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20 September 2011 @ 11:55 am
I have this foreign thing called free time now, and I just watched the extraordinary beautiful and always classy Kate Winslet give her acceptance speech at the Emmy's. In it, she talked about always needing your mom, no matter how old you are, and then thanked her own. I just thought it was so apropo because I definitely needed mine after taking what felt like the worst test of my life. And you know how easy it is to exaggerate. Whatever, get over it. I'm not doing that here, all right?!

Afterwards, I called her (my mom, not Kate Winslet) and she let me cry in her ear for almost an hour, all the while reassuring me that even when everything doesn't feel like it's going to be okay, everything, in fact, is going to be okay. The results of said test could have gone one of two ways. And thankfully, it ended up going the better of the two ways. But I know for a fact that had it gone the other, my mom would've been there for me too. And for that, I'm grateful. Even more so than passing the darn nclex. And that's saying a lot. So thanks mom. For always being there when I need you. Even for the really silly things. Which is usually the case a majority of the time, basically. I love you. :)

(Cheese puffs!)
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
08 August 2011 @ 09:33 am
I feel an unfamiliar sensation while riding down a familiar track into the City they call Chicago. Happiness replaces the rushed anxiety of having to make it on time to an early morning class. More often than not, I wouldn't make it on time. This time, there was no rush. Only relief saddled upon excitement as I greet the city I once knew so well. We're getting reacquainted now.

I bring to it a new worldly view. I see it with new worldly eyes. Or worldly enough for having been situated for the past 15 months just 90 miles from its outskirts. The man across the aisle from me on the Red Line cradles a baby on his lap. The baby's mother gazes proudly at them both.

"He's adorable." I can only hope my assumption is correct. The green outfit isn't such a clear cut giveaway.

The mother directs her voice and a smile in my direction, but keeps her gaze focused on the baby. "Thanks."

I extend a wave to the babe, knowing very well I wouldn't receive a response. "How many months?"

"Three and a half."

The infant's gaze wanders with wonder and curiosity. The way a newcomer soaks in a new city. The way I still do no matter how many times I come back here. "He's so well behaved!"

"This is his first time riding too." The dad glows with the kind of pride only a father could conjure.

"Are you from here?"

"Texas." The mother's focus is on me now. "Dallas area. We're visiting family. You're from here?"

I guess I still look the part. "Yup." Only a quarter true, but I'll have to spare her details.

"Born and raised." The gentleman across from us enters the conversation. Even if he were a small man (which he isn't by any means) his booming voice would be enough to garner the attention of those around him. "I got a little one at home too. 4 months old. Just 13 months from 'is older sister."

The mother and I share looks of sympathy and disbelief. The mother is the first to speak. "They must keep you busy."

With a smile behind his eyes, the man pulls the corners of his mouth downward. "One strapped to the front, the other strapped to the back. That's how it's done." We all share a laugh, his sprinkled with happy fatigue. He goes on about his kids and his wife and his city, all the while keeping us captivated of his tales of new fatherhood in his old town.

This... is Belmont.

That's me. "It was nice meeting you."

Doors open to the left... at Belmont. My eyes sweep across the four passengers, and we share similar warm expressions. Even the baby, who has neglected his pacifier now, is smiling.

I could tell you that the magic that this city possesses is in its towering buildings. The museums and monuments. The serenity of the synchronized waves of the lake paralleled by the winding fury of traffic on Lake Shore Drive. It could be in the quietly busy night life. It could be hidden in rows of karaoke bars that never go unsung. Or the rivaling baseball fields. The untapped gems of hidden restaurants and pawn shops and jazz clubs. The art. The schools. The music. But really? The twenty minute surface conversation doused in friendliness, headed by a man sharing his story with interested, curious newcomers reminded me exactly why I love calling this city my home. Talking to this man made me realize that, as easy as it is to believe that newcomers feel the magic of the city -- for the ones who no longer call this city new, the magic never really leaves.

