Breaking a cardinal rule usually leads to moments of insecurity

If you read my previous post, you know I decided to be brave for twenty seconds & send a message to the guy I have a crush on which lead to us exchanging numbers & us both expressing the desire to hang out together.  YAY!!!!    So let’s start with some truths on how I feel & why this isn’t going exactly as I envisioned.

Truth: I really like this man & desire to get to know more about him.  It’s been ages since a man has caught my attention in a way that learning more about him supersedes the idea of having a sexual/physical relationship with him.

Truth:  I have been told I’m really an amazing woman & any man would be lucky to have me as his, however what most people don’t realize is if I truly like a guy I turn from a seductive, flirtatious woman into the most lovable, but adorkable woman ever cause you know I’m kind of nerdy.

Truth:  I broke my own cardinal rule – never date or pursue an individual you work with because you don’t need those kind of problems when trying to earn your paycheck.

We have had a few conversations via text and have learned some things about each other.   We don’t make it obvious we are trying to develop a friendship outside of work.   However, there are a couple of things that are bothering me: (1) I’m the person who has to initiate conversation.   He responds back and will chat for hours with me but I feel like I am chasing him & that isn’t exactly something I find sexy.   (2) He hasn’t asked me out for coffee, dinner, lunch, nothing.  I am not trying to rush him, but at the same time you can’t get to really know a person if you don’t engage in some form or fashion.

Officially I have decided not to text him first anymore.   I want to know what your interest level really is.   I don’t think men go through the effort of making a gift on the fly for just anyone.   And I am trying very hard to not go to a place of self criticism or self blame.   But it is hard not to think – is it me?   Did I say something offensive and wasn’t aware of it?  Did I miss read your intentions & you just desire to be friends only?   Are you not physically or sexually attracted to me?  Is it because I am chubby, tall, or awkward?

Maybe self criticism/blame is easiest for me because of asshole guys I have dated in the past who made me think I was too much.  I was awkward, I was desirable but only if it wasn’t well known they liked me, I was too demanding, I had too many rules/standards, or some other bullshit excuse of why I was the problem.

Maybe it is because I am afraid of a potential relationship working out.  I have a fear that no matter how long I am with a person eventually they are going to leave me.   Perhaps it stems from my childhood issues with my father.  Perhaps it is because I have given the best of myself to some guys who didn’t appreciate me & left me for what they believed to be greener pastures (only to try to return later on).

*takes a breath*  I am trying to remain calm, cool, & collected. I am trying to remember that I actually took a chance on someone I really liked & if it doesn’t work out how I hoped, I don’t have to wonder what could have been.   *grumbles*  See this is why you don’t express interest in people you work with.   This situation has me completely out of my comfort zone.

 

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Sometimes you just need to be brave for 20 seconds…..

Recently I celebrated my birthday & I wasn’t really expecting much from the day.   Another year older & perhaps another year wiser.   I had to work for part of my birthday which doesn’t bother me.   I was sitting at the desk when the man I have had a crush on for months walked in.   He said hi, handled official business, and then stopped to hold an actually, long conversation with me.

We talked about our lives & what it is like to date now versus when we were growing up.   He isn’t looking for a hook up.  This is a man I haven’t encountered in a long while.  One who appreciates the art of dating.  He wants coffee dates where you discuss life and family, he wants to go to dinner & movies.  He doesn’t believe in kissing a girl til after a few dates.  He wants to actually learn about the person.   I didn’t think it was possible to be even more smitten with this man but I was so wrong.  I told him it was my birthday & he wished me a happy one.  It also gave him a chance to ask how old I was & me to ask him in return – we are in the right age bracket for dating each other.   Our conversation was going well & we both had forgotten about work until his phone rang with an emergency call & he had to leave suddenly.

*sigh*  I had to go check on a few things and started working again myself.  I returned to my area to see a gift on the desk.   It was wrapped and decorated.   I kind of looked around at my co-workers and asked which one of you did this?   Everyone said, wasn’t me.  Inside I knew who it was but I just couldn’t believe it.   Then I saw the notes & candy.   Not only are you a good man. You are creative and thoughtful.   I was speechless and all I could do was smile.   I sent him a message thanking him for the gift.

