Life update: I moved out of NYC and into Iowa. I almost always get a follow up after, that goes something like, “Oh, wow, NYC to Iowa? That’s a change. What brought you to Iowa?” Long story short, I became a travel nurse. It’s something I’ve talked about doing for over a year now, and the timing never quite lined up, until now. So, I packed up my stuff, said goodbye to my comfortable, familiar life, and took the leap.
As a travel nurse, I have the freedom to work in any state I choose, barring I get an interview and it all goes well. The assignments can be four, eight, thirteen, or twenty-five weeks long. The money is great because there is such a need, and most agencies will cover so many different costs that come with transitioning into this style of nursing. I was attracted to the idea of not being stuck to one entity. After thirteen weeks, I could say goodbye and move onto the next place and I can take time off in between each assignment. I could live anywhere. These were some of the pros.
As for the cons, I struggled with this a bit. I was leaving a life that felt comfortable and familiar. I would have to leave my friends, my coworkers, my routines, my city. But I stopped feeling challenged and there was a level of suffocation that can come from living in NYC. Maybe that’s a self-imposed feeling, but I felt like there was this expectation to be all-in and hustle and create and socialize and make every single minute count. While there’s nothing wrong with that mindset, I also didn’t see how that could be sustainable long-term. I was tired. I fell into comparison, a lot. I always felt behind. My own sense of self got lost in the fray, often. I don’t know what it was, but I just knew it was time.
I wanted to grow. I wanted an influx of new knowledge. I wanted to slow down. I wanted a change. Do I think that you have to go to great lengths like I did to attain any of that? No, but I also didn’t want to not try. What if I was on the cusp of a breakthrough and then I didn’t go for it? That’s not a chance I want to take.
I think we do that to ourselves too often. We put these limitations and roadblocks up and talk ourselves out of doing something that feels like a stretch. It’s amazing how we can ponder an idea and decide we can’t do it all in the same thought. We rationalize all of the reasons to not to go for what falls outside of the lines of our perfectly sketched box. Gahhhh, guys, life is too short! That’s what I realized…I don’t want to get to the end of it all and have any ounce of regret.
I promise you, life is way more forgiving than we think. If you’re doing it right, it should be an accumulation of trials and errors; beginnings and endings; steps forward and pauses; right turns and redirections…that is all okay. You are going to be okay. Don’t be dumb and impulsive, but make decisions that will propel you in life not derail it. I realized I needed to get over myself, haha, that sounds so funny, but it’s true. I was in my own way, and maybe you are too?
I’ve been working at my new hospital for about 2 months now. It’s been a huge learning curve and I pretty much got a crash course in 2 days. No worries, I know how to be a nurse. The tricky part, really, was getting acclimated to the logistical parts which included the charting system they use, where supplies were, what the policies are, the procedures, etc. More-so than that, I think the biggest challenge has been to find community. I had this vision of where I would be, at this point. I’d have a few friends and I’d have a social life. Drinks after work or coffee dates on the weekends with friends from church and work. It was perfect! But… that hasn’t really happened yet. It turns out, making new friends is hard and having to navigate different temperaments and ways of doing things has been interesting. I’m coming from a completely different culture, essentially, and when I think back to other times in life where I’ve had to make friends, these things took lots of time.
Okay, Tori, give yourself some grace, and also, don’t overthink/overcomplicate it. We’re all just people hungry for community and a sense of belonging, so I’ve had to remember that if this were one giant soccer game, we’re all actually on the same team. So give each other the benefit of the doubt. Strike up that conversation, ask about their life, be kind and genuine, and be okay with it not meeting your expectations. Be that person for someone today (preaching to myself here).
Well, there’s my update. I know I’m just on the brink of the fun to finally begin, but in the meantime, I’m happy with what I’ve learned: I am more than capable. I am more than capable of taking big leaps, starting over, navigating friend-making, taking on new roles, and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not perfect, but nothing in life is, am I right? What it is, is a perfectly, imperfect story in the making. I greet the baffled looks and curious questions about why I would leave NYC for Iowa, with excitement to share it all because it is exciting. Shoot, I got to ditch long-distance dating and be closer to the person that makes me smile so big. My relationship gets to thrive, my strength gets to build, my knowledge gets to expand, and my faith gets to be refined.
You are more than capable, friend. And your belief in that can’t come from anyone but yourself. Before you step into any room, situation, gathering, or place today, tell yourself this: I am more than capable. I promise you, the leap is actually the easiest part. Now, land, and go show the world what you’re made of.