Friday, September 18, 2015

I have no idea what I am doing

I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I'm 22, I just graduated college, and now I feel like I am just waiting for my life to start. Does life ever feel like it's started? Will I ever feel like a person? How am I going to take care of kids when I can hardly take care of myself? These are questions that I ask myself on the regular. But here's the cool thing - the more I admit to my friends that I have no idea what I am doing, the more I realize that I am not alone. When I told my therapist that I wished there was a class in college called "How to be a Person" she laughed at me. It seems that while floating around in this big crazy ocean of life can feel isolating, I'm not alone in this. You, dear reader friend, are not alone in this.

Heres another thought I have on the regular: There are so many freaking things I want to do with my life! And I am constantly torn between reassuring myself: you're only 22 years have about a billion years left to do all the things you want to do, silly Jessica! and hating myself: What a waste these past 22 years have been. If I had started working to be where I want to be when I was born, I'd be set by now! WTF, Jessica! Why do you procrastinate so much?! It's a weird dialogue that goes on in my brain. And while I've never admitted that I have these conversation with myself, I'd like to imagine that my friends would be just as supportive of this sort of madness as they are of these lost feelings I am constantly discussing.

I feel like I would be a hypocrite if I didn't admit this one thing: While I do feel terribly lost 98% of the time, I have a nice little comfy job that is waiting for me (well, it's actually the exact opposite of comfy. It's terrifying since I'll be taking care of little lives). I'll also admit that I am very superstitious and paranoid, and I recently had to pee in a cup for said job; I am really worried that the j I smoked with friends two months ago at Firefly is going to appear in my pee even though I know that's not how drugs work.

Brains are so weird. Am I the only person who hates themselves for the thoughts they have? I am sitting here at my desk wondering will anyone like the stuff I am writing? But then I hate myself for having these thoughts because I should be writing this ~just for me~ and I shouldn't care about what anyone thinks. My therapist recommended that I read this book called Getting Love Right by Gorski because she thinks my dysfunctional upbringing could have something to do with why I suck at relationships. In the book, a fictional character named Susan (who comes from a functional home, congratulations Susan) explains how thoughts and feelings work: "I know that I am not my thoughts. I am the person who thinks my thoughts. I also know that I am not my feelings, I am the person who experiences my feelings. I know that I am not my behavior, I am the person who chooses to act or not act" (p.37 ...Are citations required in a blog post? Idk. I feel guilty not using them/ I don't want to get sued). I DON'T GET THIS! Has my dysfunctional upbringing screwed up my brain that much?! But if I am thinking the thoughts, then how are they not me?! If I care about what other people think about my writing, that is not me? But that is me! I don't know, man. Words and life are weird and this sort of turned into a big rant more than anything else, but hopefully someone else is feeling my feels. And hopefully someone else understands Susan's feel, because I really don't get that chick.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Beauty of Starting Over

Starting over is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I guess its sort of a huge theme in life post-college. School has always been a source of comfort (although it was very annoying, it has been one of the only consistent parts of my life for the past 18ish years). And so now that I am done with school, I am starting over. Figuring out where to go from here and whats next, and how I can transport myself from this wide open ocean, onto more stable ground again. And its easy to get caught up in wanting to just get there and rush the process. Hold this thought.

The other day, I was doing yoga (I promise this will make sense). I am not ~new~ to yoga. While I am not an experienced yogi, its something I have dabbled in for quite some time now. I've been to a decent amount of classes, and for a while I could really see the difference yoga was making in my body. I could also feel myself getting better at it the more I practiced. And then I stopped. So when I tried to get back on the mat the other day, I thought I could just pick up where I left off. I knew I wanted a good work out, so I chose a "Power Yoga" video, by one of my favorite online yoga instructors, Yoga With Adrien. At the beginning of the video, Adrien asked that we (I?) set an intention for the practice. My intention was "just to finish the video!". 20 minutes into the 45 minute video, I found myself totally wiped out. Adrien was moving SO FAST, and my stiff little bones just could not keep up with her!! Two days later, I decided to try again. But this time, I picked a 45 minute "Yoga for beginners video". Now, like I said, I am not reaaaaallly a beginner, but my body is just beginning to get back into the practice. And so I made it through the entire 45 minute video this time, and I found myself learning new things about poses that I have practiced hundreds of times before. Things that I've never known before, and things that will definitely make me stronger in my practice in the future.

