Tuesday, March 27, 2012

five years ago, five years later + the space somewhere in between.

Yesterday was my half birthday. Twenty-five and a half, I turned. Spending most of the day in a dark nursery trying to ward off vomiting from the pain of a migraine I acquired when Starbucks incorrectly made me a decaf macchiato {addicted to caffeine, much?} by responding insanely quick to every alarm and crying baby, every moment in between each silencing maneuver was spent with my eyes closed thinking about what twenty-five-and-a-half means to me. 

If you would have asked me five years ago where I saw myself, galavanting around the universe with absolutely no stability to speak of would not have been a glimmer in my dreams. I was fairly certain when I was twenty that I was going to marry my high school sweetheart right out of college, buy a fixer-upper in southwest Florida, have at least one child by now and spend every boring moment wondering what life would be like if I wouldn't have settled too young. 
One month after my twentieth birthday, that dream died when we broke up at a Fray concert on Halloween... and my newfound freedom set fire to a paradigm shift that inspired me to dream as big as the sun... and never turn back, never slow down and most certainly never stop dreaming. Ever. Not even when the sun sinks behind a beautiful cascade of snow capped mountains that line the ocean. Not. even. then.

When people ask me where I see myself in five years now, my heart sinks in to my stomach, my hands immediately clam + I always sigh, "I don't have a clue." ... which usually escalates into an anxiety-stricken conversation discussing what cities I'm drawn to, what would make me stay in Seattle and my least favourite question... Where is home? 

Sometimes, in this moment, I try to channel my twelve-year-old self... that innocence of a child who doesn't know the pain of heartbreak or the stress of financial obligations or the cruelness that you will inevitably encounter in the real world... and I begin to dream in living color. 

In this moment, I know exactly where I want to be in five years. I want to have the chance of spending the rest of my life with that someone. I want a solitaire diamond, a poofy white dress + one hell of a honeymoon. I want a career I enjoy that holds a tremendous amount of meaning in the hours I am there but that I do not spend a lot of hours doing. I want to own a quiet home with beautiful kitchen cupboards and a tree swing in the front yard. I want to nurture a newborn, over + over again, and to establish family traditions. I want a savings account, a daily routine and to frequent a local coffee house so often that the baristas know my order and how to correctly spell my name. I think I want to be settled. 

The paradigms have shifted again and here I stand... somewhere in between knowing exactly what I want and actually attaining it... dreaming just as wildly but on a much smaller scale. They are simpler dreams but they hold more meaning to me than the moon.  Sweet dreams.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the ache for home.

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
- Maya Angelou

There is something about returning to Tennessee every so often that just makes my heart soften and my mind slow down, something that is refreshing + reassuring + rejuvenating... and just the vacation this auntie/sister {whose own ache{s} for home make her wish she was one of those trust fund babies who inherited a super early retirement, a Cessna + a pilot} needed. Currently, Knoxville {knox-vull, as the locals say} is the map dot that emanates the strongest feeling of being home, you know that sense of relief when you pull in the driveway or that peaceful state you find yourself in when your head hits the extra-feathery pillow at night? That home. At first it was funny to me to be boarding a plane destined for Knox because the Rocky Top has never been my actual home {Read: my sister is the only soul I know there.} but the more I think about it, the only constant in the definition of home growing up was, in fact, my sister so it's most apropos that the simple, sleepy, Southern town with sweet tea on tap is presently where my childhood memories are safely kept... some in the attic, some in the garage... but most live on in the special bond that is a sister. We sistered all weekend... adoring all over Reese, watching a little March Madness live in Nashville, hosting a fabulous St. Patty's Day pancake party, drawing something + giggling like mischievous, little girls trying to get their babysitter fired {We would never do that.} way past our bedtimes... 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

random ramblings, peculiar pictures + {differential dx}.

Sitting in lecture learning about retinopathy. Grams and I have a very similar conversation every week that goes something along the lines of... "Grams!!" "Well hello, my girl! I haven't heard from you all week. What have you been up to?" {Deep breath} "Well, Monday I worked 12 hours. Tuesday I had clinicals in the morning + then presented my research project at night. Wednesday I had lectures + a lab from 8:30a-8:00p, Thursday and Friday I went to class from 8:30-5:00 and then went for dinner with my adorable classmate from Texas before she flew home to celebrate being done with the quarter. {Speaking of Texas, GCB just might be my new favourite show... and don't be surprised if I move there next spring for rodeos + cowboys clinicals + travel jobs.} 

