Unicorns and Banana Peels

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I was walking back to my Airbnb after a fantastic lunch when I saw a unicorn. My joy managed to take my mind off the cold rain soaking through my sweater. Obviously, I did not plan my wardrobe well.  

 
Imagine my delight when I got closer to the unicorn and realized everything is not always as it initially appears. Good lesson for a simple lunchtime stroll.  

 
Montreal is a fascinating city. I have seriously had some of the best food ever. My batteries feel completely recharged, which I suppose is the point of going away. 

The more I experience new places the more I want to see. I must admit sometimes traveling solo is a little intimidating. I think Montreal was a good first experience. They may speak mostly French but as soon as I give a sheepish blush and say something random in English they automatically switch. The accents are charming and I have developed little crushes on more than one waiter. It’s phenomenal fun. 

Finding Diners

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Cooking. Ugh. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. I hate it. I don’t enjoy the fruits of my labor. I do not even like eating the concoction I have created. It is a nightmare.

Living far from home has left me a little hungry. They don’t even have real Mexican food up here, forget about the abomination of Tex-Mex, which I love. I mean seriously love.

There is no United to get a breakfast burrito. They have Taco Bell but I cannot handle that nonsense. So, I have to rely on finding comfort food in other breakfast dishes. I have found three diners I like up here.

One has an omelette I like. They put onions in the potatoes and they remind me of my Mamaw’s. The omelette I get has spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. It is a great breakfast. The diner is comfortable and the servers are always nice and attentive.

The next diner is where I go when I want eggs, bacon, toast, and the let me get one pancake and one slice of french toast instead of making me choose. It’s funny I prefer eating with other people who like to order one of those since all I really want is a bite. Usually my eggs are runny and perfect, exactly the way I like them.

The third diner is a greek place. I get eggs Benedict and lamb there. I have no idea why. I did not even know I liked lamb.

I am going to start branching out more on my days off. I am making a decision to be a little more adventurous in my dining habits. I tried to pretend I was going to cook more and it only lasted about two weeks. I hate cooking.

P.S. I should probably go visit Gym but my knee has been sore for several weeks. I am not sure if I am just using that as an excuse so I am making a commitment to go this week when I am not working. Wish me luck.

It’s Just a Job

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  Sometimes I find myself wondering what I want to accomplish professionally. I honestly have no idea. 
I enjoy the work. I get a sense of personal satisfaction when I feel like I have been useful that day. I love it when I get to spend time with interesting patients and they share their past adventures. I feel accomplished when I am able to work as part of a team to improve patient outcomes. Basically, I like what I do for a living. 

Not that I like all of it. I HATE my pager with every ounce of my being. I hate it so much. It is bulky, ugly, and difficult to read. It always goes off when I am least prepared to return the phone call. I am almost always put on hold when I call back, and in case I have not made it clear, I hate my pager. 

I get frustrated when I don’t have a solution to a patient’s or nursing issue. I am left feeling inadequate and it makes my day much less pleasant. Sometimes I wonder if I am just a terrible communicator. I feel like I am a failure when I can’t seem to make someone understand my limitations and how I am trying to resolve the issue. I try to avoid becoming defensive and snarky, and I believe I have gotten better. It’s still hard some days. 

I like the freedom I have now that I work as a locum. I can make plans and I don’t have to worry about asking everyone if it is okay. I just let people know my availablity. Now, with that freedom I have lost a little security but I feel like it is a fair trade. 

So, what do I do when my life is no longer completely dictated by my job? Constantly stress about whether I am working enough. Wonder if I should be working harder. Obsess over whether or not my intentions are justifiable. It’s exhausting. 

My job is directly linked to my ability to support my family and my ability to finance all of these adventures I keep going on. One of my greatest fears is not providing for my loved ones. In order to take care of everything, I have to be employed. I have to earn a living. 

I am trying to learn to let my job be just a job. It does not have to define me. I get to decide what parameters I want to judge my success by. This could get interesting. 

I Choose

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He wants me to smile sweetly and be carefree. Don’t rock the boat and maintain a calm, cool, and collected attitude. Don’t give people dirty looks and always be friendly. Go with the flow and relax. My hair should always be forced into submission using superheated ceramic plates and hurricane force winds from the hair dryer. Makeup should be natural, yet perfect. Avoid garish colors. Don’t put those stripes in your hair. Clothing should be chosen carefully paying attention to detail and neatness should always be paramount. Comfort and function is not important.Don’t be so loud. Avoid profanity and callous language at all cost. Be polite. Professionalism is always required. Carry yourself like a lady at all times.