Throughout the night I kept thinking of taking the chance and giving him my number along with a sweet message.   I typed a message and would just close my screen on my phone.  All sorts of things went through my mind:  what if I am misreading his signals?  What if he isn’t interested? What if he is just being nice?   What happens if he says no?    After a while I was sitting there looking at the gift, smiling, looked at the message I typed, took a breath, & hit send.   And I immediately became nauseous.  What the hell did I just do?   I am not that girl.  I am not that brave.   This is not like me to act this way towards a guy I really like.  He’s gonna say no & laugh at me.   (Yes, I am a drama queen of worse case scenario).

An hour later I received a message & once again I was speechless.  He is interested and would love to go out sometime.  We exchanged numbers and I am so glad he isn’t standing in front of me because I am smiling so hard and blushing.   I was brave for 20 seconds, took a chance & it went better than expected. I am excited to hang out with him and get to know him better. I don’t know if he is kinky & honestly I don’t think I care.   But those are discussions we will have down the road.   Maybe he will turn out to be a great friend or perhaps so much more.  All I know is I have to remember how to officially date & wait.   After that, the day just got better and better.  If this is any indication of my year, it is going to be one amazing  year for sure.  Now, I have to go wipe this stupid grin off my face.

Growth, transition, and learning how to be patient

“She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.”

Growth & change are inevitable things.  Well, that isn’t completely true change will always occur however it is up to you whether or not you decide to grow from those changes.   My world has been undergoing change ever since I left Texas about five months ago.   I underestimated the toll that returning home would present to me professionally, financially, emotionally, and even relationship wise.   Change doesn’t come without a price.

Transitioning from living on my own, traveling across the country, picking my own work schedule, & learning about different cultures to returning back to your hometown, working at a smaller, slower paced hospital than usual, & moving back in with your parent isn’t something one can adjust to overnight or apparently in a couple of months. Finding a job was more challenging than expected which meant being out of work for a couple months which essentially almost drained my savings account cause the bills gotta get paid.   My travel job also came with negatives like leaving me with a housing bill twice because of early cancelled contracts meaning being stuck with a bill over $6,000 in housing cost.  Being without health insurance which luckily my normal prescriptions out of pocket didn’t cost a fortune.   And having to maintain a positive attitude without breaking down emotionally because I got shit to handle.   I think over the past couple of weeks things I haven’t given myself a chance to process started hitting me out of nowhere.   Failed new work situation.  Failed relationships both romantic and non-romantic.  And ultimately feeling like you have failed somewhere in the game of life.

I remember months ago, I received a psychic reading because I had no clue where things were going in my life & honestly I didn’t really know what I was going to do.  Truth, I receive a psychic reading every year from a person who has always been incredibly accurate which is scary.   She warned me that the next six months or so was going to be time of discomfort for me because of the amount of changes that will occur.   She always warned me that I was going to be frustrated because I would feel like I am taking two steps forward only to fall four steps back.    And she is right. I have had moments of frustration and anger.   Moments where I think I should have found a permanent job in Texas.   Maybe I should have taken crazy man up on his offer to be his personal slave & my only responsibility would be to take care of him.  Maybe I shouldn’t have believed I was good enough to work anywhere in the country without issues.   And in those moments all I want to do is stomp my foot like a petulant child and scream THIS ISN’T FAIR!!!

*takes a deep breath*  Life isn’t fair.  At this point, I am just trying to focus on some of the the things that was addressed to me months ago when she gave me this reading.   The first thing is to look forward, don’t look back.  This is more difficult than one would imagine.   I am a fixer.  I like completion.  I don’t like feeling like I left loose ends or didn’t finish something with amazing results.   However, hindsight is 20/20 and living life with could have, should have or would have has no real bearing on today.   Letting go of the past is difficult but I have to remember not everything is completed to my liking. Sometimes situations fall apart to redirect your path to something better.

The second thing was personal responsibility.   I have some wonderful personality traits, but I also possess some questionable ones.  I am stubborn, resistant to change, like things a certain way, & am opinionated.  I am not afraid of standing up to anyone, even those people who are in a position over me.  Majority of the time that works in my favor & other times not so much.  I accept the consequences of my actions and don’t blame others but perhaps I could be more flexible to change & not so stubborn.  I am opinionated but not to the point that you can’t change my mind if you make a valid argument.   I don’t ever want to play the blame game.   I know that some situations are out of my control, but I need to almost remember how I react to a situation is key.   I must maintain my composure & not be opposed to receiving correction.   I won’t ever be a girl who won’t rock the boat, but sometimes delivery and tone is everything.   Some days I am better at that than others.   What can I say, even after all these years I am still a work in progress.

