So clearly, I have been pretty absent, and for good reason: working full time and going to grad school full time at the same time sucks. You have no life. It sucks. BUT, it will be over soon, and I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to getting back into one of my biggest passions, which is music, and I hope to bring more back to this atrophied blog… it has been too long. I will be done with school in May… only a few months away!! I can make it!!
by duane • • 0 Comments
Today, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the landmark case of OBERGEFELL v. HODGES, in which gay marriage was legalized nationally for all states in the United States. This recognizes all marriages that have occurred in states that were previously legal, and validates those marriages as legal in all states in the United States going forward. This is monumental.
Gay. Marriage. Is. Legal. Nationally.
My marriage is legal; not only in D.C., where we got married, but in Georgia, and every other state of the United States. This is an amazing day, and one that was a long time coming. Love truly did win.
Here’s a beautiful snippet of the statement issued by the court:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies
the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice,
and family. In forming a marital union, two people become
something greater than once they were. As some of
the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage
embodies a love that may endure even past death. It
would misunderstand these men and women to say they
disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do
respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned
to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s
oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the
eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.
It’s a happy day, for sure, and one that I am so glad is finally here. LOVE IS LOVE!!!
by duane • • 2 Comments
So again, I find myself at the end of another year, and I am sitting here asking myself, what has happened with this year? It has flown by. Since I started nursing school, and since being a nurse full time, I find that I need to have way more down time, and time that I spend recovering from the job, mostly because it is so tough. That being said, I am definitely still here, and things are good; in fact, much better right now than before, and I feel that it will keep getting better. Here’s a few things that have happened recently that I probably should have blogged about, but didn’t.
In September, James and I got married in DC. Here’s a lot of photos, and I realize that I need to upload so many more… in time. It was an amazing experience. We have been together for a little over 11 years, and we got married with friends and family, and it was honestly, the best I could have imagined. My parents were there, James’ parents were there, and everything went over without any issues. The wedding itself was short and sweet, which I liked, the reception was amazing, and is something that we can always cherish. There were many great memories, lots of fun, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
A little over a month ago, I decided to take a big chance, and switch jobs (and hospitals). So far, going from the Emergency Department to the ICU has been a bit of a change (unorganized chaos to timely structure), but I can already tell that I am a lot less stressed, and a lot less upset all of the time. I think the pressure of the ungrateful, not-sick-give-me-a-sandwich patients in the ED finally wore me out, and the universe gave me a huge sign that it was time for a change. I am excited about this new opportunity, and I cannot wait until I get more accustomed to my new environment, and feel as comfortable here as I did in the ED. I have already learned a lot, and I know that this was a good move, and I am excited for the new experience.
Lastly, I started grad school for my MSN, which will propel me from RN to FNP. I am getting more into the process, and I am sure that this is going to be a great thing in the long run, but it’s definitely another major undertaking, that I have decided to take on. It seems that I either love school, or love student loan debt, because here I go again… although the outcome will be a major reward, and I know that it will be difficult, but is ultimately a great choice.
All in all, it’s been a busy year, and many changes have taken place; and I expect great things as a result. Here’s to a great (and hopefully even better than 2014) 2015!
A little over 3 months ago, I switched from working at an LTAC, long term acute care, hospital to working in the emergency department. The LTAC was my first job after nursing school, and it was grueling, exhausting, and often very trying. It was no stretch to say that I was kind of miserable a lot of the time. When my contract was up, I was hopeful that I would be able to move to a new area of nursing specialty at the hospital, because I really liked working for this hospital, and I was delighted when I interviewed and was hired to work in the ED. While I was excited, I was also terrified; I had been told by a lot of nursing instructors that I would love the ED, but I was still pretty nervous (especially given my experience in nursing so far), because if this was a bust, what the hell was I going to do?
With that being said, I started on nights, and I really started to enjoy my job. I liked the people working on nights, and actually found that I was getting a lot more satisfaction out of my job; more so than I ever had before. Additionally, I found that I was less unhappy when I wasn’t at work, and I didn’t dread going to work anymore. I think it really hit home, when James mentioned that he noticed I didn’t really complain about work anymore; which is something I was really happy to hear.
As I was hired with the intention of going to day shift, the time came recently for me to go to days, and again, I found myself very nervous. When I switched over to days a couple weeks ago, I was really nervous not only because I had gotten to like working with the night time crew, but also, because I was worried that I was going to dislike anything about days. This had a lot to do with the fact that I had finally found a place I felt like I fit in within nursing. Well, I can certainly say, that while I miss my night time comrades, I find that I have been enjoying working days as well; and a bonus is I don’t have to deal with the fucked up sleeping schedule.
