Saturday, December 6, 2014


Time is a funny thing. There is something in it's passing that takes away the negatives. At least for me. And I suppose this is a blessing. There are certain times in your life when you just reflect back and say, "You know what? That was really pretty cool. And I'm really proud that I was a part of that." And it's not that I don't see the good while I'm in the moment, because I do. I really do. I see the good. I feel the good. But there's this fierce part of me that is never satisfied with less than perfection. That chooses to focus on the flaws and the things that can be improved. This is both a blessing and a curse. I'm a generally positive person --or at least I was before working so closely to the general public... haha. Honestly though, it's not that I focus on the things that could go better to be negative, because I really do see the whole picture. I see the positive. But in the heat of the moment the deep rooted part of me that strives for perfection always and in all things points out all the things that need to be fixed. Things to make better. Things to improve upon for next time. Because as smoothly as things can appear to run there is always room for improvement. And I think that my brain picks these out in this continuous struggle to attain the unachievable perfection.

As time wheels away, round and around the memories go while the bumpy rocks and sharp divots get chipped off and smoothed over so what is left is a smooth round whole view of the situation as it was. And looking at the new smooth round memory reminds me to be more present. Accept things more as they come, in the moment. Perfection isn't a thing. As much as my stomach churns at the thought. It isn't. Perfection isn't real. The passing of the time doesn't make you forget the struggles and tears. But it does however put them in perspective. And what you're left with is a pretty damn good life.

I've done a lot in my 32 years. And I've been a part of some pretty damn amazing things. And I've complained about them. And I've struggled through them, and I've cried. A lot. Here's the thing though, perfection isn't real. The word "but" is grossly over-used. Things in life are rarely mutually exclusive. The last year was a rough one for me. It was such an interesting struggle. Because it was at once the most amazing slice of happiness -being closer to my family and being able to see my nephews grow up- and the worst year of my life. At the same time. Nothing has ever felt so fundamentally wrong on every level, and I fought it. because it also was amazing being so close to my family. And there were good things, there always are. So what now? What if being in the same state as your family is just absolutely not what you're supposed to do? What happens if the second you get in the car to drive away a two-ton weight is instantly lifted from your chest? I don't have answers. What I do have is a free and light feeling that whatever this is, it's right. And that's enough for now.

But time is a funny thing. Because when I saw this video that a former coworker made of the last year at Intermountain Medical Center what I saw was that we were pretty damn amazing. And we did and they do AMAZING things. And I'm so glad and so proud that I got to be a part of it. I don't see the collective hours I spent crying while having to put on my scrubs, and sitting in my car in the parking garage convincing myself to go inside. I don't feel the feelings of ...not fitting in. I don't remember the times I was astounded at the stupidity and narrow-mindedness. I remember that I worked for a world-class trauma center and that we saved lives. And that We. Were. Amazing. And I miss these people. We weren't perfect, but we were good.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Greatest to Have Ever Done It

I sat in the break room of the tiny 22-bed emergency department in Berkeley, California; 2,906 miles down the road (at the other end of the freeway) from where my heart and soul were. Leftover lemon chicken and pineapple fried rice sat cooling in front of me as I stared at my phone with tears streaming down my face. It was over. Derek Jeter's final game in Yankee Stadium. Derek Jeter had played his last game as shortstop for the New York Yankees. And there were pictures and video clips of him taking the field for the final time, crouching in the position that's been his for the past twenty years. Of the double from his first at bat, the go-ahead run he was responsible for in the 8th, the walk-off single to end the game, and of Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Joe Torre being in the dugout to close it out. And I just cried. It could not have been more perfect. It was like it was scripted. God is most assuredly a Yankee fan.

I have been in love with Derek Jeter since the summer I turned fourteen years old. There are SO many memories. The flip, the dive, the Mr. November homerun, the championships, the speaches, the milestones. But it's more than that. It's more than the combined sum of the pieces of history I've witnessed in person and via the media. Sure it's pretty great that the first pitch of a Major League Baseball game I ever saw live was hit by Derek Jeter over the left field fence at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, CA. It's great that the last game that I saw at the old Yankee Stadium was the last Yankee-RedSox game to be played there. It's great that I saw a game at the new stadium this year and pondered that he still looks the exact same as the first game I saw on TV as a 14 year-old girl. Seriously, look it up. The jump-throw, the stance, every single nuance. Even today. Did you see the photo of him jumping in the air after the walk-off single? Tell me that he looks different than the photo of him jumping in celebration at the end of the 1996 world series. He doesn't. The photos are interchangeable. But I've learned more from Derek Jeter than the way baseball should be played. It's more than his talent and the intangibles and the off-the-field professionalism. It's how to live a life.