This entire experience was very humbling. I think that when we try and get back on the bandwagon, its very easy for us to pick up right where we left off. I haven't run consistently in months, but the few times that I have managed to lace up recently, I have been so disappointed when I realize that I can't run at the same speed, or the same distances that I used to be able to run at. But I am leaning that there is something new and exciting in starting over! You get to learn new things about an old an familiar practice. When you start over, you make the familiar unfamiliar, and walk away with a greater understanding than you would have had if you'd just tried to pick up right where you left off.

And so that also goes for this new chapter in my life called "Not Being in School Anymore". It would be very easy for me to just want to pick up and start working at the hospital that I had worked at while I was in college (was in college. College is in the past tense now! Omg, I can't!!). But if I were to start working there, I really don't think there would be much room for personal growth. All of the nurses there already know me. They all already have this idea in their heads of who I am as a person. And I don't really want to start off somewhere like that. I want to start new. I want to embrace the scariness and eat it up.

Freshman year I was walking through the basement of my dorms to do laundry, when this janitor stopped me to have a chat. This guy talked for agggees, but one of the things he kept repeating was "Diaaaamonds are formed under pressure!". And its sort of true.

Now I feel like my point is getting muddled (I love that word!) in all these little anecdotes. I've sort of lost track my point myself. I guess all I am really trying to say is that starting over can be very humbling. If I started working as a nurse at the hospital I was a tech at, I might sort of feel like "Well, I know what the nurses here do. Its easy! I don't need someone to teach me". And I don't want that.

So right now, I am starting fresh. I am starting fresh with my yoga practice, I am starting fresh with my identity as a runner, I am starting fresh in a new work place where I can create a new identity and where I can be humbled by all of the things I don't know. Its probably going to be really scary and really sucky and I'll probably cry and complain a lot, but I know that in the end it will be good for me. So thats what I am going to do. Now I just need to get my lazy butt to start applying for jobs! Hahaha. Thats the first step.

**Side note: yesterday, for the first time in forever, I got to work at the bakery alone. And it was AWESOME! I love the freedom that goes along with working there by myself. Theres no need to check in with someone else or to always seem busy so that my coworkers don't judge my work ethic. It was so nice to just go at my own pace! And its funny because I did a Myers-Briggs personality test the other night, and that was apart of the "Career" description for me. But that really makes me feel like the hospital setting is not for me. I mean, for a while now I've felt like the hospital setting wasn't for me. Its too...structured? No, thats not it. Because I don't mind structure. Maybe its the fact that theres sort of an underlying competitive nature in the hospital. Theres always certain nurses who just feel like they are "better" nurses than other ones. Its something that I am guilty of as well. But idk. Its not something that makes me happy, and its not something I really want to be apart of. So thats something I really need to think about while job hunting. Its just that the hospital is the most obvious place for a nurse to work, and so its really hard for me to think about options outside of that. But we'll see. I just need to do more research.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Life & problems and the fact that theres no solution but thats okay.

I am having these thoughts right now, and I feel like I need to get them out before I can do anything else. I guess if I were to summarize it, right now my thoughts are about how life is weird.

Four years ago, it felt like once I got into college, all my problems would be solved.
Three and a half years ago, it felt like once I got into the nursing problem, all of my problems would be solved.
Three years ago it felt like once I started clinicals, all of my problems would be solved.
A year ago it felt like once I graduated all of my problems would be solved.
A month ago it felt like because I had gotten a boyfriend, it was possible all of my problems were solved.
Right now, it feels like once I pass the NCLEX all of my problems will be solved.
In two weeks, its going to feel like once I get a job all of my problems will be over.
In five weeks its going to feel like once I get a car all of my problems will be solved
Six months from now its going to feel like once  I get comfortable in my new job, all of my problems will be solved.
A year from now its going to feel like once I get married all of my problems will be solved.

