I don't know if it's fair to say I've wasted the summer so far, but I certainly haven't gotten prepared for the NCLEX the way I thought I would. My plan was to take it in mid-to-late June, but now I'm looking at late July. I had a roller coaster of emotions after graduation. I expected to feel elated, but instead I just felt relieved for about a week and then crashed into a funk. What to do with myself? I thought. Get a job, yes, but so what? That's not really going to make me happy.
Finding balance in life
And it isn't. When I first decided to go into nursing, I wanted to find something where I could make a decent dime by punching in and out and not taking work home. Then, in nursing school, I got sucked into the whole "professionalism" angle and started getting invested in things. This is what put me in a funk, because the only way to get invested in the health care system today is to embrace all the things I run away from in other aspects of my life. Over the last weeks I haven't been blogging, I have tried to re-assess where I'm at. The fact is, it would be hard for me to work anyplace and not get involved beyond punching in and out. The key for me is to be selective about involvement so I have plenty of time to balance the plasticized totalitarianism of health care with the values I cherish in other aspects of life such individualism, curiosity, antiquarianism, and nature.
Did I graduate for real?
I was concerned about grades and actually graduating before. I still haven't received my diploma in the mail, but my posted final grades this semester ended up being quite good, so I can't imagine there will be any problems.
End of blogging?
For a while, I considered stopping blogging. I was going to take down my Flickr account and erase all my posts here. I was enjoying being free of the Internet and thought about taking myself completely offline for good. But there's a reason they call it "the web". I couldn't stay away. I'm intellectually entangled. And as I thought about it, I decided that the blogging, rather than eating up my valuable time (or, rather than simply eating up my valuable time), was actually something that helped keep me going. At least for the time being, I need this outlet.
One goal I had for the summer was to lose weight, so I started back to the gym. Whenever I do this, I overwork at first and end up very sore. I spent a week with such bad pain that it hurt to do anything but sit still in a chair. Eventually that subsided, though, and I've been exercising fairly regularly since. My weight started going down, but then we celebrated a birthday with smoked ribs, and it started back up and then a plateau hit. Last night, I was down 9 lbs from two days previous, but that must be water weight. I think if I were completely hydrated I would be about 270 now. I had hoped to be around 250 by the end of the summer, but right now I would be happy just to be at or under 260.
Workplace goings-on; can't get a reference?
At work, I had a good job performance review as a clerk and so, figuring this was about as good an invitation as I was going to get from my director, I gave her my resume and asked for a job. She said there was room for me on staff, so I went down to HR. Then I find out HR requires two references from my nursing school despite the fact that I am applying for an internal job transfer. Everyone I mention this to says, essentially, "yeah, duh!" but I still think it's weird. I graduated, right? Since I've been working in the hospital for 5 years now, what do they want to know about me? If my unit director thinks I am responsible and perform well, are they going to listen instead to a reference who doesn't really know me and who they don't really know? It's weird.
Anyhow, I asked three people for references. One said yes. One didn't respond to e-mail. The third said yes, but now isn't returning my calls and text-messages. Who knows. If it would turn out that I couldn't get two positive references from my nursing school, I would be very annoyed. What would I do? I guess I would have to join the Navy. They probably take anybody.