The first couple years of college I read the book he wrote in 2001, The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons For Achieving Your Dreams. And it changed my life. Seriously. It's on the short list of three books that have changed my life. And I've read a LOT of books. From this book I got the quote that is still at the bottom of my email signature to this day: "Dreams become realities when you love what you do." From this book I learned, as Derek Jeter's father told him, there will most always be someone better than you, but there is NEVER an excuse for someone to work harder than you. I learned that the way you do everything you do is important. He talks about how he didn't care if he was a garbage man, a plumber, or a tv repair man he would want to be the best there was at that position. He spoke of the things he learned from watching a cable repairman at his house as a young boy. He had no aspirations to be such, but he learned the value of hard work and the desire to be the best at whatever he was doing. He talks about how that man made him a better baseball player, just by being the best at what he was. You can learn something from every person you come across in life. Don't be too good to learn something from someone in a different station of life than you. I expect a lot. Of people, of things, of situations. It causes a lot of angst at times, because expectations can ruin an experience if you're not in control of the outcome. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I think this is part of why I'm such a big Yankee fan to be honest. They don't only demand perfection, they expect it. They expect to win the world series every year, and as Derek Jeter has said repeatedly in this book and elsewhere, if we didn't win the world series, the season was a failure. Why would you want to be ok with second place? Why would you want to be ok with pretty good? Perfection. Don't ever let yourself settle for decent. Don't ever aim for having a wining season, or making it to the playoffs or even making it to the world series. If you're going to aim for something, set a goal to win the world series. If that's not your goal every single year, get out of the game. Sure you can have a good season and not win the world series, but having a good season and having a failed season are not mutually exclusive. Derek Jeter expects to get a hit every single time he's at the plate. Every time. In a game where you can fail to get a hit 70% of the time and still be among the elite, many wonder why you'd expect to get a hit every time you're at the plate. Well, if you don't expect to get a hit every time you're at the plate, you might as well stay in the dugout and tell them to skip your turn. You know it's not going to happen every time, but that doesn't mean that you expect yourself to fail. Do you see the difference? He talks about how he wants the ball hit to him every single play. He wants to be the one at bat with the game on the line every single time. If you don't want the ball hit to you every play, why are you on the field? If you don't want the chance to be the hero at the plate with the game on the line, why are you playing the game? The big moments are why you play the game. Don't shy away from, don't take them as they come, seek them out, hope for them, expect them to be yours.

*editing note* Just watched the post-game interview ... did you see it?!  In the entire career of Derek Jeter I have not seen him cry once. And I haven't missed a moment of Derek Jeter's career. He teared up several times during the game, and welled up during the post-game interview. He was talking about feeling sentimental for the first time in his career when they took the field in the first inning. And then his voice cracked as he told how he heard the fans chanting "Thank you Derek" and he thought "What are you thanking me for? I was just doing my job. It's the fans that have made this amazing." I love this man. And yes, I'm crying again.

Don't bother setting a goal if it's not to be the best, go the farthest, do the most. And if you fail once, set the goal again next go-round. Don't accept less than perfection because of previous failures. Pick yourself up, work your hardest all over again, and aim for perfection every time. Don't ever set a goal to be okay at something. To be mediocre. Don't set a goal to just make it through your shift. Set a goal to change someone's life. He talked about the pressure of being Derek Jeter and that he played every moment of every game so that no one could say he didn't try hard enough. He spoke of how he wanted people who came to the stadium to see him play be able to say --even if he didn't get a single hit that day-- "but did you see the way he ran the grounder to the seond-baseman out?" He didn't want to not give 100% at any single second.  I read this book so many times that chunks of pages are falling out. The corners are all dog-eared, and the highlight marks and margin notes are fading. I read the book for motivation repeatedly to get me through a very trying nursing program when I felt like I was drowning every day and didn't know if I had what it took to make it through --to keep me motivated not to just get through but to be the best. And most days making it through felt iffy. That didn't mean the goal was not perfection though. It was never my goal to just make it through. Making it through was TOUGH but I wanted to make it through and be the best. As I was on stage at graduation receiving the award for expert clinician (the only one of my entire graduating class) I literally though of this book, and the ways that it helped me reach this point. I read the book several more times as I was becoming a new nurse and then a new nurse in the emergency department --fulfilling my dream. I was the best CNA and LPN and RN I could be every day, and no one worked harder than I did every day. And when I need a bit of motivation still to this day, I remember the lessons I read repeatedly in the beginning of my career -the lessons I learned while I was achieving my dreams. Derek Jeter made me a better nurse. Which sounds crazy unless you get it. Seriously. Read the book people. If I don't expect to get each IV on each attempt -every time- I have no business being in that room. (see end of last paragraph)

And so I cry. I cry because Derek Jeter happened. And it was amazing. The whole career. I cry because it's ending. And I cry because there will never be another baseball player to match what Derek Jeter is and has been for the last twenty years. 