See the theme? I guess what I am realizing is that there is no end-all be-all. Life is not a game where once you reach a certain level, everything is easy and fun and all thats left to do is enjoy all of the hard work you've put in. There will alwaaays be hard work to put in. That doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the process, or take time away from the process.

I keep telling myself once I get to this point, it will be aaaaaaalllll good. But I am realizing that I have reached so many of those points. I have accomplished so much and come so far. But life will continue to present me with new challenges. And I really need to change the way I look at those challenges. I haven't left my house AT ALL today, because I have in my mind that I need to stay home and focus on studying and in two weeks I can get back to enjoying my life. But thats craaazzy!

I have a friend who has been at his real-person job for like a year now. Since he's started working, hes made a point to travel to different places across the country, go to music festivals, and he recently posted a picture of him at a concert (on a work night!) with the caption "As soon as you're born you start dying, so you might as well have a good time". And that really resonates with me right now. I am also just such a sucker for good quotes like that.

Idk. Obviously right now studying really does have to be my priority. But that doesn't mean I should lock myself in my house for days on end in order to prove to myself or the world that I am taking this seriously. So yeah, those are my thoughts for tonight. I am gonna go sit outside for a little while now, and then I'll get back to it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A narrative of my life recently

So I was feeling really good for a while, and now I am feeling not so good. And I guess that is life. But feeling really good is aweesssomme. And feeling not so good kinda sux. So, I would like to sort through why I am feeling not so good. Ah, I am so tempted to make a list in order to do this, but I don't know if a list will help in this situation. I think instead, perhaps a little story-telling will help me pinpoint where things started to feel less lovely. Lets be real. Part of this is related to a boy.. or perhaps not even a specific boy. Just the feeling I am looking to get from a boy, and not finding. Perhaps I shouldn't be expecting any sort of feeling and I should just take things as they are? Idk. This is all so vague. So, details..

So, lets start out right before winter break, which was a month ago already! Thats kind of unbelievable. Right before winter break started, I decided I didn't like Brian anymore. He was really rude to a store owner one day, and I am so not about that. Pretty soon after I decided I didn't like Brian, this boy Ryan who I met last summer texed me to say whaddup. Over the summer I had decided I didn't like Ryan (lol, am I an asshole?) so I was only halfheartedly texting him back. Or more so, I wasn't putting effort into texting him. I was just being really natural and saying whatever because I didn't really care. Except this seemed to lead us somewhere, and I ended up really enjoying our conversation and lalala. We hung out right before he left for Minnesota and I had a really nice time, so then I was all like shit, maybe hes not such an asshole. He went to Minnesota and I went home and we didn't really talk because I guess we were both living our lives.

So winter break was really lovely. At first I was feeling kinda ehhh about not texting with Ryan. So those were some feelings. But then I got over it. I worked for half of winter break, and for half of it I hung out with beaaautiful people. I went to DC with my nursing friends. I saw two plays with Michelle - one called Constellations and one called This Is Our Youth. I hung out with Kitty a lot and we ate delicious things and went on an adventure to Highland Park. I hung out with Maria and Melissa a few times. I tried Cronuts finally!! I tried hot yoga. I tried and did a lot of things and now I feel like I want to make a list because I am feeling really good about all of it. I alsoooo e-mailed a lady named Dr. Kelly to tell her that I was interested in going on this trip that she was leading via study abroad.. to South Africa! And that was a thing that was in the works. So, things were pretty cool.

I guess things were relatively cool, because while I was really excited about all of these nice things, I did spend part of break feeling weird about ending my little texting streak with Ryan. I also was feeling lame because my mom was not into the idea of me studying abroad at allll. So that sucked. But I knew I had to figure out a way to make this happen for myself.

