And what have we learned?

Three years ago I went travel nursing for the first time. It was scary and exciting. I was ready to get out there, to explore, to meet people and have new experiences. I thought that this time it would be the exact same way, that once I left I would feel all those things again. That it would be the beginning of an epic adventure. That everything would just fall into place and great things would start to happen. Instead I feel lonely and empty. Everything doesn’t feel okay. I am plagued by a great sadness. I don’t think that Mursette was the right match for me, but I realize that it’s going to take quite a bit more time to get over all of this. I worry about her and the monster. I want to take care of them in some way, but I know that I can’t and that it’s not my place anyways. I had hopes and dreams, expectations that will never come to fruition now, all things that I mourn for. I guess that I have to give myself time to process all of this and to move on. It’s just difficult. In this time of need, I have successfully left everyone that I know behind, something that you’d think I’d be used to by now, but I’m not.


I feel isolated, unsure of what I should be doing and how I should be feeling. I don’t know what the future holds for me. Time has taken on a weight that it never really had before. I feel an increasing urgency to do things, to become something. I worry that if I don’t start accomplishing things soon that my time will run out and I will be old, lonely and upset at a wasted life. The whisper is becoming louder and it says “the time is now, seize the day,” only I have no idea what it is that I’m supposed to be doing nor do I have the monetary means to accomplish much. Once again I try to be responsible, paying my rent here and half of Mursette’s rent back in the snowy north, the majority of the rest I’m trying to save. You never know how long it will be until the next assignment comes along.


All that being said, I don’t mind this part of California so much. Exactly where I am doesn’t have much happening, but I’m reasonably close to San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and even Las Vegas. I’ve been trying to take trips on my days off, to see things. It’s nice, but I find myself wishing I had a companion. I used to think that someday when I had all my shit together that then I’d find someone to journey with me. What if I never get my shit together?

Days Off

Well, I’ve been putting off writing once again. Somewhere inside I always thought that I could be writer of sorts, that my words could move people. For the longest time I used the excuse of not having anything exciting in my life to write about to explain why I wasn’t writing. I don’t have that excuse anymore. Now I’m just afraid that my words will move nobody, which is probably the truth, considering that I generally never even proofread. But I like writing too, so I don’t see why I should stop just because I’m not particularly good at it. I just hope somebody is actually reading.


I’ve been in California for about two weeks now. I must say, I’ve been doing quite a bit of exploring. I’m well over my gas budget, but I think I’ll make do.


Yesterday I took a drive down to San Diego. It was an overcast day, not the best kind of day to check out beaches and the sort. I work up with a headache. They’ve been plaguing me for over a month now. I was blaming my increasing caffeine intake, but I’m not so sure anymore. I can probably rule out aneurysm, as I’m still alive. That still leaves cancer, super AIDS, and most likely, an ever rotating sleep/wake cycle.


So, back to San Diego… The chronic headache coupled with just a general irritable feeling wasn’t a great way to start out my trip. I was planning on stopping along the way to grab a snack, but ended up pushing all the way into the city, heading towards “Luche Libre,” a supposedly delicious burrito spot. As I turned the corner, I could see the line out the door. Things were not off to a good start. Given my state of hunger and aloneness, I decided against standing in line and headed towards Old Town instead, figuring that they’d have some food.


Old Town was weird. It felt like a giant period amusement park, and it was packed with people. My irritability was increasing. So I checked yelp for some burrito reviews and headed into the city. I ended up having a lovely Carne Asada burrito (wet style) in a complete hole in the wall spot. The perfect locale for a burrito. Best of all, I was the only person there.


Not sure what to do next, I headed to Coronado Island with the intent of checking out a beach and maybe Hotel Del Coronado. A quick drive over a bridge and I was on the island. The neighborhoods had a pretty cool vibe, and I imagine that if I had enough money, that it would be a lovely place to live. The business section was hopping though and parking was not pleasant. I just didn’t have the patience to park and walk to the hotel, so I ended up leaving, heading towards La Jolla.