Because Frank always says it best and there could not be a song more fitted to Derek Jeter...

And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way! (My Way lyrics -Frank Sinatra)

Farewell, Captain. You'll be missed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Repeat

On repeat at my house lately: Three times that Idina Menzel changed my life:

This brings back memories of dancing around our Brooklane apartment with my roommate Sarah screaming at the top of our lungs to "Take me for what I am, who I was meant to be. And if you give a damn, take me baby or leave me!"  The first time I began to tell myself that it really may be okay to  "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Bernard M. Baruch --Your life doesn't have to look like anything anyone else expects. It just has to be yours. And people can take you or leave you. As long as you're true to yourself, that's all that matters.

Where do I even start with this one. The first time I saw Wicked, it literally changed my life. I sat on the second row of the Gershwin theater completely captivated, covered in goosebumps, and tears trickling down my face as the first act came to a close. It was one of those ethereal moments where you can stick a pin in the exact moment of your life timeline and say, that one, right there, that moment was where it changed. "Something has changed within me, something is not the same. I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game... It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap. I'm though accepting limits because someone says they're so." The musicality of the whole piece. The way she starts off almost timid, then at the end you're just in tears as she belts out at full strength, "So if you care to find me, look toward the western sky. As someone told me lately, everyone deserves the chance to fly. And if I'm flying solo, at least I'm flying free. To those who'd ground me take a message back from me. Tell them how I'm defying gravity. And you won't bring me down." I get chills every time. Even now as I type this.

Don't roll your eyes at me. "A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I'm the queen. The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside. Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I've tried. Don't let them in, don't let them see, be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal don't feel, don't let them know, well now they know. LET IT GO. It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all. It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through. Let it go and I'll rise like the break of dawn, let it go, that perfect girl is gone. Here I stand in the light of day, let the storm rage on."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thoughts Over The Past Year

A collection of my favorite thoughts from twitter, pinterest, instagram, facebook, and tumblr over the past year. As saved on my phone because I felt them deep in my soul.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Things I've Learned

A lot of changes are coming my way. And it all feels so right and so exhilarating in a way that nothing has felt in my life for several years. And it all has me sentimental and nostalgic. There are a lot of amazing things I've learned in my life and travels that have gotten me to this point. And a few amazing people. Because even though it's right and it's exciting, it's still scary. And parts of it are sad. So here's what I know. My best friendships have survived distances of a few miles clear up to a few continents away. And the times when we've been the farthest apart are the times when we've been the closest. My dear friend Mercy pointed out to me last week that facebook had our chatting messages saved from 2010. She said that she had been reading through them and... "wow... we've had some journeys huh?!" So yesterday when I had a day off I went with my curiosity, and scrolled all the way back through four years of messages and started reading. Wow. Some journeys. In a way it was better than reading an old journal. Because every conversation was in the moment and a raw snapshot of what life was in the exact moment. I read through these messages with the hindsight of how each new relationship turned out. And how things that seemed benign ended in deep tragedy, and things that seemed tragic in the moment are comical blips on the radar of the past now. And the learning and growth... just wow!!!

I've gotten off track. How unlike me ;) But the whole reminiscing experience made me think about the journey and journeys I've been on. And the people that have been there with me. I read through old conversations with several friends after this initial one, and I just smiled. I have learned that no matter where I go I have amazing people that love me, and whom I love. And people whose friendships have not only survived physical distance, but been stronger in the distance.

I've learned that a life where you can't be happy isn't worth staying in. I've learned that ultimately you have to do what feels right and what speaks to your soul. I've learned that being the best you is the best thing you can give to people. Even if that means you don't live in the same time zone. This is not to say that I won't miss certain people terribly. The thought of no longer being able to spend every day off playing in the dirt and splashing in puddles with my nephew rips at my heart.  The thought of not having his fingerprints on my iPad and phone, and looking at me like I'm the greatest thing ever hurts. The thought of no longer being able to go on twice-monthly Starbucks dates and fishing with my dad on random mornings when it strikes our fancy pains me. The thought of not being here when my mom wants to come down and go shopping makes me a bit sad. The thought of not seeing my best sister in law, best friend, and her sweet family every Wednesday while we laugh and talk and de-stress under the pretense of baking yummy things. Not being able to push a button on my vocera and have access to my best friend Jill in the same hospital is kind of sad. These are the things that have gotten me through the past year.

But the thought of going somewhere new and starting this new adventure thrills me. The thought of being debt free in a year liberates me. That's another thing I learned by coming back here. I learned that I can live with less. I can do more and need less. The thought of having an end goal that is exciting and attainable and actually taking action to accomplish the goal exhilarates me.