So, winter break ended. I got back to New Brunswick, and was back to living in what really feels like Amandas apartment. Amanda and Joe are in love, and Shannon and Brenden are engaged. And I am this ~free spirit~ (not really) 100% doing my own thing. And I am not mad about it. Shannon often talks about not being able to do certain things because she would feel bad traveling and not going to see Brenden. And Amanda spends sooo much time with Joe, so when she gets to be apart from him and see friends, she goes on and on about how she wishes she had more if it and how nice it feels. So I don't think I am jealous of them. I guess I am in a way just longing to experience that again, but in my own way. I don't want to pass up opportunities because of someone. And right now my friends are my world, so I do not want that to change. I just want companionship? I want someone to cuddle with sometimes. Or even simpler than that, I want to be able to rest my knees against someone else's knees.

Ugh, I have gotten very off track. So.. back in New Brunswick. Classes started. For some reason, college totally changes who I am as a person. This never happened in high school so its something I am still trying to understand. But college causes me to become hyper-focused, and its a feeling that is hard to shake, even when I am doing things that don't involve my studies. And I guess this weird hyper-focused state makes it hard for me to connect with people. I get back to my apartment and I don't really want to be bothered with my roommates. Idk. Or maybe its the weather. Or maybe I am a little homesick. Or maybe its all of that. There are just very specific moments when I want to talk to people. And when I don't want to talk to people, I really don't and I guess I am kind of an asshole. And its probably really hard for my roommates to understand. Which I feel bad about. And idk. Thats just another thing in a pile of lame.

However, that thought also feels very off track. Back to South Africa. So I really wanted to go and I decided I was going to do everything I could to make it happened. So I e-mailed all the necessary people and filled out all the necessary paperwork, and I broke it to my mom who was far from happy. At first I was all I am going to do it with or without you. However after two days of being up all night because I felt so bad about doing something without my moms support, I decided I should actually not go to South Africa. I called my mom and explained to her that I wasn't going anymore, and explained to her why. She agreed this was a wise decision, and I was so relieved to have her back on my side. So I contacted the study abroad folk, and they were all its too late. You're still gonna have to pay, so you might as well go. And I was like shiiiitttt. My mom said that she would call for me (because my mom is a badass, and I am too passive to get shit done the way she does). So my mom called Dr. Kelly, and then she called me and says shes letting me go to South Africa, and that as a graduation gift she is going to help me pay for it. I was so shocked, but so excited. I am still so excited!! But it still doesn't feel real. Its very strange. BUT I AM SO EXCITED. What I am trying to get at is that Study Abroad had me feeling very lame, and then it had me feeling really amazing, and I suppose now its sort of plateaued.

Back to the Ryan shenanigans.. so I sort of just accepted that the texting streak was over. I tried texting him a few more times, and he hardly responded, so I decided to just accept that for what it was. We texted here and there, it was nothing tooo special, and he always seemed to stop responding at some point so I just figured him texting me didn't mean anything. Then he texted me last Monday asking if I have plans for Saturday. I told him I had work in the morning, but that was it. He replied "May I buy you a dinner that evening?". And in my head I was like ~booo-yaaaa! freaking finally!!~. But then I realized that Saturday was Valentines day, so of course my brain started to get carried away, wondering if he didn't actually like me but instead was just asking me to hangout so that he didn't have to be alone. It just felt weird that he had all of this time to ask me to hangout and he decided to ask for a day during which people dread being alone. Either way, I had already agreed and I was looking forward to being able to hangout with him again.

I rushed home from work on Saturday, got ready, ran to the train, and Ryan met me at Penn Station. So heres the thing. When I think I might like a person, I act sooo casual around them because acting like I like them is a really scary thing. So the whole date was very casual. But it was also really fun. Ryan decided that we should start with dessert, so we went to this ice cream place right under the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. And we walked around a little. Then we went to this Italian restaurant (I don't remember the name!) but Ryan took the initiative to make reservations and all that which was sweet. After we ate, we just walked all over the city talking about really random things. But it was really nice. However, it was totally casual (probably mostly my fault?). So Ryan walked me to the bus and waited with me, and then when my bus came we hugged. And I got nervous. I didn't know what to do! So I just looked at him and thanked him for everything and I got on my bus. Should we have kissed? I really don't know. I definitely wouldn't have minded if we did. But, it is what it is.

