Post grad life has been revolving around two very obvious trains of thought:  starting a career and  not being at school.
 Life in the NICU:
Only 6 weeks in, I cannot explain how blessed I am to be where I am. Coming into nursing with almost zero NICU experience, I did not know what to expect. I'm finding that while the learning curve is extremely steep, I am loving the unit, the patients, the NICU in general. I am happy to say that I immediately found a sort of happy medium of compassion, while still being able to work in the rather sad environment that is the NICU. From my pediatric experience, I was worried. My memories revolved around standing by the bed of a 3 week GI baby for an hour just to be there since his parents never visited him; turning to the wall so my preceptor wouldn't see my tears over watching a 6 month old cry from being in a spica cast [that was a tough one]. But, I'm finding that while the majority of the situations in the NICU seem sad or unjust, I have been able to put that aside and care for these premature neonates in the moment of care.
Premature infants have senses that are amplified; talking over their isolette is like using a jackhammer beside someone's bed; putting a room temperature stethescope to their chest is like rubbing their bodies with ice cubes; and even the most delicate touch can bruise their fragile bodies. So are the emotions running through that unit. I'm still figuring out the anatomy of a NICU nurse, but I'm finding out that many of their senses/emotions are indeed amplified as well.
 School-less September:
Leaving school wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be in June. There were indeed some hard nights where I realized that my SPU chapter was closing quickly with nothing I could do about it. But I was joyful at the same time in completing my degree, and at the same time remembering the gift of the 4 years I had in Seattle. Leaving the relationships I've had in Seattle was one of the hardest aspects. The transition of moving back to Tacoma, studying for the NCLEX, and starting a new job kept my mind and body busy. Now that September is here, and the bustle that is SPU has started again, I'm finding that the hard part is now. I went up to Seattle the other day and made rounds to see some dear friends. Freshman move-in day was happening. I will never forget that day I drove up Ashton hill 4 years ago with my mom and battled for elevator rights as I moved my belongings into ASH 223. Those memories are so precious to me.
I visited four of my residents from my first year of being a Peer Advisor. I am so blessed to count these girls as friends still. One of them is now in her first year as a PA. It baffles me how time flies. I wish for a moment that I could be back to being 18 again and sitting down to my very first floor meeting; or bonding with my staff in the early days on the ropes course at Warm Beach; or sitting in gwinn on a Friday night at staff dinner laughing at hilarity of my emerson PAs. Again, such precious memories, but at the moment they almost hurt. Driving back to Tacoma after my day at SPU was tough. The realization that this chapter is closing has hit. And it has hit hard. The wonderful memories are there and I am blessed to have lived through them, but many of the relationships that I held so dear for the last few years won't be the same, I fear.
The chapters of life never stop coming and going. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is continually on my heart; my solace.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.