And I couldn't do it without the knowledge that my friendships will not only stay intact, but that some will grow stronger. And the knowledge that my family is my base of support, and how great it will be to be able to come back and see them when I'm living my dreams and making things happen, and being the best person that I can be because that's what they taught me. It will be hard to be away from them, especially from my littles (one of whom will be moving to a new state of his own with his parents) but I want them to know that they can go anywhere and do anything and be loved just the same. Hopefully that's part of an example that I can leave for them. Being the best me is the best thing that I can give anyone.

So here's to long sordid email conversations, video chats, and phone calls. Here's to vacations and adventures and accomplishing goals. Here's to living the best life you can, the one that's meant for you!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Goodbye may seem forever, farewell is like the end. But in my heart's a memory, and there you'll always be. (Disney's Fox and the Hound) I didn't know you as well as some. I had known you for such a short time. In that short year, you made such an impact in my life. You made a very difficult transition for me a little easier. Your vibrant smile, infectious laugh, radiant attitude, and that kindred mischievous glint in your eye. Our ER family lost a beloved member and gained another sassy angel to watch over us --and maybe laugh at us a bit. So in your honor my dear Kelly, I'll share this reminder with my little corner of the world; One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain that hangs in my living room. And I'll add my two cents: Don't let a single moment pass you by in waste. Never let one single opportunity pass you by to tell the people in your life how grateful you are for them --even in the smallest of ways.

Friday, July 4, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Nothing says the 4th of July to me like a girl walking through a farmer's hay field in a sundress and flip flops to a small town parade where hoards of small children gorge on sugar and sunscreen. The smell of hairspray and world domination thick in the air as dancers, cheerleaders, and rodeo queens prance by in puffs of glitter. The crowd cheering perhaps loudest of all for the boy scout troop scooping piles of manure into giant buckets pulled by 4-wheelers following the horse brigade. This has been my day. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. The great thing is that this day is repeated in small towns throughout this vast vast country of ours.

I stopped by the grocery store we used to sneak to for donuts while ditching class in high school, this time to pick up some deli lunch-meats with my mom.

I've eater watermelon, sloppy joes, and so many cherries my fingers are stained red. I accepted half-eaten taffy bites from my nephews. I've laughed so hard my stomach hurt and my lungs spasmed.

I watched fireworks explode in the sky, hot dog on my plate, tears on my cheeks, as God Bless America played in the background.

I listened to Kenny, Brad, Zac, and Rodney. I watched The Sandlot, and I watched the beautiful flag wave in the hot summer breeze of my parents porch. I kept tabs on the Yankee game. (they won)

And I gave a silent prayer of thanks to be able to be here with my family. And for all those who have fought so hard and sacrificed so much in order for me to enjoy the day in celebration of freedom and independence.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Fault in our Times?

Haven't seen that movie yet. Read the book and loved every word of sheer unadulterated reality. I did however, see Maleficent today. Good show. I couldn't help but wonder. Sleeping Beauty was pure magic for me as a child. It was my favorite, and still is to this day. So much so that when it was released from the vault and we got it on VHS when I was in high school, I watched it in the same sense of wonder I had as a child. I could tell you the exact spot and position I sat on in our living room when I'd watch it as a small girl. I had flashbacks of sitting at the table in my room listening to the read-along tape know, the ones where the tape reads to you and prompts you to turn the page in the book with the magic fairy-like sound? I vividly remembered my favorite page in the sleeping beauty coloring book that I had as a small child. As 17 year-old me watched the movie these memories came back in such a visceral way it's still hard to capture the feeling in words.

So what I wondered was, in today's world of constant readily-available everything, does that magic get lost? Is it even possible to see a movie once or twice as a small child, fall in love with it, and then not have access to it, or the ability to see it again for twelve years? Does the magic exist if it's just every day life? I kind of feel bad for today's little ones. In the same way that the novelty would wear off if you were to get a pedicure every week. It's fantastic that they have everything available to them at the click of a button. It's just that a part of me wishes they'd have things that they'll never even miss. Like the joy and appreciation that comes in loving something while you have it, and then moving on to the next adventure because time has run out on the first thing. That's such an important life lesson. One that we'll all learn in some way... even if it's not in wishing for a day when everything wasn't so.... automatic...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Something happened to me today that doesn't happen often ...ok, maybe ever. I became nostalgic over high school memories. I'm not one of those bitter people that looks back on high school with any sort of negative emotion. I actually loved high school. But from the moment I graduated, it's never been anything I'd wanted to go back to. And I think that's the way it should be. Life just gets better and better every day. So today when my sister texted me a video of this year's graduating class singing the School Song at their commencement ceremony, I was surprised when I teared up a bit.  I don't want to go back by any means, but I had a flood of memories of laughter and good times while watching the video. Remembering the countless hours spent with arms around best friends (--Kelli, Kristy, and even Steph and Becca although they were younger) screaming the school song at the top of our lungs at halftime of basketball games. Remembering that it was our class that started the tradition and how fun it was when Ben Salisbury would wheel out the piano at halftime and we'd all scream away. I remember the feeling at my own high school graduation as we sang the words "We will always say as we go our way, and of this it can be told; The friendships dear we have made while here, are a treasure more than gold." I teared up then as we got ready to toss our caps in the air because it was true. And it was also the end of an era. The end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. And looking back it was such an exciting precipice to be on the edge of. And what a wild, crazy, and wonderful ride was ahead of me. My friendship with Kristy that began before and has grown stronger after, as well as my friendship with Kelli are among my most treasured life experiences from high school. Two friendships that no matter the time, distance, or events between us will always feel like coming home.