I am pleased that I have found a place in nursing that I actually love, and even more so, that I can actually say that I love being a nurse (most of the time… after all, there are parts none of us nurses like!). That just makes me really, really happy. Things are kinda good, and I am okay with that!
Today is National Coming Out day! Today is a great day in which we look to our fellow gay community to celebrate being who you are, and letting everyone know how proud you are to be who you are. Coming out is the best way to not only be yourself, but also to bring visibility to the gay community as a whole; people get to see just how many of us there are among them. Coming out is a celebration, and a giant step in the life of any gay man, lesbian woman, trans individual, bisexual person, or questioning person.
Let’s not forget, however, that coming out is an intensely powerful statement, not only to oneself, but also to those around them. Coming out to yourself is a monumental step for every single LGBTQ person, and it is one that often takes years of struggle, soul searching, and coming to terms with your own identity. There are those of us that find it easy to come out, and there are those of us that struggle for years, even a lifetime, to either come out to ourselves, or to those around us (or both). Some people struggle with this more than others, and remember, especially on days like this, that they deserve our love and support, because they are grappling with understanding and embracing their very fundamental being.
I write about this so that people who have not come out, and thus cannot fully and truly understand the powerful ramifications coming out has to a queer person, can better grasp the magnitude of such a statement. I also write about this, so that we can share in understanding just how much of a celebration this day should be; and anyone’s coming out day, for that matter.
I. Am. Gay. While it’s something that seems so small and innocent, it is in fact something that is not only hard to say, but it can be almost impossible to accept for oneself, as well as for those around them.
Honor those that speak loudly about who they are, and be proud of those that represent us in the public eye. Applaud and celebrate those that find themselves, and are out and proud as gay, lesbian, trans, bi, and queer individuals; I can assure you that they did not come to this place lightly, and being who you are takes a ton of courage. This is something that should be celebrated when it happens for anyone, because it marks a monumental phase in someone’s life; the moment when they are finally free to be who they are. Never let yourself fall into the space of questioning why someone has not come out if you believe them to be LGBTQ, because coming out isn’t as easy for everyone; trust me, it took me quite a while to get here myself.
So let’s celebrate today for what it is; a statement, a purpose, an understanding that someone finally get’s to be themselves. There really is no better feeling than the moment when you can finally say to yourself, and to the world…
I’m gay and proud, damn it!
…AND, I want everyone to know!! Happy Coming Out day, everyone!
by duane • • 2 Comments
Back in 2003, I had this friend. He and I were pretty close, but little did I know, we were about to get closer. He was sort of “tricked” into confessing that he liked me more than a friend, and with this information, I decided to see where it might go. We were worried that it had the potential to ruin an amazing friendship, but sometimes, the risk is worth it.
This time it paid off.
Yesterday, September 14, 2013, James and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. We have been through some amazing times and some not so amazing times, but I couldn’t imagine a better partner to have at my side than him. He makes me laugh, he consoles me when I cry, he has stood by my side, and has been there with me through some pretty hard times. We have been on this journey for 10 years, and while there have been ups and downs, the journey has been amazing. I truly hope that this is the beginning of a lifetime together.
I love you James. You are the best partner that anyone could ever hope to have in life; and I am lucky enough to call you mine.
by duane • • 0 Comments
Well, I didn’t think I could make it. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. When I started at LTAC, I really, seriously, honestly, did not think I would make it through my two year contract. Ladies and gentlemen, that contract ended today.
I haven’t said anything yet, because I have been waiting until it was time to move on, and honestly, I don’t know how I really feel about everything, to be honest. It hasn’t really hit me yet that I will be moving to a new department, and essentially, on a new type of nursing. About a month ago, I interviewed for, and got a job in the Emergency Department.
Now, the funny thing here, is that I have always wanted to work in the ED. In nursing school almost every clinical professor, almost every instructor told me I was destined for the ED, but I didn’t know. I still don’t. I hope that it is a good fit for me. I am sort of excited, mostly nervous, but trying to let it register, mostly.
