I posted recently about finally graduating from grad school, again, and then I passed the boards. YAY! Today makes two weeks into my new job as a family nurse practitioner, and I can certainly say, that while it is challenging, and I have a LOT to learn, I kind of love it! I know, going from a job that I really never wanted to do again to one that I kind of love? Crazy. It makes me think that this whole journey may have ACTUALLY been worth it. I know I have a lot of growth ahead of me, and I have a lot to learn, but I am going to keep doing what I am doing, and try to enjoy the journey; if this beginning taste is an indicator of what is to come, I may have finally found the right career fit for me… and before I turned 40! HAHA!
by duane • • 0 Comments
Sometimes, the emotion of a song is so palpable, that even the artist singing it gets choked up. This song from her most recent album of the same title, is beautiful, and certainly one of my favorite from the album, but this performance is just, wow. And she released a new version of it, much more stripped like this performance, and it is heartbreakingly beautiful. I love artists that are this talented, and still in touch with their journey and themselves. Kelly Clarkson is truly a music idol, not just the first American one.
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!
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.
civil rights, hmm interesting, is it just me?, music musings, near and dear, politics, show the love, that is so gay, venting, wtf?!, you tube
by duane • • 4 Comments
– Pride in Atlanta is this weekend, and I am kind of excited about being able to celebrate Pride weekend without the heat of June, and hopefully, without the torrential downpours that usually came along with it. Anyone going besides me?
– This blog post about the (possibly diminished) potentiality of Adam Lambert’s success in the American conservative driven music market is a great read. When a queer artist doesn’t make it in the US music market, it’s difficult not to tie that to the fact that they are gay; especially when they can only be described as stellar (like him or not, Adam can really sing). If you look at artists like Will Young, Scissor Sisters, Mika, Westlife, and other queer artists that are hugely famous overseas that never get radio play here in the states, it gets even harder to not draw those same conclusions. While it was pretty clear that Adam lost American Idol because he was gay, as middle America was probably risking burning their houses down from all the rotary dialing in order to prevent that queer from beating the little straight guy, I hope that his sexuality doesn’t ruin his music career before it even starts. The boy is extremely talented, and I hope that he finds the success he deserves. Even more so, I wish American’s had more brains than they do drive to stamp out things they don’t understand, or things they equate to different, and therefore wrong.
– This makes me want to puke. Seriously? Censoring a children’s book because a character has two moms? What the fuck is offensive about SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE? Seriously, people that believe that this type of scenario is in any way offensive or “harming to them” needs to walk over and tell me in person so I can slap in the face like the fools they are. Seriously people, gay people and gay families are normal. Deal with it. If you want to “shelter” your child and your family from it, kindly pick up and go live in a shack in the woods where you won’t bother the rest of society, okay? (h/t to the the amazing jacksonpearce)
– Kind of related to the children’s book mentioned above, Towleroad reported about a gay family that made a video, acting out a book that is also getting a lot of negative attention because two princes get married and live happily ever after. This book is being slandered to spread hate in the Yes on One anti-gay marriage campaign in Maine. Here’s their video:
Not only was this video incredibly adorable, but they have made many more, using their family as a beautiful example of what is normal about gay families. I want to personally applaud those guys for what they are doing. Gay families are normal families, and the people behind these horrible campaigns like Prop 8, and now Prop 1 in Maine, should really take a look and see who’s lives they are messing with. The hypocrisy behind anyone saying they are anti-gay marriage because of “family values”, “morality”, and “protection of marriage” when everything they are doing against gay marriage is in spite of those very things, drives me insane. When will people learn to just butt out of our lives, and stop seeing who we are as offensive to them; especially when it has NO IMPACT on them in any way?
all about me, cream of the crop, hmm interesting, music musings, near and dear, show the love, that is so gay
by duane • • 7 Comments
After reading Rich‘s excellent blog post, Madonna and Me, about his life-long experiences regarding Madonna, I felt compelled to share it (go read it!! It’s excellent!), and say something (well, a lot of somethings) about how it eerily mirrors my own feelings, and the reasons behind those feelings, about her.
I have always had a “thing” against Madonna, which is noticeably strange for someone who loves pop music as much as I do (seriously… two words: Britney Spears). I find it interesting, that it wasn’t until I read his post, that I put two and two together, and realize that I think at least a portion of my history of “hate” for Madonna comes from not wanting to like her because of who she is and what she represents.