In other throwback news that surprised me this week, I went to see the movie Million Dollar Arm with Jill. This is not surprising. We love sports movies --and this one was AMAzing. What was surprising, is that she cried through the end, and I didn't . Shed. A. Single. Tear. Shocking, I know. I just don't think I'd filled my tear-tank back up from my emotional breakdown two days before. I'm getting off track. The throwback surprising part happened before the movie. We were getting ice-cream at Coldstone. There were periods of time during college where I would eat nothing but Apple Pie A-La Coldstone with oatmeal cookie batter ice cream for weeks. Every day.  As I was waiting to pay for my ice cream I dug through the pile of cards in my wallet and came across an old punch card from the Logan store. I don't remember when I got it, but it may very well have been in the college years. I asked the girl if they still took them, and she said they had a different card, but that she could trade it over. As she was throwing mine away she saw the Logan address on the back and asked if we lived in Logan because the card she switched over to was only good at a few SLC locations. I said, no it's just an old card from college. And she said, "Oh so from a while ago then?" And I wasn't offended in the slightest. Surprising huh?  It's been ten years since I graduated from college the first time. Ten years. And I don't want to look like a 21 year old any more. I want to look like a woman in her 30s who has lived and experienced life, who has figured out who she is and who loves and has loved every minutes of those ten years. It was a very deeply happy moment to realize how at peace I was with the woman I am.

What would Throwback Thursday be without a few photos :)

Kristy and Me
Kelli and Me

2004 Nsg School Graduation
2014 -the 10yr anniversary shot

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Smell...

First, today I had a small breakdown that brought me to tears at the thought that I'm 31 years old (I think, right? I'm 31? Pretty sure...) and still don't really know what my life is doing. And my first thought was, I have GOT to go running tomorrow. It's only been three weeks and the breakdowns are back. So, bonus points to me for healthy living and productivity. My second thought was that I was going to spend my evening wrapped in a blanket in my favorite chair listening to Ed Sheeran, Carey Brothers, and binge-watching season three of The Vampire Diaries. All of which are cued for when I close my laptop.

Second, and the purpose of me writing this post, a thought I had the other day when I had been awake for 17 hours, and had two hours to sleep before having to be up for 18 hours. Read: when I should have been sleeping. And I had the following thoughts that came to me in that way that demands to be written about immediately.

I always wanted to be one of those girls with a signature perfume. Something someone smelled and thought of you. Something that if you died tragically someone would pick up the fancy lone bottle of perfume from your night stand and smell it wistfully, breathing in memories of you as they sigh -that kind of signature perfume.

But how do you do that? At what age is it appropriate to pick just one scent? I mean, does anyone want to still smell like Sunflowers? (My 7th grade scent) --my first obsession. Actually, if we're being honest, the first perfume I was convinced was my signature was from a boxed set my grandmother gave me when I was nine. I think it had been in her cupboard for years. It was called Chantilly Lace and came in this awful pink container with lace over the top and gold writing. Even now I remember that it smelled like the little blue hairs in the grocery store that have the dull sense of smell that necessitates 75 squirts of the eye-watering, nostril-burning, powder and bad flowers perfume. God, can you imagine if that one had stuck?!

So clearly, the proper age is not nine. Or anything in middle school. And as much as I loved high school, I don't want to smell like it for a second after I graduated. In the same manner that you wake up the morning after graduation and feel the instant quality of life improvement and frolic in the realization that life is now glorious and you're never going back. Smell included.

And at some point you grow out of wanting to smell like a Victoria's Secret store (the college phase) ...although, moment of silence for Love Spell...