Here’s hoping that this is exactly what I wanted, no, NEEDED, from nursing. I thrive on learning, becoming better, and helping people. This is a big step. This is a big change… but it’s one that it is time to make!
by duane • • 0 Comments
It has occurred to me that this year has been quite the tumultuous one, and while I remain extremely stressed most of the time, I have a lot to be thankful for.
James and I have been together 9 years and counting, and I couldn’t be happier. We keep talking about potentially having a child someday, so who knows, maybe we will be parents in the future?!
While we did lose my dear, sweet Sydney this year, which was the worst day of my life by far, we welcomed Charlie into our lives, and it has been quite an adventure. He is pretty good, but when is bad, he can be pretty bad. Poop and pee monster, for sure! Also, please stop chewing on everything in sight, little man!! I still miss Sydney each and every day, and some days are harder than others, but I am just thankful I was able to have a wonderful almost 8 years with him. I love you Sydney!!
We bought a house this year. It was an ironically called short sale, which took a stressful 4 months to complete. We have the house, we don’t have the house, we have the house, we don’t have the house… ACK! Overall, it worked out, and we rented our house to our friend and real estate agent, but it still doesn’t feel totally real at times. This is the house we always wanted, and getting it seems a little dream like, and I guess it is hard to process.
I have been working as a nurse for a year and half now, and I still find that I am not over nursing school. It was a terrible experience that really tore me down emotionally, physically, and my confidence is having a hard time bouncing back. I do feel like I am more proficient in my profession, and I do take a lot of joy home from my job, but there are days that are so intense and they don’t need to be. It just really wears on me at times. I was talking with a coworker recently when it really dawned on me; I have been through a LOT this year, as well as from the beginning of nursing school until now, so maybe a real vacation is in order in the near future.
Finally, I do have to say, that while my anhedonia is a large part of my lack of blogging and participating in my hobbies, I am somewhat content, and I am thankful for the wonderful things in my life. I have an amazing partner, wonderful dogs that love me, a great house that I am trying to realize is a wonderful home, and excellent friends that I get to spend time with. Overall, there is more to be thankful for that not, and that’s something worth noting.
by duane • • 0 Comments
I was looking last night, and I noticed that I have only written 5 posts for this entire year. Whoa. That has to be a new record low. Thing is, I just don’t spend that much time at the computer anymore because of work. I work those insane 12-13 hour shifts, and then I just want to veg out and relax. Days off are about catching up and not doing anything strenuous. So far, it’s been good, but I am pretty stressed at times because of work; being a nurse is a stressful job, and don’t let anyone imply otherwise.
This year, so far, has been pretty decent (at times). We bought a new house, right across the street, which still sort of doesn’t seem real at times. Also, we got a new family member in Charlie; even though we lost our precious Sydney, whom I still miss each and every day. Overall, it’s been a year of new things, and things are pretty good right now.
I also became a Scentsy certified consultant this year, something that I absolutely adore. What is Scentsy you ask? If you want you can check out the website; I started selling the stuff because I love it so much. My house smells amazing!
That’s really about it. I wish I had more time to spend listening to music and catching up, but it seems like this year is flying by at record speed. Work is taxing and always challenging, but can be very rewarding, which is nice. Charlie is a delight, even though is a poop and pee monster who likes to chew on anything he has in his eye line. He and Pickles get along very well, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I just miss my Sydney something terrible. The new house is a lot to take in, and I am so happy we were able to make this move; even though it was a grueling 4 month process to acquire it! Short sale? How ironically titled.
Anywho… I hope you all out there are doing well, know that I am doing my best to be well, well, as well. Here’s to newness, changes, working hard, and reaping the rewards; and getting sleep and listening to more music on days off!! Now… to get back to my day off!
by duane • • 0 Comments
We bought a new house. The house right across the street even! A dear friend is renting our “old” house, and all is going well; that is, if I could get everything in order in the new house and get settled properly.
Charlie the puppy is growing into Charlie the dog quite quickly. He and Pickles are quite the pair; they love each other. It’s great to have a sweet baby, but I still miss my Sydney terribly.
Other than that, not much is different. I work too darn much. I have been hanging out with friends and living; which apparently leaves little time for blogging. I would say that I’ll try to get back into it, but I honestly don’t know how much I could guarantee regularity. Days off are usually used to recuperate from a difficult day or two of being a nurse; which, while it is a difficult and grueling job, it has many great, heartwarming moments (which do help dull the moments that aren’t so great).
Overall, life ain’t so bad… and I guess that’s pretty good, right?
Hope you kids are well as well out there. Back to the grind!