Checking In

It’s been awhile since i’ve had the chance to check in. So many changes have rapidly happened in the last few months.

I have inevitably given up two jobs. Dropped down to part time in a job I love as a level 3 neonatal intensive care nurse in order to accommodate my new full-time role as a paediatric intensive care nurse in a large paediatric hospital. I have decided to move back to the city and embrace being closer to work.

I spent a lot of time with coworkers, friends, & family in throughout the summer, and it continued into August. I found so much joy in forming connections and friendships with others, and it felt refreshing to take a step out of a post-covid lockdown to reconnect after being isolated from so many people. I got to travel to the west coast where I was able to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of my country and refuel my soul. I had the chance to reconnect with old faces and connect with new people. I am so thankful for those who kept with me even during the lowest, most isolating parts of the pandemic and those who checked in periodically emphasizing that distance/time isn’t always a negative.

But this refuelling also gave me time to re-evaluate the relationships in my life and what i’m not willing to settle for. Inherently, I have come to discover I am someone ALWAYS willing to give more than I receive in any kind of relationship (ie friendship, acquaintance, romantic) and over time this has left me feeling depleted and forgetting my worth. I have decided I can’t continue to let this suck away my energy. I know i’ll always be someone that gives more, but I recognize I need to set boundaries more often and not be afraid to voice my feelings when I don’t feel like my own needs are being met.

2021 has so far been a roller coaster of a year. I have seen some high points in buying my first house, gaining a new, having the chance to be vaccinated early on, travelling parts of Canada, getting an exciting job opportunity, and meeting people i’d never have thought I would have the chance to meet. But I have also seen some low moments with some health concerns, facing heart break, and becoming trapped in a toxic work environment.

Part of me is excited for the changes that await. It makes me hopeful for the future. My trips to the west coast have only shown me how much I yearn for a change and that I would feel at home (after some initial adjustments) just as I would in my home province. I’m excited to learn in my new job and be able to have the opportunity to interact with my patients on a more personal level. It will also be strange to go to a 9-5 type schedule for the next three months as I complete my in class learning. I’ll miss predominately being by the bedside and working a compressed work week, but I know having this opportunity will also allow me to lead a more “normal” life for the next few weeks and hopefully allow me to keep my mental health in check.

But with these changes comes the part of me that also mourns the changes to come in my life. It makes me emotional to have to leave one of the jobs i’ve proudly enjoyed for the last 3 years due to the negative toll it has taken on my mental and physical health. I feel anxious to start a new job in which I will be “new” and be placed in the same anxiety provoking spot I was in when I was a new nurse. It’s hard to accept that its impossible to know everything and that it’s okay to be confident in knowing nothing at all. The perfectionist in me struggles at time in not wanting to feel that this is a weakness, but I know that I am confident in asking for help and asking questions to learn.

To be honest, part of me is fearful for what the covid variants will bring so I beg those of you on the fence- please, please, please, get vaccinated if you can. And if you’re still resistant, consider why you may be listening to people other than experienced researchers, immunologists, scientists, and medical professionals. It’s exhausting watching families be destroyed or torn apart because of how one vaccine could have likely changed the outcome. While I will take care of any patient I am assigned, it makes me nervous to think if we head into a wave 4, how I could be taking care of adults as a PICU nurse.

I really don’t know what the next few weeks/months have in store for me, but i’m hopeful good things will be coming my way and i’m ready to see what 2022 will bring forth as we creep closer to the end of the year.