For one, Madonna, like it or not, has a strong affiliation with the “idea” of being gay. I remember school when I was younger, and it was pretty much a given that on any day, I was going to be called a faggot/ sissy/ girl/ pussy/ fag at some point by someone; regardless of whether or not I was “queeny”, “faggy”, “girly”, or overtly “homosexual” in the slightest. It was just the way it was. It was my reality from pretty much the first day of elementary school, on up through the end of high school (even though it continued in college, it was noticeably changed). As a result, I tried really, really hard to stay away from anything that would further label me as what I was; and unfortunately, exactly what I didn’t want to be in any way, shape, or form. When those kids were calling me whatever their chosen gay-indicative expletive of the day was, they were labeling me as gay, and at the same time, indicating that being gay was not only “not okay”, but that it was really, really bad. As such, being gay was the last thing on the planet I wanted to be, even though I was; talk about inner conflict.
I remember when I was in middle school, and the song Vogue became popular, and a friend of mine named Nikki did the entire dance routine for our gym class during “dance week” (whoever thought that was a good idea should be tortured, because I got teased incessantly because of my even being preset that week). I remember loving the song, and really liking her performance, but I found myself cowardly wanting to shun Nikki for doing her dance, and in effect, distance myself from liking anything about it. I honestly think that this moment really shaped how I would feel about Madonna up until this very moment.
There is a part of me that definitely, whether I want to admit it or not, STILL has a shred of disdain for the fact that I am gay. Now, that is not to say that I “don’t like who I am”, or that I “hate myself for being gay”, because those vastly overstep the boundary of this disdain of which I speak. I’m saying that there is a part of me that dislikes the fact that I am the very thing that many people out there consider to be bad, wrong, and love to express their hatred for; which comes from growing up with people berating me with this very sentiment day in and day out. When I am riding in my car with the widows down, and I am playing something especially “gay”, I still always turn it down when someone pulls up next to me. There is something in me that will always remain guarded, and as such, I try to hide the fact that I am gay to random strangers sometimes. It sounds completely stupid when I say it out loud, but this is an example of the part of me that wants to hide the fact that I am gay, because of that disdain I have for it; which again, stems from being made fun of and judged as a child. The shitty part, is that I always find myself doing it again, because that disdain (however small it may be) lives on.
I realize now, that I have written off my feelings about Madonna as “hatred”, because other gay men seemingly follow her every foot step, and hang on her every word, and that disdain in me made me want to distance myself from anything that would paint me as so overtly gay. As I read Rich’s post, I found myself back in that auditorium, watching Nikki bravely perform to Vogue, wishing I could be as brave as she, but cowardly wishing that no one would see me enjoying her performance, for fear that I would be further berated for being a fag.
I hate that I let myself think this way, and I hate even more that this disdain exists within me, but at least I realize that I cannot let it make judgments about things such as liking Madonna for the rest of my life. Even though this is a small step towards totally making the aforementioned realization a reality, today I have identified the fact that my disdain for Madonna represents (at least in part) my personal turmoil with being gay, and the conflict I have had with it for as long as I can remember. I disliked her, openly hated her, and even mocked her because of what she represents and who she is. Yet the fact still remainded that Madonna is a woman who can do what she wants, and doesn’t get called a faggot because she takes dance classes, and enjoys extremely “gay”, poptastic music. She is a woman who has constantly put herself out there as a symbol of something “gay”, and while other gay men have lopped up everything she offered, I realize that I have shunned her because of what it would mean if I grabbed my spoon and joined the feast. Instead of hating her music, or disliking her as a person, I have been disliking what “liking her” would mean all of these years.
I have to say, that I didn’t expect a blog post about Madonna to open my eyes to something this deep, but I guess it goes to show that you never know who is going to turn a mirror on you, and show you who you really are inside. I hope that I can work on eliminating all final shreds of disdain for who I am someday; because I think that I would be a much happier person as a result. Now, one thing is for sure, I am going to go and enjoy some fucking Madonna; because save Ray of Light, she made had some great music, and it is high time I get caught up!
Finally, I want to extend a huge thank you to Rich for his post; great work all around.