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Why I am incredibly NOT lucky: what I learned this St. Patty’s Day.

A lot of people have told me over the years that I live such a charmed life. And you know what? They might be right.

-Right now I live in San Diego and can spend any day that I am not working outdoors in gorgeous weather.

-I have a decent job. Don’t love it this time. But I don’t hate it.

-I leave work most days feeling fulfilled and like I helped someone (or quite a few little someones).

-I am healthy, alive, and physically able to do things I love… like dancing, hiking, aerial silks.

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I could go on and on but by now you are probably thinking “okay I get it, you are lucky. You can stop rubbing it in our faces now”.

This St Patty’s day had me wondering if I indeed was lucky. I mean, in retrospect, a ton of my life has just kind of worked out. I got a scholarship to college and made it in to nursing school. I’ve always had amazing friends, and been pretty money savvy so I didn’t have to miss any bills or skip out on things I wanted to do.

But I could also look at it from the other end. Unlucky.

Growing up in my house was not always happy or peaceful. My parents divorced when I was a teenager and that left me living out of a bag in between houses all the time. One of my favorite men in the whole world passed away a few years ago… it makes me feel so sad that my grampa will never meet my future husband or get to hold my babies. I spent September –December of last year feeling miserable and stuck in Los Angeles. Since I live a gypsy job I often don’t see my good friends or family for long periods of time. I miss out on life events. I work a dang stressful and tiring job. The love of my life lives 2000 miles away and the stretches in between seeing him feel like eternity sometimes.

I am incredibly NOT lucky.

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Luck leaves me feeling powerless…like someday, maybe, if I’m lucky, I will stumble on a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and life will be easy.  But if I don’t find that I am stuck in poor luck… or just mediocre circumstances.

Instead of believing in luck… I believe in being thankful no matter what the circumstance.

As I drove Tuesday night I really started to think about all the things I was thankful for. Not those big theoretical things like love, family, blah blah blah. But specific things. Like the car I was driving. It’s such a blessing to me, and it runs, and is nice (even with the scratches I’ve put in it…oops). I had coffee that gave me energy to go dancing that night! I have friends who live all over the world, seriously how cool is that? I have an incredible dad who supports me and wants to be in my life. My mom is one of my best friends and always has such wisdom to share with me. (obviously these are not in any type of order, love you mom and dad!).
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James talked about how every good and perfect gift is from God (James 1:17). As I drove to dance on St. Patty’s day I felt so blessed. I thanked God for all these things that some people might consider lucky…. But I know better.

And you know what? I felt sooo happy that night, excited to be alive, and be me.

My happiness isn’t dependent on some random chance of good or bad luck, God provides us gifts whether or not we choose to recognize them. Matthew tells us God causes his sun to rise on and sends the rain to both the evil and the good in this world ( Matthew 5:46). God is there. He loves you. He didn’t promise it would be easy. I don’t feel lucky but feel thankful to know He cares for me.

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Hakuna Matata

Have you every stopped to think about the preposterousness (I may have just made up a word there) of Hakuna Matata? *cue music* “It means no worries for the rest of your days….Its our problem freeeeee, philosophyyyyy, Hakuna Matata”.

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So really, just dont worry about it, and you wont have problems FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. 

I’ve sung this Lion King classic more times than I can count…. and I believe I actually took comfort in the words. Up until a few months ago I lived under the perspective that God is good and that if I just stayed positive everything would work out.

And then for probably the first time in my life, I wasn’t doing so well. At most moments I felt an inner panic in my chest. I felt on the verge of tears all the time but I didn’t know why. A few times at work I balled. I slept during the day on my days off. I had never felt like this before and it made me feel afraid. What was wrong with me? I finally understood why people post those seemingly negative statuses on facebook… one night I wanted to post about how sad I felt… just so someone knew, so I wasn’t alone in crying before I fell asleep.

It was through that I realized that you cant reason away worries with a positive attitude.

Jesus even said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

Life is tough sometimes.

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I’ve always loved that…. dancing is on the other end of mourning. There is a time for every thing.

What is missing from Timon and Pumba’s motto is the HOW. How do I not worry and be problem free when my life is filled with things that I feel anxious about?

God answers that through Paul in his letter to the Philippians.

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God says “do not be anxious”. But He doesnt leave it for us to figure out how to not have the worries we are going to have. He asks us to come to Him. The God who created the world, who knit me and you together, the God who knows how many stars are in the sky (psalm 147:4)….and also knows how many hairs are on my head (Luke 12:7). (which is amazing because I lose quite a few each day. How crazy is it that God keeps track of such minuscule things?). God is the only one who knows all of my struggles, and the desires in my heart, and still promises me He wants my good.

This wonderful God wants me to bring my worries and anxieties to him. To pray to Him in every situation. He desires that. And I think the answer of the HOW is found in the following verse.

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God doesn’t promise to make our lives easy. Or even worry free. But if we come to Him with our worries, anxieties, cares, concerns, dreams, hopes…. He will give us PEACE. And for that I am ever thankful.

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And I am feeling much better than before. God brought me through that rough couple of weeks. It didn’t feel good but I learned a lot and I feel happy again!