Lastly, look to the future.  Use this period of transition to truly examine what I want & need.   What would I like to accomplish?   What is truly deserving of my time & energy? How can I push forward to make better choices in terms of career and relationships?  Those answers are not cut and dry.  I am beginning to make moves and carefully planning out certain situations.   I hope that throughout everything that has occurred in the past few months a few things ring louder than anything else which is my heart, my integrity, my ability to work hard, and above all things my reputation for doing what is right.

However, I get impatient.  I sometimes grow weary of feeling like I am continually playing catch up, but I also have to stop comparing my story to others.  My life journey will always be different than others.  I celebrate my friends success and adventures because I never wanna see anyone I love fail.  I wanna see them soar & achieve their heart’s desire.  I wanna see them be in great relationships, find amazing careers, step out on limbs and accomplish their goals.  However, I don’t wanna feel like I am not being great either or let others down.   And that is something I have to learn to get over.  No one placing the expectations of x, y, or z on myself except for myself.   I am not losing out on anything.  Sometimes life takes you on a path that is completely unexpected in order to give you something far more beautiful than you could have ever imagined.  I just hope I am working towards something more than I could have ever envisioned on my own. Things don’t just fall apart without something greater coming together.

 

Can you overcome the cardinal sin of speaking up for yourself?

“If you aren’t failing every now & again.  It’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”   However, I have been paralyzed in a state of fear this past month.  Fear of making the wrong decision.  Fear of going back to work.  Fear of traveling for my job.  Fear that I made the wrong choice in deciding to pursue my goal of travel nursing.

As a full time staff nurse & as a travel nurse, I very rarely got into trouble.   However the expectations of a travel nurse are different.   Every nurse on the planet has had a confrontation with a patient or family member.  Yet as a travel nurse those are grounds for dismissal.  Staff treating you poorly & actively participating in hazing -you are suppose to smile, accept your shitty assignments, accept the crappy treatment, and be thankful you are working in this hell.   You are expected to put up with obnoxious, rude behavior from patients, family members, or staff.  And the ultimate cardinal sin is speaking up for yourself & protecting your own license.

Fear these past few weeks have consumed me because I committed the ultimate cardinal sin.   My assignment ended early because I am not into being abused by patients & apparently speaking up for yourself is a bad thing.   I don’t regret that decision.  I will always stand up for myself.  Are there lessons I can take away from this situation? Absolutely.  For now, I don’t wanna work nor bang on the drum all day.   Unless it was pressing, I have stayed home in my pajamas, slept, & hid from making a decision.  I also have joked about being a kept woman at home but you need a man for that first.  Clinically I am strong & always believe I have room for improvement.  I am compassionate & firm.  And I actually give a damn about my patients.  I want to know their stories.  Sometimes time and acuity doesn’t allow for that but I try.  I am not perfect, sorry, I am just a human being who like everyone else in the world.  However, why should I continue to give my best when it seems those things don’t matter.  It seems as though keeping your head down, making sure your are popular, & improving profit margins are all that matter.

Honestly, I could have been placed at another facility weeks ago but just have enjoyed being home with my family & friends.  I could have accepted a position an hour away but in my heart it just didn’t feel right.  And apparently close to home, I am overqualified for many full time positions and various nurse managers feel like I would be bored working for their facility.  Sometimes you can’t win.

How do you continue on a journey when you have been kicked multiple times?  How do you continue to believe in doing the right thing when it gets you in trouble?   I am a God fearing woman so I believe in grace, forgiveness, & trying not to live your life in fear.  God doesn’t let you suffer without a purpose.  I am trying to walk in the light of forgiveness & grace.  But sometimes it is hard.  The bumps, bruises, and cuts hurt especially when you know you have been done wrong & those who know you, work beside you, and support you also know you have been done dirty.

A full time position at home doesn’t look like it is going to pan out.  Traveling looks like it will be a necessary evil.  Yet, I am so scared to drive thousands of miles only from home to have to work in unsafe conditions, endure nurse on nurse hazing, not be supported by hospital administration, &/or have my work cancelled early because people want to lie and take pride in getting others to quit or have their contract terminated early.  Life is a journey & perhaps my friend is right.  “The trials you are going through right now aren’t even about you. They are to help someone in life.

They are a testimony to something far greater than you imagined.”   I hope he is right.   Now, if only I could look into a crystal ball & see what the future holds.

