Being Here

I have given myself a hard time psychologically because of all the things that people use to identify and label themselves and others. For example, I am a nurse at the moment. But I could’ve just as easily been a lawyer, a doctor, a businesswoman, a historian, or worked in real estate and sales. People always say that you have to figure out who you are, that you have to find yourself. I’ve tried. I always pursue my curiosities. I took up traveling because I was curious about it and wanted more freedom to do the other things I wanted to do. And what I’ve found is that at the core of who I am is someone who is always curious, always studying and observing things and almost always in a neutral position and feels most comfortable and free when she doesn’t have to be completely involved in the vast majority of emotional affairs. The question of “who are you?” is a fairly difficult question to answer, especially if you’re a very fluid individual.

Traveling, living alone, and being so far away from family has given me the time to really examine myself as a person. The last month or two I have been hard on myself for being single and being alone and not really wanting to date but thinking that I should or was suppose to. Then, when I moved down south to Texas, I had half expected to suddenly become more social until I realized how easily overstimulated I can become. I finally made it into Dallas only to discover that there wasn’t any real “touristy” things I wanted to do but just the fact that I made it into Dallas made me feel content. Nevertheless, I guilted myself because I still felt I was suppose to be more “adventurous” and outgoing. That was a bust. lol I have been back to Dallas for other reasons but I have yet to do anything truly “touristy” while here and I’m still content. One of my coworkers who is a fellow traveller invited me to a rave and I honestly thought I wanted to go because “that’s what people do when in new places”. And  had it not been for this crazy incident with my hair I might’ve gone. But I don’t regret not going. I’m still comfortable.

In addition, my manager called and asked me to work nights. I agreed. For a long time I avoided nights because of the long commute I had with my previous job and because I didn’t want to seem lazy (the stigma with night shift nursing). But I always kind of liked it because there was less running around and less phone calls and just less stimulation overall. Patients tend to want to sleep, less doctors, less management, less noise. I accepted it to give it a try and I like it. I like it enough to want to finish out my time here on nights.

I think I’ve always known what my tolerance level was so social interaction and stimulation but I always wanted to push those boundaries and I might have overdone it at some point. I’m not sure when exactly I stopped testing my boundaries and started trying to change myself to be more like “everyone else” but as I slowly pull back and allow myself to be me instead trying to fit the mold, I’m starting to like life more and like my job more, and allow myself to take my time.

My favorite part of the trip so far has been being able to drive cross country. I got to see beautiful landscapes while in the comfort of my car and to even share that with one other person and that made me happy and content and was enough.

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Canceling My Cable

I cancelled reduced my cable subscription today. I now get basic cable (plus extreme internet) for half of what I use to pay. Doing it that way was cheaper than if only paid for the extreme speed internet package. But I wanted to reduce the amount of money I was spending. Also, I got the password for xfinity comcast back home and so I can watch all movies and shows online at no cost to me.

I was reluctant to cancel. I didn’t know how I would be able to pass my time here but I think I’ll be okay. I actually haven’t been watching as much television as I thought I would (or that I thought I did) and I did a bit of sightseeing in the area so I’m quite comfy at the moment. I’m saving a pretty penny too by getting rid of the internet which makes me feel even better because there’s less payments for me to make out of my weekly income.

In addition, I want more me time. I’ve lived with self-doubt for so long that there’s a part of me that wants to just sit and examine my own feelings. The last few weeks have lead to one revelation after another for me as I realize that much of what I felt or perceived was accurate in relation to personal situations, how others felt, how they perceived me and others, who I really am, what I really wanted to do, etc. I’m learning about myself in a more natural way. My own way. As opposed to what others have prescribed to me. And that feels good. I don’t need cable as badly as I thought I did. It’s a useful tool. But I can save a lot more money without it.

When You’re Not “That” Person Anymore

Travel nursing has opened me up to the realization that I am who I am meant to be. I’m not going to become an extravert or suddenly have a lot to say in conversations. I’m not suddenly going to start working out 7 days a week and prefer the outdoors to sitting in my home reading a good book, or driving around listening to audiobooks. I am me.

I felt a lot of pressure to revert as I got older. Many of the people I knew preferred that I was who I use to be. Loud, talkative, social, always outside doing things, “confident”. That’s what everyone considered confidence. Someone who dresses up all the time, is feisty, loud, talkative, always going out with friends, dating. So I kept telling myself that I was not confident because if I was, I would be all those things that I use to be.

I’m in a new state and I realize that I am still the same person (maybe a little more at peace). I realize that who I am is a result of all that I have learned and all that I have evolved to become. My quiet demeanor is not a sign of weakness or a lack of confidence. My lack of desire to argue is not indicative of insecurity or uncertainty. It’s not all bad. Who I am is not all bad. I’m not perfect. But it’s toxic to keep thinking that I’m inadequate because I’m not my old ego filled self.

Whatever I am is more accepting of my flaws and uncertainties and is more open to celebrating my accomplishments. Whatever I am is more tolerant, forgiving, less affected my outside influence, caring, loving. Since being here, several of my patients have put a big smile on my face when they told me how comfortable I made them feel and that made me feel good knowing that I have been able to put people at ease. Many of the nursing students have thanked me for being so helpful and for supportive and answering all of their questions and that made me feel good that they felt comfortable approaching me to ask questions. My coworkers have been amazed by me for picking up and traveling over 300 miles away to a place I’ve never been, with people I’ve never met, to work at a facility I knew nothing about until arriving. My family was impressed that I have made this trip and had it be as organized as it has been.

Whatever I am is confident. She might be loud and outspoken, harsh, proud, aggressive, or flashy. But she’s comfortable in her own skin and she confident enough to take the necessary steps to become whatever she wants to be. She’s comfortable with her fluidity. She’s comfortable with her own essence. And I think that’s something that the person I’m not anymore can feel good about.