Sooo, this leads us to yesterday. I am a part nut job, part wishful thinker, part person-who-says-she-wants-to-live-with-no-regrets-so-half-heartedly-tries-to-make-things-happen-but-fails.. so I texted Ryan and totally lied about needing to go back to the city to buy my brother a birthday present, and I asked if he wanted to do some homework with me at a coffee shop after I "ran errands". He said yes, and again I thought to myself ~boooo-yaaaa!~. And I told myself this time it was going to happen. But heres what actually happened: Ryan suggested this Edgar Allen Poe themed cafe, so we went there. We ordered our drinks and I got food because I was soo hungry. Ryan took out his laptop but he felt like the owneer of the cafe was eyeing him down (it seemed like more of a restaurant I suppose). So instead of doing work, I ate and Ryan told me all about this project he is working on with this guy called Mick Rock who is a famous photographer. The point of saying this is that we were sitting across a table and Ryan was talking and I was eating and there was no room for magic. So after we finished, we decided to look for a new place to go since it didn't seem like the place we were at was working. I wanted to go to this cafe with couches, and I figured we could be all cozied up and stuff which would be really nice. Except it was closed. So we instead went looking for somewhere, and found this non-memorable place and sat at a 4 person rectangle table and I was on one end and he was on the other and ( far away from each other as possible). So I finished reading horrible Hemingway and then we talked about the kind of writing we like and that was really nice. It was nice to be sitting across from him and reading while he was doing work.. being in each others company but not having to talk or anything. So yaaaa. The cafe closed and we left and hopped on the train to go home. We were in the middle of talking about roommates and suddenly Ryan cut me off and was like "This is my stop! Text me the rest of that story!" and he gave me the quickest hug ever and ran away. I was so caught off guard, I didn't really know how to even process the whole thing.

He texted me a bit later and said "So, do I get the rest of that story?" which I thought was really sweet. But I am still really confused. Also he called me dude a lot when we hungout. I think its a thing he subconsciously does when he gets excited. But I am not a fan. And hes also moving to California in a few months so thats a thing. But like I mentioned earlier, I just want a companion (am I an 80 year old lady looking for visitors?). So I guess him moving doesn't matter that much. I just want to kiss him and immediately after tell him "please stop calling me dude!". But yeah, I guess that has me feeling weird. I am tired of just being a bro or whatever. Iddddddk.

Gosh, all of this seriously took me over an hour to write which is craaaazzy. But it was nice to think it all through and process all of it and kinda just tell the internet about my life. Its good. Its really good. I just sometimes get caught up and let myself fester in some of the negative bits which isn't cool. But like I said, writing and thinking helps. So, theres that.

Also, I am not proofreading this. #yolo

Friday, December 26, 2014

Things I've Figured Out in the Past Few Days

1) You don't have to go to art school to make art.
2) Just because you don't go to art school right after high school doesn't mean you can never go to art school.
3) Nurses can make art.
4) Its best to not hang out with boys you like at 1am.
5) Its best to not kiss boys you like at 1am.
6) If you like someone, wait.
7) If you like someone in Minnesota, wait till they get back to New York.
8) You shouldn't let yourself like people to easily.
9) But keeping an open mind and an open heart is okay.
10) Not all friends will be friends forever.
11) Sometimes you have to bully people into being your friend forever.
12) Its best to not do that, because who the heck wants to be friends with someone they have to bully into being friends with them?!
13) Reading is really lovely.
14) Its cool to read things you want to read, and not things that you think would make you seem more "interesting" or "likeable" or whatever.
15) Its easy to get sucked into the internet.
16) Its easy to get sucked into creeping on people on the internet.
17) This can be inspiring, or it can be a huge waste of time.
18) Today it was inspiring.
19) This year I am going to start a 365 project, and stick to it!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stream of consciousness blabbering

