illness. The point? So that people can live out the last of their days the way they truly want.

I think about life and death often; an unavoidable side effect of the profession. When it becomes too sad, I block the idea of my own mortality and those that I love out; an issue I don’t have to think about now- while I’m living. This is after all how most treat the thought of their own mortality or that of those they love, isn’t it?  Easier that way.

There’s a note of documentation that people in health systems use to make known when a nurse has been alerted of a critical vital sign or an order than needs tending to- RN aware. 

Whether it’s the lines that begin to form around my eyes, the audible groans that come from picking something up that lays below (on both the way up and the way down), or the fact that I relish in an evening walk over a happy hour cocktail more and more, I know I am aging. RN aware.

And while I am not dying of a serious illness I am aware that I am also not not dying. RN aware.

Independent of disease, independent of my current project involvement, I know it is important to be clear on your values and goals and to speak and live them out loud. RN aware.

While I find the work of discussing values and goals of grave importance, when I turn inward to see if I’m living out mine, the honest answer would be – not really. Or rather, not fully enough.

Time to course correct.

I don’t want to be a nurse. I have a hard time stomaching a work environment with a screwed up view of hierarchy. Or maybe it’s just the egos.

I want to write so much more than I am currently. I want to write a book. I want to write for a living. I have a lot to say.

I want to be disconnected from technology as much as possible. I want to live a rich life- offline.

I don’t want to keep up with you. Or you or you for that matter.

I want to live slow paced.

I want to spend and need less but still have quality things- just fewer of them. 

I want to feel freedom as much as that word can be defined- professionally and personally. 

I want to be held and loved and I want to hold and love others while feeling and giving that freedom.

I want to explore, meeting all the characters of the world, collecting pearls of wisdom, so that I can share them with you in story.

That is the impact I want to make. This is the life I want to live.

I’m working to save money to live on for the day I leave nursing to write and write alone. I can find ways to spend less.

When I am vocal to project team members about the importance of my work life balance and I hear back from one of them that they aren’t forgetting about their gardening priority, I know the seeds of my words are being planted well. I will work to keep the balance.

I know I’m creating healthy boundaries for tech when my phone-tracking app displays 19 minutes of total daily use on a weekend away with friends. Not all my days look like that, but 19 minutes is the new goal to beat.

I want to feel fully comfortable being myself even if that comes with mistakes and imperfections. I want to be fully loved for all of it, too. I want to give the freedom to others to be their fullest self; mistakes, imperfections, and all. I will keep working on giving that to myself first and most importantly.

Despite the lines I try to avoid from forming on my face or the unavoidable groans when picking something up thats fallen below, I feel in the prime of my life. What better a time than to take some riskier steps to course correct and better align myself with my dreams? If not now, when amiright?

I’ll be posting online but please don’t be upset when I’m not online otherwise. I’d rather be with you IRL. If I’m slow to respond to texts, calls, invites, please don’t get upset either. This is my pace. I won’t let you down, though. I promise you that.

I am grateful because I am alive and well and I can live my life my way. Patience with the active unfolding helps. Inward check-ins and course correcting get me there.

If you knew your time was short what would be so important to have, hold, accomplish, or do that you couldn’t imagine a life without? Are you in alignment with those values and goals? If not, what can you do to get there?

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! Much to be grateful for- life is good!

thirty celebrations

the slow lane