Whhhy are you so grainy, photograph?  Saturday I worked day shift and then celebrated my roommate's birthday with friends til midnight which was really one in the morning because of daylight savings time, fml. Sunday, after 3 painful hours of sleep, I had the worst day, to round out the worst month, of work in my short history of nursing... and, well, now I'm at grocery store picking up a pack of beer on my way home and I might just drink them all in a bubble bath tonight." 
Aprihops, an IPA I can tolerate. "You, my dear, are going to get sick...." but I never do. Ever. She says this to me every week... no matter how crazy my schedule is... and I am never sick. I like to credit all my mum's weird garlic poultices and golden seal nastiness and echinacea concoctions she gave me growing up for my immune system of steel...
Lovely building on Capitol Hill lit up in the rain...but come Monday, I woke up feeling awful. I honestly thought I had {worried myself sick} hardly sleeping the night before {sick + tired, perhaps?} so I chalked up my achiness to exhaustion, put on a thick skin, a fake smile and barely muttered through the long day at work... I had many tearful moments throughout the day and by 8:30 Monday night, I fell asleep and didn't wake up again until 11:30 on Tuesday... 
Hello, flaming vodka salmon.  Only to write two finals... with a fever, no less. Perhaps, the fiery in my heart is what was causing my hyperthermia... {Am I love sick}?  The problem with being a sick, nicu nurse is they don't want you anywhere near tiny, little babies who have not had their fair share of ginger root and ear candles and therefore have no form of defense against your germs... so I took the day off today... and I will take tomorrow off, too... to protect the babies! ;)
Don't think with my sudden free time, I will be cleaning this mess. To be honest, this little ailment could not have come at a better time... a time where work + I are not dancing to the same tune. He's more of a jig. I'm more of the square dance variety, apparently. We really need a do-over :: a fresh start :: a clean slate. Perhaps, next week? We can start off on the right foot... save lives in cadence... no more snark + certainly no more misfortunes... or else I will be forced to cross back over to the dark side. 
Yummy latte from my new favourite coffee shop, Zoka. So, that's it. Work-school-school-school-work-work-work-sick. I provided you some random pictures captured on my iphone + well, a pathetic update to let you know I am, in fact, still alive. I just turned in my last assignment + know I'm officially on spring break 2012! 
Go on + kiss the moon. I thought we were working things out, 2012. You were giving a little more; I was expecting a little less. But you are obviously not speaking my love language. I'm hoping a little yahtzee with Kara, a little gym date with Reese, sweet, southern comfort + sweet tea by the gallon in Tennessee this weekend, along with the forecasted seventy degree weather + college basketball, will allow me to don my rose-coloured glasses and actually spring forward... for that is my love language: the elements of home.
Leaving on a jet plane... I'll be back on Monday. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

on the seventh day...

...she stopped to smell the sunflowers + to paint her nails her favourite spring colour + to savour every crumb of her cupcake...she stopped to admire le car + to boil a cup a tea the traditional way {by turning on the stove} + to run five miles...she stopped to put down her textbook to read for leisure + to braid her hair + to swoon over the twilight sky...she stopped to sleep in a little longer + to set a real intention at hot yoga + to skype with loved ones...she stopped to sip on a seasonal ale + draw a schematic of twenty-twelve + rock that screaming baby a little longer...    she stopped to eavesdrop on the old ladies at Starbucks + sing every word to that song she loves + turn her favourite chevron pattern in to her first D.I.Y. project...she stopped to forgive herself for overcommitting and failing + to commend herself for learning the importance of taking little time-outs from hectic schedules + to congratulate herself for recognizing overwhelming moments when life just requires doughnuts, of the hand-forged variety.  

Monday, March 05, 2012


A tiny heart. A velvet-y cupcake. A striped scarf. A smile. 
It's a rather tiny celebration but it will suffice.

Friday, March 02, 2012

farewell, february funk. marvel on, march.

I'm not sure if it was the full-on Seattle weather {Read: cold + rainy almost everyday} or the childish struggle with the adult in me to make rational decisions {Read: staying put for all of February to focus on school and work} or the ever-present battle between my heart and my head {Read: let it go or let it go not?} but I felt in a funk for nearly the entire month. There were a few intermittent days, here or there, where the sun would shine brightly {during a snow shower} or when Sammi came to visit for the day + we ate delightful meals {pictured above} or afternoons when I would allow myself to block out the world to take a candlelit bubble bath {and not feel in the least bit guilty about it} that gave me the energy to light up an optimistic sparkler and celebrate the little things but there's something about spending every day but three in 2.5 weeks in an intensive care unit that can wear down a girl, who misses sleep + home immensely... 
Somewhere along the way, I discovered the cure for home sickness: home in a can
But yesterday, I bid farewell to my February Funk. I woke up to the birds chirping outside my window + the thought that spring is coming made me marvel in the fact that February was finally {damn you, Leap Day!} over + yesterday was the first day of March!! The sun was shining ever-so-brightly and I jumped at the opportunity to propel myself right out of said funk to have my very first Skype date with sweet Christopher... and to give March the proper welcome it deserved by putting on our best "happy faces!" {I'm fairly certain you can see my heart grinning from rib-to-rib in the little box in the left-hand corner.} 
It was the exact burst of sunshine {both figuratively and literally} that this girl-in-a-funk needed. Oh, & that coffee mug? Half full, baby. 
I saw my shadow yesterday while on an afternoon run where the rays of sunshine penetrated my skin + the mindset that winter is coming to an end in an "Oh, spring has arrrivvedddd! Take that, Punxstuwaney Phil!" kind of way fueled me to run faster... I have one week left of classes, one mock code, one clinical log, one project presentation, two case studies, one evaluation, one final paper and two final exams and then I am done with winter quarter... where I will only have one year left 'til graduation! 
I revisited my list of wishes + dreams for twenty-twelve last night. January was definitely committed to training and I can happily say that gymming feels less like torture and more like a craving each day, now. I'm adding distance on to my long runs and knocking seconds off my shorter runs... and it seriously feels fabulous. As for February, there was a paradigm shift in the way I view grad school. All of a sudden, I was synthesizing the information on an entirely new level + eager to learn + digest everything at my fingertips... + still craving more. Perhaps, my one little word for twenty-twelve should be: crave. 
As for March, I am going to focus on documenting + preserving. I have joined FatMumSlim's #Marchphotoaday challenge on instagram {follow me @ joc_lense} + if I actually follow through, I have promised myself a huge prize! Instagram is being rather fickle + would not let me upload yesterday {or today} but Day#1 was: up!  

Untitled from Jocelyn Kirk on Vimeo.
T.G.I.F., thirty-eight seconds of awesomeness + all that jazz. Happy weekending! =)