I’ve been to La Jolla before. One summer, when I went to UT, I dropped all my classes and quit my job and drove to California for the hell of it. I remember spending a day in La Jolla, checking out the seals and an art museum. Funny because what I remember in my head is quite a bit different that how it actually looks. Still feeling irritable, I decided to take a walk through the park. I ended up on a park bench overlooking the ocean as the sun was setting. I closed my eyes and just listened to the waves for a bit and finally started feeling a little bit better. With the sun finally set I yelped the closest Bahn Mi joint and set my GPS. The Vietnamese place was busy when I arrived, but I managed to snag a table pretty quickly. I ended up getting Pho instead of a sandwich and it was a pretty good choice. Stuffed to the brim, I headed back home.

la jolla

This morning I awoke ready to take a drive that I had been planning for a few days. While playing around on google, I found what appeared to be an excellent driving road that would lead me eventually to Palm Springs. I was actually in Palm Springs last week, but I like the vibe of the place and thought that I’d head back in the direction. Maybe I could even get a haircut while I was there. I hopped in my car and headed off in that direction. When I started up the mountain, I knew immediately that this road was going to live up to my expectations and probably exceed them. In less than 30 minutes I had climbed probably 4000-5000 vertical feet. It was only a two lane road, but there were plenty of spots for slower cars to pull over, and people were good about doing so. I stopped a few times for pictures, but frankly the driving was so fun, pictures weren’t a priority. I saw tons of motorcycles, a pair of GT-R’s, and about 30 Cadillac’s of a body style I didn’t recognize. A press day I suspect. I spent about an hour and a half in the mountains before I dropped back into the desert on the Palm Springs side.



I stopped in a Cafe Europa, a restaurant that I had eaten at about a week earlier, and had an awesome mixed green, fig and goat cheese salad. I still had some time to burn before my haircut so I went off in search of something sweet. Alas, the only things I found were ice cream shops, and I just wasn’t in the mood for ice cream. Oh well.


I popped in for my haircut, which was a little expensive for my tastes, but was a good experience. The stylist was friendly and we had a good conversation. I figured that he would probably know where to get a little dessert and I was right. After my cut I headed to Sherman’s Deli to look at their dessert case. It was impressive. I was feeling hungry but not starving. Now I like a good sandwich and I thought about ordering one here before my dessert. I’m glad I didn’t because my piece of cake was huge. For some reason I had been craving coconut cream pie, but at the advice of the waitress I went with the cake. 3 hours later and I’m still stuffed!l of cake I headed back home. All in all, I’d have to say that it was a good day and I still have tomorrow off.



Full of cake I headed back home. All in all, I’d have to say that it was a good day and I still have tomorrow off.


What to do… what to do.

The Long Way Down

It’s been a long few weeks filled with needles and endless paperwork. After a few fiasco’s involving TB skin tests, I’m in Southern California. I started the drive down last week, stopping to visit Mom B for a full day. I wish it could have been longer, I needed the relaxation. Alas, I had to be in Albuquerque to have a skin test read, so I had to keep moving. After Albuquerque I was able to slow it down a little bit and took the scenic route into Tuscon. I do enjoy driving through the desert and a couple beautiful days of it was just fine with me.


As I headed into Tuscon, I booked a last minute hotel with my phone and totally lucked out with a beautiful spa resort. I was actually laughing as I pulled in because it was so nice. I ended up with a room next to the pool and awoke to stunning views of the surrounding mountains. From Tuscon I made the push into California. In Phoenix I happened upon a Rudy’s BBQ, somewhere I was upset about missing in Texas. I wasn’t even that hungry, but I just had to stop and have a brisket sandwich. It was well worth it.


Coming into California was pretty easy. My hotel is right off the interstate and only about 30 minutes away from work.


Yesterday was my first day of orientation. There are 6 travelers and of course they had no idea what to do with us for the first half of the day. It was a pretty big cluster fuck, but that doesn’t surprise me anymore. I met a couple that travels together who seem quite nice. We made friends immediately and they told me horror stories about places they’d been and gave me some advice on places to check out. One of which happens to be back in Tuscon, a city I’d like to check out some more.


So I’m going back tonight for a night shift orientation, and then I’m done. They’ll release me into the wild. A bold move as I’ve only had about 2 ½ hours of computer training. I hope that my co-workers like to answer my annoying questions.


Tomorrow I’m meeting with with a lady who answered my Craigslist ad. I’m going to be renting a room in her house. She lives in a 55+ community, but evidently you just have to be 55+ to buy the house. I think it’s promising. She seems nice. She’s a nurse as well and she used to work night shift. The room has black out shades and she’s letting me have kitchen access.


I’m anxious to get moved in and settled and then finally start exploring a little bit. I’m not too far from LA and San Diego as well as some cool stuff to see in the Inland Empire. I’m ready to eat some delicious food and of course, to make some money.

The way I structured my pay doesn’t give me any incentive to work overtime, so I’ve applied at a local staffing agency while I’ m here. They seem to think that I can work at the same hospital under two different agencies, something I’m pretty sure my non-competition agreement prohibits. But I’m sure there’s plenty of places near by to get some work.


The adventure has begun. I’m interested to see where it takes me.