So thanks, Chicago. You're still magical to me. 'til next time.
23 March 2011 @ 07:07 pm
Being in Nursing school gives you this empowering (maybe false) feeling that you have the capability to change the world. And not in the "I'm amazing" kind of way. But with every humble opportunity I have to care for a patient, I realize that I have the capability to affect this one person in some way. And I also have the capability to mess things up. Which scares the buh-geebus out of me. But I guess that comes with the responsibility.

And then I see everything that's going on... with the disaster in Japan, and the uproar in the Middle East, and the protests right here in Wisconsin, and all of the budget cuts I keep hearing about... and I can't help but feel so small. Like, well crap, all of this work I'm doing and I'm so busy and I can't even fly over there and get my hands in there and actually DO something yet? It makes me feel like I don't have a voice. And that my little monetary donation doesn't make a difference.

This isn't an entry about making you feel like you need to donate or help in some way. Though if you haven't already, I encourage you to. Just because. It feels so darn good. I promise. It feels better than sitting around and eating a whole package of Oreos. Which I have never done. But from what I've heard, that many Oreos can make ya feel pretty gross. Or maybe not? Maybe you really love Oreos. Then, good for you. I'm a "swap out the creme filling for peanut butter" kind of girl myself. Kind of blasphemous, I know! But...

What? Oh yeah. This entry isn't about Oreos either. Right. It's about reminding you not to worry about feeling small or feeling like you're not doing enough. Like I do. A lot of the time. Because that's just the way my head works. I never feel like what I say or do really matters. So really, this entry is a pep talk to myself. And to anyone else who feels like listening. Because I care for you. It's just in my nature to. And ultimately, I feel like we each carry a responsibility to each other, no matter how distant you might feel from the heart of it all. You have a voice. And your hands make a difference. It's hard to see. I don't even think I can see it all of the time. So what if the Metoprolol I gave my patient this morning actually made his blood pressure go down this one time? The point is, if you're talking about it or typing about it or, better yet, actually doing something, it's something. And it matters.

So whatever it is that you do, I encourage you to keep doing it. Unless you're currently punching someone. Then props to you for multi-tasking, but please stop or I'll call your mother. Or if you're rambling about Oreos and peanut butter and probably not making sense. In which case, shut up already.

Anyway, I hope you're well. Here in Wisconsin, I've learned that people like their beer and cheese. Surprisingly, I don't have either in my possession at the moment. My roommate did just make cornbread though. But I think I'll send you love instead. :)

... unless you want cornbread.
15 August 2010 @ 02:35 am
- Ended up leaving an hour later than we had originally planned. But since we arrived in the city after 4pm instead of at 3, we paid $8 for parking instead of $22. boo-yah.

- Took us way too long to get into the narrowest spot ever.

- Went into a nearby fancy shmancy hotel and asked to go the bathroom. Note to self. Do not enter a fancy scmancy hotel and even ask to use their restroom. They literally kicked us out. Felt bad. Partially for getting yelled at. But mostly because I really had to pee. So we ran to the House of Blues, did our business. Walked out and literally ran into Taylor Hanson. Timing could not have been more perfect if we had tried to plan it. Had we left when we were supposed to or gotten into that darn spot faster or not gotten yelled at by that lovely receptionist or peed faster, that just. Would've not happened.

- Walked "a mile" for a good cause. Walked with all 3 brothers this time. A man handing out newspapers told me I had "a lovely smile." And to "keep on going on." I will, sir. I will.

- Laughed as Taylor Hanson told some random driver at a stoplight to go find parking. (HE IS SO WEIRD BUT I LOVE HIM)

- Isaac was about to introduce himself to me just as my best friend called. Sorry, Ike. Chicks before dicks. Even yours. You're still lovely though. Call me.

- In the middle of Taylor's inspirational speech oooo, my phone rang. Aaaand my ringtone is Thinking 'bout Something oh my life.

- My sister, who was in love with Zac Hanson when she was 7 years old, ended up standing right behind him at the end of the walk. AND SHE DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE IT AT FIRST LOLLLOL. The expression on her face when she found out was absolutely priceless. <3

- I'm so happy that my siblings were able to experience that. :) :) :)

- Had dinner at Johnny Rockets. And realized the irony of the situation. Also, the workers there made us smile.