This morning I was worrying about a particular person and I decided that instead of spending my time dwelling on that I am going to pray each time they come to mind. What a better use of my time and energy than stalking them on facebook and wondering about them and just plain worrying. I encourage you too… if there is something heavy on your mind lately, why not try telling God about it? He cares for you. ❤


The Sweet Life

I’m sitting here at LAX listening to the murmurs of the people around me and the click click of bags and high heels on the tile walkway, feeling excited to do one of my favorite things… flying. I love it because it means an adventures and new places. This weekend I am off to Sacramento for Capital Swing! The excitement just hit me about an hour ago. Since moving to LA, I’ve lived such a full, warm, and in the moment life. It feels so good to enjoy each day for what is it and let tomorrow be tomorrow.

Although, all the fun I’ve been having has prevented me from updating as much as I would like… so here goes the cliffnotes version of the last month 🙂

These wonderful people are my roomies! Love them. I lived downstairs on the futon for 2 weeks and am now sharing a room with the lovely Nicole. If you had asked me where I would be living in LA a few months ago, I never would guessed that I would be able to stay somewhere as great as this. While it might be fabulous to have a cute space of my own… its even more fabulous sharing life with these 3. I love waking up and finding someone downstairs to chat with in the kitchen, coming home from work to friends and delicious dinners, movie nights (which I totally stink at staying awake for hobit 1/2, monsters university, oz,… except last night I rallied and made it! Now You See Me was awesome!!), random adventures, and the revolving door of people who are constantly visiting “the pad”. It is such a blessing to get to stay here.

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One of my first adventures was hiking with Demetre and Johnny. We went up to the Observatory in Griffith Park and took a trail up to a lookout across from the Hollywood sign.

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This is a panorama from Downtown LA all the way to the Hollywood sign. Amazing.

imageIt was super polluted but it made for an unbelievable sunset 🙂

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I also went hiking with Caitlin (another travel nurse who works in pediatrics) to a waterfall. There are so many hidden gems here in the city.

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Last Saturday I adventured down to Santa Monica. I spent the day enjoying the sun, listening to amazing live musicians playing on the 3rd street promenade and people watching. I even got to watch the sun set over the water on the Santa Monica Pier.

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Living the sweet life 🙂


Coffee house catch up

One of my favorite things in the world is having a coffee date with a friend… sitting on the comfy sofa chairs, warm coffee cup in hand, swapping stories, Norah Jones playing in the background, and that amazing eau de coffee and pastries in the air.

How have you been?! What have you been up to? How’s work? What’s new? How are all of our friends doing?

I would tell you about how crazy it feels to live in a new city. I drive around and feel shocked that I actually did it. I left Arizona and am living in a new place. I like my job so far, but it feels so different from back home.

I am working here at Kaiser LAMC off Sunset boulevard and I am staying at a place 1.2 miles away. I am pretty sure my 4 minute commute is an enigma unheard of never happens here in LA (I do make up for it driving an hour to get everywhere else though)

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The hospital is seriously gigantic. I feel like I am finally getting the hang of how to get places… but this place is crazy. I’ve found 5 sets of elevators that open up to different places on the floor that don’t always connect. I’ve definitely gotten off the elevator a few times and looked so helpless and lost that people came to my rescue to help me find the exit or where ever I was trying to go.

Travel orientation was comically horrible… it felt super unorganized and the educator told us horror stories of mistakes and things that have gone wrong at Kaiser and what do you know, a travel nurse did it. It became the running joke between us… “oh a medication was given to the wrong patient”… we would mutter and laugh under our breath “i bet it was a traveler”.

I got 2 days of orientation on the pediatric floor…. to learn everything. It was so difficult to go from feeling so comfortable and confident on my unit back home to feeling super incompetent. Thankfully most of the staff on the pediatric floor is helpful and happy I am there to help. That makes asking those silly questions a ton easier.

My second day working on my own felt so much more like home with developmentally delayed patients, renal, and seizures. I loved it. The patients seem to be lower acuity than what I am used to and we only get 3 patients (which is amazing, thank you California unions), not to mention in the morning the resource nurse makes sure you get your 15 minute break (say what?!).

I feel like I am going to like it here 🙂

 


Cali life

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So I’ve officially been living the Cali life for 10 days and I love it. I made it out safe and sound, and had such great songs to jam, listen, dance to on the drive to Los Angeles (thanks Ian, Kevin, Jonathan/Terra, Ellen, and Craig for each of your playlists!). A few hours after I arrived in town, that night Jonathan and Terra so graciously picked me up and brought me to the Clubhouse for my first night of dancing here!

Monday I had training and got to meet all of the travelers who were starting at Kaiser! We got done early so in true california girl fashion I put on a swimsuit and a dress and headed to the beach to enjoy the sunny, 80 degree weather. Venice beach was well… interesting. From a skatepark overlooking the beach, street performers walking on broken glass, “medical” marijuana shops, to muscle beach “macho men” working out for show, there was definitely a lot to see. I even made a new friend from puerto rico and  sat in the sand and watched the sunset (picture at the top) 🙂
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Prior to the move I spent a week out in Cancun for my dad’s wedding! It is so beautiful there and now I get to welcome a new stepmom and brother and sister officially into my life 🙂
It rained every day except one...

It rained every day except one…

Brother!
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This was my favorite spot on the resort 🙂
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