Sidenote of topic:  Let me clarify something.  I absolutely love what I do.  Healthcare is one of the few professions that rewards you in so many ways.  It teaches you something new medically & personally everyday.   However, in my opinion patient satisfaction scores has undermined healthcare professionals & is attempting to turn hospitals into hotels with trained people for your illnesses.  Where are the protections for healthcare providers?  I have been physically assaulted (punched, kicked, shoved, slapped), verbally threatened, called racial slurs, sexually harassed, & lied on.  I have endure nurse on nurse hazing. Worked with patient ratios that could have ended badly. And failed to be supported by hospital administrators or managers because patient satisfaction scores matter & everyone wants to make money.  I want to help people.  I want to touch lives & save lives.  But I will not endure working in an environment where I am not protected.  Perhaps wanting basic human rights is too much.

But if the bright lights don’t receive you

Feeling like a failure makes it hard to come out & tell people that you are back home earlier than expected.  Yes, I want to see the people that I love but when you are home early because of reasons that can’t really be explained – you just don’t feel like facing the ones you love.  Sacrificed in the name of patient satisfaction.  And in one moment you feel like the Matchbox Twenty lyrics: “But if the bright lights don’t receive you, you should turn yourself around and come on home.”

*sigh*  One year ago I made a decision to accomplish a goal; I decided to leave my full time job to become a traveling healthcare provider.  Morale was low at my old job so it was the perfect opportunity to see what the world had to offer.  I stepped out on faith & worked my first assignment.  Things were great.  My next assignment was absolutely horrible.  The next assignment was like returning back to an old lover & then I did it again.  I was living in a new city, experiencing new things, and learning about different ways of thinking.

Becoming a traveling professional has had it’s share of peaks and valleys.  I got to live in Texas & California.  I learned how to adapt to living in two vastly different areas.  I got to check off a few bucket list items – drive across the country & see the Pacific Ocean just to name two.  I have seen mountains, desert, & oceans.   I have had the opportunity to see how different life can be from one place to the next.   And the icing on the cake was meeting some amazing people some of which have become great friends & family.  However, this adventure has also had my integrity called into question, lost of money due to cancelled contracts, & made me question my own sanity in pursing this crazy dream of mine.

I learned that I am smarter, stronger, braver, & more resilient than I ever imagined about myself. Living the life of a gypsy has given me the ability to adapt more than I would have given myself credit for being able to do.   I learned maybe the big city isn’t exactly where I want to be.  But I also learned the country isn’t exactly where I want to be either.  Give me city with a suburban feel.    Valley of this adventure includes losing your job before the end of your contract which leaves you with money you didn’t expect to spend.  Losing out on time with family and friends.   Learning a new area only to have to leave in 13 – 26 months then having to leave and relearn an entirely new place.  Crying yourself to sleep because you are stressed & alone.  Starting relationships & losing relationships.  And honestly I wouldn’t have made it through this journey without the support of so many people through modern technology.
So, what is missing in my life?   The answer is stability.  Being a travel healthcare worker is amazing but the uncertainty between jobs is stressful.  I miss the decor and furniture I picked out for my place (it took me years to pick out each and every piece for my home).  I miss having a place of my own.  I miss my friends & family.  The freedom to design your own life is fabulous. There is money to be made if you take the gamble but do realize sometimes you bust.

The stress of having to find a new position every 3 months is exhausting.   I achieved a dream & am able to check off several items on my bucket list.  However I think I am craving stability.  The ability to have continual health insurance.  The ability to earn PTO, retirement benefits, & a stable income.  Having a home to go to that is truly mine.

My dilemma is I am not overly excited about working for any of the hospitals in my hometown. So, what is the solution?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I am trying to be silent and wait for clarity.  I ask God for direction but at the moment there is no answer.  Perhaps I am giving up to early in my traveling career.  I know that nothing is certain however I am tired of the constant uncertainty with my new adventure.  In this moment, the only thing I am certain of is that is amazing to be in my own bed.  It is wonderful to see the things I worked hard to buy.  It is comforting to see the faces of those who love me & I love.   And for right now that is enough for me.

Death is a part of life

Hi

“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” 

Television shows are a lot different than the reality faced by millions of healthcare workers across the country everyday. Do we have moments that are so surreal you do a double take and think what the fuck?  Absolutely.  Do we see miracles occur? You bet we do.  Are we honored to stand next to people and assist them during their hours of need?  Yes, we do.   We love to share the moments that make us laugh.  We love to share the moments that are super gross.   We love to share the moments that are absolute chaos.   However, many of us shut down when it comes to speaking about the moments that leave us emotionally drained.  We try to forget about the moments that leave us breathless, heartbroken, devastated, and/or questioning why we do what we do.