- Enjoyed a leisure walk back to the House of Blues. Listened to a great Rooney set. Bought my brother a neat t-shirt. The guy at the stand thanked me for my fives.

- It started getting crowded. But for the first time in my concert experience, a big tall man was not standing directly in front of me. He, instead, decided to stand enough to the right of my line of vision to not obstruct anything. NOTHING. I had an absolute clear view of the stage and all three of the guys. It was beautiful.

- So I'm normally a very polite, classy lady. But I had to work to keep it together when Taylor pulled out his harmonica. That man with a harmonica in his mouth is just. Too much.

- Zac's drum face ah <3 <3 <3 always.

- Isaac can still rock it out. Even for an old guy. (No, seriously. Call me.)

- Suspenders, oh boiii.

- Taylor got the audience to start clapping presong. Then he turns to Zac who just looks at him like, "What are you doing?" So Taylor stops clapping. We keep clapping. And then they try to start the song, and everyone is just clapping all off the beat. So Taylor tries to correct us (LOLLOLL) but it doesn't work. So he just goes to the piano and starts playing. 15 measures into what is supposed to be "A Minute Without You" and nobody's clapping correctly. And they're playing it too slow. And HAHA hilarious.

- My brother finds it hilarious that I harmonize with the people around me singing along. Apparently.

- God bless ear plugs.

- They played effing Speechless. They never play effing Speechless. I swear that song, the way they played it tonight, holds better than 90% of the music you hear on the radio. They also played Thinking of You. Albeit approximately 5 keys lower than the original. But, oh their harmonies are impeccable. And their music. It's absolutely timeless. And still absolutely relevant. And it does things to me. It aligns me. And moves me. Moves me literally. I had so much fun dancing with my favorite people and letting loose tonight (without alcohol, even. Yes, it can be done. :)

- It felt good to be immersed in you again tonight, music. Let's always keep this going, okay? Don't let me go two and a half months without you.

- Drove to Molly's Cupcakes. Didn't think we'd find parking, but did one more turnabout and someone was pulling out right in front of us. His spot was (yup) right in front of Molly's. I must have done someone somewhere a really amazing favor to get this kind of karma.

- So thanks, today, you were lovely. I wish I could have more of you. Especially involving me walking side by side with Taylor Hanson.
Current Mood: giddygiddy
Current Music: Hanson - A Minute Without You | Powered by Last.fm
12 August 2010 @ 03:16 pm
Just dropping in really quick before I'm pulled back up into obscurity. I had a (rare) moment to reflect upon my past summer. While most people had the last 3 months to relax, I unfortunately (or fortunately) had to work my flippin' ta-a-ail off. And when I think about the bumps I've had to overcome to get here and the amount of material I've had to cram into my weee little brain over the last 2 and a half months and all of the amazing people that I've met along the way, I can't help but feel overwhelmed. Over overwhelmed. I'm doublewhelmed. Or, like, superwhelmed. Right.

Three months ago, I didn't know how to give a full head to toe assessment. Or insert an IV needle. Or give a subcutaneous injection. (Subca-who?) Would I reeeally be able to confidently do these things on a real live person? Probably not. Yet. BUT THE POINT IS! I shut up and did it anyway. I got to wake up every morning and surround myself with a group of really fantastically bright people and learn a boatload. Think Titanic, peeps. I'm amazed. And humbled. And inspired. And excited to learn even more. And above all, I feel really blessed to be given this opportunity. And I'm saying this now because when things get cah-raaay-zee hard in the next coming months and I'm crying and pulling my hair out and wondering what the heck I got myself into, I can retreat from my fetal position in the corner of my room, look back on this entry and say, "Awwww, I miss that girl. She was so delightful. And calm."

Anyway, I hope you too are surrounded by lovely people and things that inspire you. Because that's you to me. You inspire me. So thank you. :)