She wants me to be strong and to demonstrate my inner feminine badass. Don’t stoop to acting like a weak little girl. I am not a doormat, do not allow anyone to walk all over me. Live life offensively and not defensively. As a woman, I should be using my voice to enact change and lead a revolution. Fight against injustice and demand respect. I can wear any clothes I want to wear and  the more shocking the better. Makeup is used to draw attention to the face and to prove I can be anything I choose to be. I should not be ashamed of my sexuality and my desires. Do not keep my voice down, I deserve to be heard. Use any language to facilitate proving my point. I am not scared of anyone. I am woman, hear me roar.

I am supposed to be brave yet cautious.

I am supposed to be concerned with my appearance yet self-depreciating.

I am supposed to be respectable yet be myself.

Generous and charitable while avoiding being used.

Smart yet teachable.

Confident and humble.

Strong and independent. Wait, unless someone wants me to be docile.

Clever and funny but not vulgar.

Opinionated yet deferential.

When I try too hard to meet the expectations everyone else has for me, I end up confused and unable to act. I find myself unable to make simple decisions. I become desperately unhappy.

I find it difficult to be everything I assume people expect of me. This is why it is important to surround ourselves with people who like us exactly as we are at that moment. Today, I choose to be me, authentically. 

Time Marches On

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  I don’t know if my son knows exactly how I feel about him. Sure, I tell him “I love you.” I hug him and I have always done my very best to support him. 

The problem stems from my inability to fully comprehend how quickly he is growing up. He has his own plans and dreams. He knows what he wants his world to look like. All I know is how my world changed the moment he came into it. It was not an instantaneous miracle, it was a subtle shift in my priorities. I could no longer make decisions about my life without considering how it would affect him. I was no longer my only priority. 

If I am being honest, there is a selfish part of me screaming for him to stop growing up already! It’s horribly unfair. These little guys come tearing into our hearts and all we get is the promise of abandonment long before we are truly ready. 

My son has never been truly mine. He was always his own person and sometimes he would generously allow me a little peek into his world.  He is forming his own opinions and his world is different than mine.

We get to share our hearts with our children. If we are truly lucky, as I consider myself to be, we raise phenomenal people who will leave their own mark on the lives of others. I know he has left an indelible mark on me. 

I can’t stop time. He won’t allow me to wrap him up in bubble wrap to protect him from the world. My only hope is that he makes decisions that are true to his heart and that he experiences life as fully as he wants to. 

I am lucky. I have this amazing kid who is rushing headlong into adulthood. I hope he savors these last couple of years of adolescence. I want him to love and be loved. I want him to look out at the world with wonder and not be afraid. 

I will always strive to be his safe harbor. The person in the world who loves him more than anything. I will be as open minded to his dreams as my heart will allow. I promise to support his desires and to help guide him the best way I know how. While he is not my possession, he stole my heart the day he was born. 

When I watched him walking into airport the other day I was overcome with emotion. I was proud of his independence and I was missing the little boy he was not very long ago. It took every ounce of willpower I had to not rush after him to make sure he could navigate the airport. (He’s a smart kid, obviously he had no problems.) 

He does not need me to hold his hand anymore. He knows how to look both ways before he crosses the street. I know because I watched him do it. I have to have faith in the lessons our family strives to teach him. I have to believe we are raising a good man. 

So, I’m not going to waste time crying over losing my little guy. I am going to celebrate his journey into manhood. However, if I am being honest I wish it took a little longer. I just don’t know if I am ready yet. 

Vacation. All I Ever Wanted

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Hanging out with my favorite guy in The Big Apple. Having a blast. 

I want to talk about the 9/11 memorial. It is hauntingly beautiful. It was hard to keep my composure as I relived the fear and horror of my country under attack. 

My son was still a toddler, and he has no idea what the world was like before. We went from being a sheltered nation to a nation on the same level as the rest of the world. We are not immune. 

  Watching my son viewing the world from the top of The Freedom Tower, I realized I have a responsibility to do every thing in my power to make this world better for him. I don’t believe I can change the whole world however I can be kinder and more responsible to those around me. Just think, what if we all made that promise? What if we made it our mission in life to be kind? To help others? To be inclusive instead of exclusive? 

I want the world to be a gentle place for my boy. I know that sounds naive and simple. I just think it would be nice.