My specialty is critical care.   Critical care has allowed me the opportunity to see people at their most vulnerable not only recover, but prove miracles happen everyday.  Sadly,  I have also witnessed my fair share of people cross over from this life to the next.  Preventing, witnessing, and fighting with death is what we do.   Sorry the RN doesn’t stand for refreshment and narcotics.  Nor are we waitresses.  We work to save lives.  And death is that annoying family member that shows up at 2 am causing all sorts of drama and commotion.    Death doesn’t care about your economic status, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, height, weight, or looks.  Death is an equal opportunity taker.

The process of watching an individual die, whether quickly or slowly, is something few people ever witness.  Sometimes the process can be etched into your mind so strongly you can recall the events, names, and people who were there like it was yesterday.   You see the look of utter shock and grief flash across their face.  You know they are going to ask you the same questions again and it is okay.  You try to block out the cries.  You try to encourage them to share memories of this person and encourage them to lean on each other for support.   You feel terrible to have to ask them – what funeral home would you like to send their body?   You give them time and then sometimes you have to wrap their bodies and send them down to the morgue, if a funeral home isn’t selected as of yet.   And even after years of doing this job, the process is difficult.  The process hits you at the core & all you can do is emotionally let go.

The past few weeks has been emotionally overwhelming for me.   I rarely have had to call an medical emergency/cardiac arrest (code), yet in the past couple of weeks – I have had to call two and in the end neither patient survived their injuries.  And I watched one lady slip away as her brain swelling couldn’t be stopped.   All three cases stick with me.  However I will share two out of the three stories because I think sometimes people need a look at the harsh parts of what we do.

The lady who slipped away from life due to brain swelling was hard.  It is hard to watch someone neurologically decline.  It is even harder to look at the person who has loved her for 56 years, watch her die.  He told me wonderful stories about the woman he loved.  He called her the boss and respected how she raised their family and supported him while he provided financially for the family.   He wanted her to recover.  He said he would be lost without her.  He said how much he loved that woman.  He gently stroked her hair and kissed her forehead while reminding her constantly.  “Baby, I am right here.  I haven’t left your side.”  He looked at me and asked would she be returning home to him.  I gave my PC answer – “the next 24-72 hours are the most critical.  We will have to wait and see.”  I didn’t have the heart to look him in the eyes and say you won’t be bringing home your wife, lover, best friend and mother of your children.   You won’t be holding her hand or kissing her again.    I am grateful I didn’t have to see her die with him by her side.  My heart would have broken for him.  And the days ahead that no words would be able to soothe or heal.   The pain that no one would understand because his life partner was no longer standing by his side.

Death doesn’t discriminate & it took a woman in her 20’s like a thief in the night.  I can remember wanting the physician to see her as soon as possible because I didn’t like anything I heard.   The physician was busy and said when they got a moment they would be around.  Pt wasn’t breathing the best and we had some conversations about comfort and not wanting to remain this way if nothing could be done.   Got her breathing treatments going and he O2 sats started picking up and she was sleeping soundly.  The physician peaked in and saw everything improving and basically said if you need something call but she will be fine.  I didn’t feel comfortable but I started to think maybe I am just paranoid.  I kept calling doing labs, listening to her breath sounds, monitoring everything looking for signs, and some things were improving.  She was comfortable and still resting in no distress.    An hour before shift change, I was outside her door and heard her let out a yell.  I went inside.  She looked at me and said “I can’t breath.” Told respiratory to get an ABG stat while I called the physician.   Within the two minutes it took to call and get a response.  I saw her go from having a rhythm to asystole.  We tried to save her life while her family member stood by the entire time just watching in shock.   We never saw life return to her body.  Finally I hear a crying out from the other side of the room “no more”.   After 27 minutes, we declared this young woman dead.   I couldn’t catch my breath.   I heard her family member say remember our conversation from earlier & I did.  And I couldn’t hold back the tears. I had to walk away because heartbreaking doesn’t come close to describing how I felt.  I came back and held this lady and told her take all the time you need.  And we talked about her not being in pain any longer.  I was assured there was nothing I could have done.  I did everything possible, yet I felt like a failure.   I carried that home with me that day.  And still do in some ways.

I love what I do for a living.   I can’t imagine doing anything else at times.   However, we forget that health care providers are people as well.  We also leave part of our hearts with you.  We hurt and grieve the loss of our patients.  We are impacted by the losses and victories of medicine.

