I've been MIA from this blog for one big reason-my spring semester started and proceeded to kick and scream at me drill sergeant style until I was curled up into a ball, clutching my Drug Book and muttering/weeping about cholinergic agonists.
And the truth; I miss it terribly. This blog means a great deal to me. Writing this blog is important, both on a personal and creative level. I feel like writing to me is what water is to a shark. I stop doing it, and I suffocate.
So I'm going to do my best to not stay away so long. No matter how busy and crazy life is, I need to return here, often. There's no way I can touch on everything that has happened the last few weeks, but here are the high/low points.
-Nursing school this semester, like I said before, has just completely kicked my butt. I still honestly love what I'm learning and find things like fluid and electrolyte balance more fascinating than I probably should (the only thing not fascinating this semester-INFORMATICS-a completely BS class that I could rant about forever, but I'll restrain myself). I love interacting with my patients, especially when they're a little sassy. I got to see a cardiac catheterization which blew my mind. There hasn't been a moment this semester that has made me feel uncertain about this career path. But wow, is it hard. It's unyielding, just this monster in constant need of being fed with exams and projects and reflections (oh the dreaded reflection, my school's BFF), and it has worn me out to within an inch of my life. And it's only week 5. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is called SUMMER BREAK.
-I am in love with my new apartment. Well let me preface that. I have major issues with the interior of my apartment building (which hasn't been maintained since 1954) and most of my weird, smelly (dirty, stinkin' smokers don't realize that their dirty, stinkin' smoke stinks up not just their individual apartments, but EVERYTHING within a 5 mile radius), LOUD (right now the people downstairs are either playing rock band or just singing at the top of their lungs for no reason on a Tuesday evening). But those things aside, I love my apartment. I love my big windows and my wood floors, and just having my own space. I will post pictures soon, but I have spent far too much time and money getting it exactly how I want it. The best way I can describe it that I've made it my mission to fill it with things that are bright and cozy and that make my heart full (this includes but is not limited to my blanket and pashmina from India, a billion travel pictures, some awesome consignment and antique finds, furniture provided by mom and dad, a billion pictures of friends and family, brightly colored rugs,little happy Buddhas, reminders of Charleston, and just all things happy and lovely and that make me feel like I'm living in a cocoon of delightfulness). It might all clash. It might make no sense to anyone else. But to me it's perfect. I open the door and I smile.
-On a related note, I have a problem. You know how some people are stress eaters? Okay that's a bad example because I'm kind of that too. Although to be fair I'm also a stress exerciser-so it sort of balances out. But I digress. How I've been dealing with stress this semester is by stress shopping, specifically for my aforementioned apartment. It's not great for my bank account. But it's just so fun. I have lost myself again and again on Etsy and more often in Lakeside consignment stores or at the West Broad antiques mall, where I can spend literally hours browsing through all of that wonderfully old stuff. I realize that I'm turning more and more into my mother as I get older. And one of the ways this is manifesting lately is my love of consignment and antiques. And it's just so much more fun to shop at one of those places that at say, Pottery Barn. Because Potter Barn has nice stuff but it's just stuff, you know? At antique or consignment stores, you're not looking at just stuff, you're looking at things that were a part of people's lives, that meant something, that witnessed who knows what kinds of things-new babies brought home, people moving in together, a first apartment. For a sentimental schmuck like me, a Southern one at that who has an almost Pavlovian weepy response to any mention of the past, there's nothing more rewarding than spending a lazy afternoon consignment/antique hunting and/or bringing those items home, giving them a new reincarnation in a new story. I need to stop. I cannot use this as my stress relief for the next two years, because I will become a hoarder. But at least lately it's kept me sane. And I do have my eye out for some fruit crates to use as magazine holders. And an old fashioned wastebasket. And....
-Richmond theater is nuts right now in terms of new shows opening left and right. If you don't know, it's the start of the Acts of Faith festival, and last year, the festival was responsible for some of the year's most challenging, unique, just all around great theater. Two I've seen so far-Lord of the Flies and Always...Patsy Cline. I loved them both. I thought Debra Wagoner in Patsy Cline was just beautiful. Her voice didn't fill the room, it infused it. It connected every single person in that theater to not just Patsy and her songs, but to everything that's beautiful about music. Lord of the Flies was decidedly darker, with sadly no musical numbers (minus "Kill the pig, spill his blood" chanting), but I still thought it was great. I reviewed it and am too lazy to link, but if you're so inclined look it up on Richmond.com!
-Lastly, and on a far different note, I found out a couple of weeks ago that Michelle Trojanowski, a girl I went to Haiti was missing on Mt. Rainier. At the time it seemed like the story could end on a happy note. There were rescue missions going on. There was hope. She and three other hikers have been missing now for almost a month. I haven't talked to Michelle since the first couple of weeks back from Haiti when we all exchanged emails a few times to talk about how strange it was to come home. I've kept up with her somewhat on Facebook, seen her statuses, followed updates from her life, updates that I always paid attention to because they reminded me of how I always want to approach life-with joy and passion for both the big and little details. I probably would never have seen Michelle again in person. But still I feel connected to her, like I do with everyone who was on that trip with me, like I always will. It was one week, such a short amount of time, but it was without question one of the most important weeks of my life. When I'm old and gray I know it will still be one of the most important weeks of my life. It changed me. It changed the course of my life. And because of that everyone who was there is important to me, will continue to be important to me. We went through it together. We saw shattering poverty and despair and hunger and senseless destruction together. We saw hope and kindness together. We tried to make sense of it, tried to help in some small way, together.
Right now it seems impossible that Michelle's story will have a happy ending, no matter how much people hope (and I've been small witness to just how many people have hoped desperately and with their whole hearts for Michelle over the last few weeks, which I'm sure is only the tip of the iceberg to the amount of love there is for this girl out there, who I remember as unflinchingly generous and abundantly kind, even in the hardest of situations). I cannot fathom what her family and friends are going through, what they have gone through. It's just a terrible, sad, ridiculously unfair situation. And I've tried to hold on to hope, to send all of my good thoughts and support the way of her family and friends, and to pray that no matter what, no matter where she is, Michelle is okay.
So that's been my life the last few weeks, alternately full and silly and stressful and achingly sad. I know I ended on a downer note, but the whole situation has reinforced for me what I have always known but have a hard time remembering-life is short and fragile and unpredictable. We have so little control over it. And it can be stressful and tiring.
But God aren't we lucky to have it. My life is full. My life is crazy. My life is good.
And I promise I will do my best spending a little more of it here.