Last week I bought what is going to be my new scent for the time being. Roses de Chloe. Which is surprising, because I'm  normally not a flower-ey gal. Getting off topic. I got a sample of this one on a recent trip to Sephora, and I used the entire mini tube. I just loved it. And I had to have more. Which means that the bottle of Love by Nina (Nina Ricci) that I'd been using would join the bottle of D&G Light Blue -Walking in Portofino that was my scent in and every time I wanted to be reminded of Greece. The bottle of Nina by Nina Ricci that reminds me of Macy's on 34th St. The bottle of Clean -Cotton Tshirt that was my at-work perfume in Seattle. The bottle of Daisy by Marc Jacobs that smells like Southern California paradise, trips to Disneyland, and road trips to Sea World. The bottle of Armani Code that smells like giggles in the back corner of a hidden shop in Chinatown all the way up the A-train to Fort Tryon park in Manhattan and everything in between. The bottle of Dream Angels -Forever that smells like winter nights in Logan after a basketball game. The bottle of Escada that smells like new-found collegiate freedom and exploding horizons.

As well as the bottles that smell like retail therapy, the salon you tore the sample page from the magazine out of, the ones that remind you of Saks on 5th Ave, the one you got because it smelled young and fun, the one that smelled like sheer elegance. These are the bottles that have been sprayed perhaps once. Most not even that. But I still have them. My sentimentality won't let me throw them away, and I keep adding to the collection. I have some at my parent's house that I was able to remove from my night stand years ago that are filled with even more memories of high school and the beginning of college.

But at this point, I feel like I should have one prevailing perfume that's my go-to. I mean, there are a few perfumes that I have a firm link to different people in my life. Mom, old roommates, etc. And I'm not even sure that they're still using those perfumes either. So what is the appropriate time that you choose what you want to be remembered by for a lifetime in people's noses?  Because right now my night stand looks like this. These are things that keep me awake at night.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Wisdom and A Longing for Home

I just took part in a research study on wisdom in nursing practice, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. After the week I've had I needed today. I needed to realize as I talked to the researcher that I AM good at what I do. That there is truly a lot of actual wisdom that goes in to what I do every day. I am not a trained monkey who fetches pills. Being good at what I do takes so much more than education and training. It takes a solid base of knowledge and education that is put into a continual loop of experience in stressful situations, debriefing, and adding what you learn from each situation where you make a difference to your base of knowledge, and the cycle repeats. As I spoke with the researcher about stressful situations where I feel like I made a difference I was homesick for my Seattle Family. In each scenario we discussed I was bursting with pride for the team I was a part of, I was proud to tell her the way that we made a difference, and in the way that we practiced excellence every day. There was such a thirst for knowledge in my Valley Family. The desire to know more, to be the best, and to continually learn was truly truly remarkable. And I miss it. It was one of the forests I didn't see for the trees when I was there. The raw intelligence coupled with the desire to learn and grow and do and be the best at all times is not commonplace. It should be, but that environment, those people, were truly unique. I have been fortunate to work with many great great healthcare professionals. And each place I've worked has had a handful of greats. Valley just has a lot more than a handful. The network of people there are nothing short of amazing. The team, the family. There's not another place like it in the world. The doctors, the nurses, the techs, every piece was the embodiment of what healthcare should be.

Monday, March 31, 2014


I love TV. I need TV. It may not be healthy. But sometimes patients die. And sometimes they're young. And sometimes their small children and spouses are in the room when they unexpectedly ...just. Die. And you worry about the child, because... How do you get over something like that? Being a second grader and watching your parent just... And you hear the child tell the social worker as she escorts the child from the room where you and your team of sometimes-superheroes break the child's parent's ribs attempting to coax the heart into beating again, "It's ok. S/he's done this before. S/he always comes back." Because s/he was sick. And s/he'd died before. But sometimes, they don't come back. Sometimes you're not a superhero. Sometimes you just become a face that a traumatized family member recalls when they're haunted by the worst day of their life. And sometimes you have to hit the reset button in your brain because the loved ones of your used-to-be-patient are surrounding them, and singing to them, and being together. And your patient with back pain is at the nurses station demanding to know why it's taking so long to be discharged. And another patient needs medication. And another patient needs labs drawn. And another physician needs assistance for an exam. And another twelve patients are hobbling through the doors. So, sometimes you need to come home, eat chocolate caramel truffles for dinner, turn on the TV, and cry because Will Gardner is dead. And the whole reason you watched the show was to see how he and Alicia would end up together in the end, because surely they would. And you need to cry because he's dead now, and it's sad. And sometimes you need to come home and take yourself to a world where vampires exist. Or where six twenty-somethings figure out life in New York City. Sometimes you need to wish that you were a size two black woman who solves problems for the White House. But today, you need to cry because Will Gardner died, and it's sad. Thanks TV.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Journey -It's a Long One