Dreams, reality, & what do I want?

Young, fresh-faced, naive me had her life all planned out.  Exact ages and times in my life where I knew what goals and dreams I wanted to achieve.  The old saying is incredibly true, we plan & God laughs.   Now has my life come even close to what I envisioned for myself when in early 20’s – absolutely not.

The dream:  Finish graduate school by the time I was 25.  Get married around the age of 30.  If I were to have children, it needed to be done by the time I was 32.  Have a great career as a teacher.  And by 35 me and hubby would by a house to raise our beautiful family in and live a great life.   Yes I am giggling my ass of right now.

Reality:  Finished graduate school at 27.  Only to go back to school cause my first two degrees didn’t provide a single gal with enough financial stability.   Never been married.  No children.  I have a career in healthcare that I never dreamed in a million years that I would be doing but couldn’t imagine doing anything else – I honestly love what I do.  I am a nomad of sorts so I don’t really have a settled down type of life at the moment.

Am I sad about my current reality?  Overall no.   There are some days I question my choices but I am sure we all questioned our life choices at one point or another.   Hindsight is 20/20 & there are something I would change if I could.  However, changing those decisions, whether good or bad, would change the person I have become today & I kind of like her.  Each decision has taught me a lesson.  Am I still learning lessons?  Heck yeah, I am trying to take what has happened in the last few months and learn the lessons I need from that right now.   And I believe with every fiber in my being that these situations I have been through are preparing me for something greater.   All of the losses I have sustained financially, mentally, and emotionally – some known to those close to me and some I haven’t shared with a soul – will be restored with time.

Sometimes it is hard to see a clear path of where life is taking you.  The road isn’t always smooth & easy; There are road blocks, steep hills, & potholes.   Sometimes we suffer losses that are so extreme, we lose our faith, we blame God, and question why He would ever make us endure such unbearable pain.  I am guilty of questioning is plan & getting angry because things seem to be overwhelming & too painful to push on.  Sometimes all you can do is hold on to what faith you have, believe there is a purpose to my life, and remember God hasn’t taken you this far to let you fail.  You have to believe that He will restore all that was taken from you and give you beauty for ashes & tears in ways you never could have imagined.

All the things that have occurred in the last few months up until now got me thinking about what do I really want?  If you get nothing else out of this writing, how about this – dare to be honest with yourself & truly state what would make you happy.  It is so rare in this busy world to take a moment, be selfish, and think about your needs. What do you want?  What do you believe will make you happy?  These are a few of the things this lady of pure filth wants?

I want a committed, sexual relationship with a person who is Dominant and sadistic because the submissive & masochist in me needs those things in order to be fulfilled completely in a relationship.  I would love for this person to be honest, compassionate, loving, funny, ambitious, and have faith in God.  I want him to be proud to have me on his arm because I am a hell of a woman.   I would prefer that relationship to be a monogamous one. Polyamory in theory sounds great, however I haven’t seen work out beautifully in the long run.

I desire financial stability.   No, I am not looking for someone to take care of me.  I would love to erase the debt I incurred from the whole trip to California.  I would love to be debt free.  I would love to have a disposable income where I could help out people anytime possible and never have to live on a budget.

I want to be comfortable in my own skin.  For the most part, I am.  However, there are those moments where I don’t feel pretty enough, thin enough, or just enough.  I will never be a super model nor do I want to be.  I want to be proud of my gray hair when it starts to grow in.  I want to enjoy my smile lines and remember the memories that caused them.  I want to be proud of my body because it is strong enough for me to do all the things I desire.  I want to be okay with my thinning hair.  I don’t want to hide in hot as wigs and heavy fake hair.   I don’t want to apologize because I can’t have children & if I did it would cost me a fortune to have one on my own.

Life is about compromise.   Will I get the desires of my heart?  I sure hope so.  Am I disappointed with the life I have lived thus far?  Absolutely not.  Despite all the smiles & tears – I have been able to do things, see things, and experience things I never imagined.  I didn’t foresee my life having so many beautiful friends.  I didn’t foresee losing some of the people I loved to life and death.  I didn’t foresee the adventures life has allowed me to experience.  I didn’t foresee ever living a life outside of my hometown.  And I don’t know where this journey called life is going to take me.  Along the way, I am bound to make some poor choices, but I am also destined to make some great ones.  One thing is for sure – I am going to continue to have dreams/goals but I also know the reality will definitely more than I could have ever imagined.