Reading biographies of people is not something that I do often, but whenever I do I am reminded of how short my life has been so far. I was just reading about Shel Silverstein (because he's the bomb) and I learned that although he started writing when he was just 12, he did a lot of random stuff before he was published. He was in the Korean War, he drew cartoons for Playboy and Sports Illustrated and had the Giving Tree rejected for publication on his first try. Once his career kicked off as a children's author, he also worked on over a dozen albums of music! And he died when he was only 69. I know these are all random fun facts, but the point is that I am only 21. I often get so caught up thinking about what I have done with my life, and all the things I have yet to do. And a lot of times I get overwhelmed by feeling like I haven't done enough and thinking of all the growing and life events that should have happened to me by now. All of the interests I should have established. All of the hobbies I should be really good at. All the music I should have heard and books I should have read and events in history I should know about. But I have a whole life ahead of me. I know I have a lot of shit to work on, and that thats kind of exciting.

I was thinking about it on the train the other day; theres this girl in the nursing program who basically is the person I strive to be. She is really good at the piano, she works out regularly, shes super into reading and writing but also has a really steady social life and a boyfriend, she has a good sense of humor and is ridiculously articulate and informed on politics and world events. And yeah, while it would be great to be there already, I am not. And thats so cool. I have things to look forward to! I am looking forward to learning how to play the piano and getting excited about all the little songs I learn before I get good. If I was already there, I wouldn't have that. I get to look forward to finding myself and creating myself and growing and growing and growing and reading and writing and running and learning and growing. I am not there yet. Thats awesome. Who the heck wasntsss to be there yet?! I am a freaking mess, and it can only get better from here.

Reading a biography for Leo Tolstoy I learned that he had to transfer colleges because the one he was in was too hard, he got kicked out of his second college because he partied too much, and failed as a farmer before picking up journaling which influenced his work as a writer. His career and all that he is known for didn't pick up until waaayyy later in life, and he failed a lot before he got there. Which I think is really badass. He also has a really badass beard. Just saying. (Shel Silverstein also has a rather incredible beard. I obviously just really like men with beards!)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Am I an adult...?

Yesterday at work I was caring for this 14 year old girl when my hospital pager rang, letting me know that a patient in another room needed my help. Since I had a free hand, I pulled the pager out of my pocket to acknowledge the call so that I would have to feel that buzzing in my pocket for the next 10 minutes while I was with her. I still had the phone in my hand when my patient asked "how do you do that?" "Do what?" I asked. "How do you use that phone? I want to know how to be an adult".

Woah there. She is asking me how to be an adult?! Does that mean I am an adult?! Its almost 11am and I am sitting here in my PJs with my hair a mess, my bed unmade and dishes in my sink. The other day when I went grocery shopping, I tried to only spend $20 because theres only a few bucks in my bank account right now. My mom had to come down to New Brunswick yesterday to take me to the doctor because I felt really awful, and when she said "You don't need me to come in with you, do you?" I had to refrain from saying "Yes, yes I do need you to come".

But then again I can see how to this girl I do seem like an adult. I wear scrubs which makes me look very similar to all of the nurses that care for her, who are actually adults. I suppose I am in a position of authority over her - telling her whether or not she can go to rec based on the other things we need to do to care for her.

Its just really interesting to think about the different kind of characters we become based on our setting and based on the other people around. If I am with my mom and my brother, then I suppose I am a bit of an adult and my mom treats me like an equal. But if it is just me and my mom, then I seem like more of a child. And obviously when I am just with my friends, we are all equals - 21 year old equals doing 21 year old things such as "meeting for drinks" which tends to make us feel very grown up.

I don't know. I guess the whole point of this rant is just me trying to figure out exactly where I am in life. We are just sort of in this very interesting middle ground, but I am pretty happy here. I am in no rush to understand exactly what being an adult means.