I'm at kind of an impasse with myself. I don't even know how to begin. I haven't updated anything of substance for so long, and the longer it gets the more I find myself asking what the point is of trying to catch myself up in the blogging world. It's been nearly eight months since I've been back in Utah. Eight months, and I still type the words and my brain says, "In that place completely devoid of any cultural diversity." So there's that. Eight months, and I'm still figuring it out; What this new phase of my life looks like. The thing I most often compare what I've been through is the defibrillating of a heart. When we defibrillate a heart --send a giant shock to the muscle-- there is a moment when the heart is completely stunned into stillness. We resume CPR (contrary to what you have seen on tv) immediately after the shock to force the heart muscle through the motions of beating. To pump oxygen to the muscle so that it can begin to beat again on it's own. For two minutes we pump oxygen to the heart muscle before we check for a return of spontaneous circulation. Before we see if the heart is able to do it again on it's own after such a giant shock.

As much as I planned and was looking forward to moving closer to family, I was ill-prepared for what a shock it truly was to my system. To me. I look back to those first few days and I wonder if they actually happened. Was this real life? Did I actually leave a beloved friend's wedding to drive 800 miles, unpack my entire life in a day and start a new job two days after leaving the place that still feels like home? It's all such a blur. I remember smiling and faking it a lot --just because I was so stunned from the change that I couldn't keep up with reality. I watched a lot of The Vampire Diaries, and listened to a lot of music --because they were constants. I remember hoping that I wouldn't be unbearable enough to permanently damage any friendships, but feeling powerless to change or take control over any of it. It's all such a fog now!  I feel as though I'm finally emerging from the fog though, finally keeping up with life.

And oh those people who saw me through it. The girl that left so long ago is not the one who returned. The girl that left who had never lived without roommates, thrived on being constantly surrounded by people, with lists of things to do and social functions to attend. The girl who lived for all things college-life. That girl came to value the calm and serenity of solitude. She came to no longer fear being truly alone with herself, she didn't need the other noise anymore. The obsession with all things college-related moved to an obsession with the Yankees, and Broadway, art and literature, and love, and being outside, and self-discovery. The girl who never missed an episode of Grey's Anatomy realized that she hadn't actually liked the show for the past four years, yet continued to watch every week. Until that realization. Things just change. Not my most eloquent words, but simple and true. It was a long seven year process. It still is. It always is. That's life, right?

And the thing about only seeing people on vacation -family and friends- is that you only see the best parts of each other. It's all sunshine and reunions and catching up. Before any of the real-life hits it's time to go back to your real lives. And so it's been rough. I'm so grateful to have friendships that have stood the test of time and change and growth. For friends who are still friends even when I bail on plans we've made. Friends that have put up with me during this tumultuous time of my life --I quite honestly haven't made it easy on anyone. But it's getting easier for me. Easier to be here. I no longer cry on the way home from my parent's house or from my brother and sister-in-laws. I no longer cry at the thought of having to put scrubs on and go to work. I no longer require ten minutes of sitting in my car to talk myself in to going in to work. It took a lot of Wednesday nights, a lot of cross-continent venting sessions, a lot of therapy-writing, a lot of wistful text messages to my Seattle family, and ultimately a dinner in Seattle with the people of the last five years of my life to let me normalize myself.

The opening sentence to each journal entry written during the first six months of living here:

*I never wanted to come back here. I've hated it here since I left if I'm being honest with myself. (Sept.)
*What was once a passion is now a mindless diversion. I smile, I say the right things, I don't care. This isn't what I signed up for. It's not the vision, not the plan. (Sept.)
*I hate it here, I hate it here, I hate it here, I hate it here. (Oct.)
* It's been a reflective past couple months. I'm struggling to hold on to myself. To the girl that I fought so hard to become. (Dec)
*I'm still hanging in here, just trying to figure life out. (Jan.)
* I haven't felt "at home" for six months. Every part of me feels out of place. (Jan.)

Thoughts scribbled on my trip back to Seattle in the end of January --meant to be notes to a long and beautiful blog post, then two months went by and I still hadn't written it anywhere outside of my head:

*It feels like I'm going home.
*It's been six months since I've been on a plane,and I'm strangely out of my routine. The ear planes, the phone, the iPad, the noise cancelling headphones, I'm out of practice!
*The airport smells like home!
*Never underestimate the comfort to be found in a grocery store that's familiar.
*Everything looks familiar here. There are trees everywhere, and it's just easier to breathe. Like a weight is finally off my chest.
*It's more than just familiarity. It's the sitting in a room at a dinner table full of people that you've been through the worse of your life with. As have they. And we're all healed. And happy. And whole.

That trip. That dinner. There are just no words to describe. What I came away with was that it wasn't the location that I missed. It was the familiarity and the bonds of friendship that I missed.  My dear friend Janice put it best when she said, "This whole weekend has been amazing. It has shown me how people can truly heal, even from their lowest lows. How change can be good, and sad at the same time. How sometimes friends are more family than your family is. And how even after many years, those trusted in your darkest moments are still your biggest support no matter the time or distance between you... What a good weekend of memories, friendship, and love."  There are many people I wanted to see, but didn't have time to. And a couple that I would have liked to spend more time with than I did, but the group at that dinner table could not have been more perfect. Every person at that table had been through the roughest part of their lives at some point in the last five years. And each person there had seen each other person through it. We all know each other's skeletons and deepest secrets because we lived through them. And to sit there and just look around and how whole and happy and healed and grown up everyone was. It was mind-blowing. The moments we shared. The moments and the way that we took care of each other. The way we leaned and relied on each other. Bonds forged in the fire that can never be broken. It's strange the way feeling so at home for a weekend made me okay with coming back to my life. But okay I was. I came back and I felt like myself again.

I had a moment. A flashing moment on the tarmac just as we were picking up speed (my favorite part of a flight) about to take off from Seattle soil where I panicked. Where I felt like,and actually contemplated, running up the aisle and screaming, NO! I don't want to go! Don't take me away from here! Tears rolled down my cheeks and my breathing became shallow and rapid, panicked. Before I took a deep breath and told myself, no. It's ok. It's time for you to figure this out. Go back and figure out this next step. And don't you dare be that quiet timid girl who dreamed small and accepted what was given. You fight. Fight to stay the you that is at peace and at home here. The girl who dreams and lives large and loud. The woman who is apologetically herself. You went through a lot to become her, don't loose her. Don't you dare stop exploring, experiencing, and loving. They may think you insignificant, but don't you dare make it so.

And that was it. I came home and I started living again. Not just going through the motions. I started running. I started being outside. I started smiling. I started uploading photos to facebook -something I hadn't felt like doing for months. I finally felt up to it. My dear friend Mercy is living in Ethiopia saving lives in the realm of public health --she's amazing. She had messaged me a day or so before having a homesick day -craving the familiar. As you do. The "home" in homesick is a very relative thing. I shared with her my post-vaca realization "The move was harder than I could have ever anticipated. I thought it was going to be easy to be honest. All good things, sunshine and roses and what not. Then I got here and was just in complete shock for six months. Just stunned with change. Going through the motions, grasping at anything that made me feel human...It wasn't really Seattle that I missed, it was the feelings. The people. My people. And thank God for modern technology, because I have those things with me everywhere.I have access to my people always. And maybe we don't get to all sit in the same room very often, but when we do, it's magic. Friendships like that never die. Even though it's hard to be thousands of miles from the people who know you best, and whom you love with all your soul, the relationships are there."

Even through the rough months I was SO blessed with amazing friends. Both far away -as described at length. But also here. And I don't want any of my struggles to take away from the sheer awesomeness of my people here. It's not them, it's me ;) My best friend from high-school and I have been getting together every Wednesday under the pretense of baking. Don't get me wrong we always bake something, but this has been the thing that I look forward to like no other. I count down to the days when I see her and her sweet family like therapy. Her friendship has been a constant through all phases of my life, and I couldn't be more grateful to be so close again.

My amazing brother and sister-in-law have saved me so many times! I leaned on those Sunday dinners and days when I could spend the day playing at their house with my nephew like it was necessary for my survival. And really, it probably was. I'm such a lucky girl to have such an amazing brother who married such an amazing woman and who makes such adorable little humans :)

My sister. Oh my sister. What would I do without her! Having her so close and always within text or call for my many freak-outs is a god-send. And her sweet husband and sweet sweet baby. I really have the luckiest family in the world.  My mom who loves me so much, and my dad who just gets me in a way that few people on this earth do. They're amazing.

And my Jill. Jill is my tie to my college years -that's when we became such good friends, and she's saved me in oh so many ways since I've been back. The parties, the dinners, the showing me where Target is,and where the yummy places to eat are, and really, just how to live here!! :)  Love her!

And that has been the last eight months of my life in re-cap. Minus the Seahawks superbowl win, and a couple other things to be blogged about later. There ya go Heids --I blogged ;)

Oh, and a couple of bonus random thoughts:

*I feel bad for people with thin naturally sleek frizz-free hair. They will never know the orgasmic joy of the silky smooth softness that is your hair after a deep conditioning Moroccan oil mask!

*Miracles aren't always punctuation marks. -Elisabeth R. Finch (The Fault in Our Stars)

*I'm OBSESSED with the ballerina project on instagram!!!

*I started my third week of training for a 5k today and actually enjoyed my run!  I'm not so much looking to love running --if I do that'd be great, but I just don't want to hate it anymore. I want it to be something I can do -even if I choose not to after running my 5k. I don't want to be stuck in middle school anymore where my attitude toward running currently resides.