Thursday, August 30, 2012


i am beautiful/i am talented/and i am calm
i am beautiful/i am talented/and i am calm

I'm at a job fair that feels much more like a casting call. We're sizing up everyone else in line, lined up like cattle. Ten years ago, I was accustomed to this type of rapid-fire rejection. Today, I am uncomfortable. I'm fidgety. I would rather be anywhere else.

This job fair feels like the only option, even though I've got other applications out. I can never manage to convince myself that if I don't get hired, if I don't get the part, I'll still be alright. This is the only job. This is the only part. This is the only chance I'll get. This is the only time I'll be able to make a first impression.

god, i hope i get it
i hope i get it
how many people does he need?

After waiting in line for over an hour, I have a three minute conversation with a recruiter. I'm qualified, but they don't have any open positions. They'll call me if any positions open up. They'll e-mail. I'll be in the system now.

And I'm fine. Because I know the drill, and I'm well acquainted with not fitting the part. Some days, I'm almost twenty-five and some days, I'm still fifteen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

all the things, part 2

On living alone with your dog:

all the things

On having curly hair:
I firmly believe that when you've got a full head of curly, Mexican hair, hair salons are a total scam. No, I do not want golden highlights. No, I do not want short layers. No, I do not want a style that needs to be straightened to look its very best and while I appreciate that you took all of this time to blow it out and straighten it, it's never going to look like this again. It's like the episode of Sex and the City based on The Way We Were:

Miranda: "Robert Redford is madly in love with Barbara Streisand, but he can't be with her because she's too complicated and she has wild, curly hair. So he leaves her and marries this simple girl with straight hair."
Carrie: "Ladies, I am having an epiphany. The world is made up of two types of women: the simple girls and the Katie girls."

I am a curly girl. And a Katy girl. And I am desperately seeking a great (maybe Middle Eastern?) hair salon in the Houston area.

On crying in the supply room at work:
I'm a little over a month from being 25 and I'm finally finding my stride as an RN. I'm getting a lot of experience orienting new RNs to the adult and pediatric sides of our floor. I'm comfortable taking on six patients. I'm fine with blood draws and IVs and NG tubes and straight caths and all kinds of other unpleasant procedures on tiny little people. I can handle parents and family members who are upset. But sometimes, I'm still overwhelmed and frustrated. And every once in a while, I cry in the supply room for a couple minutes until I can regain my footing. I'm learning a lot. I'm teaching a lot. I might be ready to move into a new job sooner than I expected, but this has been a positive experience overall.

On being a single girl with a boyfriend:
I am certain that my dad has been my biggest fan since the first moment he laid eyes on me. When I am lonely and depressed and homesick, he always tells me, "You are living on your own, far from home. Not everyone can do what you're doing." I miss Phoenix. And I miss California. And I miss lunch dates and happy hours and favorite restaurants. I'm still not ready to go to the movies alone and I don't like only seeing my boyfriend a few days a month. I am so happy that I have a sweet, little (sometimes tick-infested) dog who is always happy to see me and never lets me sleep alone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Restorative Yoga Made Me Cry

After my round of Power Yoga yesterday, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at Restorative Yoga. It was the only class that I could make it to today.

The instructor said that we were going to hold poses for five to ten minutes and that it would cleanse our internal organs and allow our nervous system to switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic. I mean, I'm granola, but I'm not that granola. Anyway, I was already there and ready to get a good stretch on.

We laid in cobbler's pose and I could feel my right shoulder relaxing. It cramps up if I work more than two shifts in a row. She was talking about the half-awake state you find yourself in at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, laying next to a pet or a loved one. And in the middle of yoga, at my way-too-fancy gym, I started crying. Like a loser. Because I moved to Texas by myself and I am so homesick, not knowing where home is at this point.

I didn't like my job in Phoenix. But I liked my life. I loved my neighborhood. I loved being able to walk to Beckett's Table or LGO or Pita Jungle with Russell. I liked having a membership to the Desert Botanical Garden. I liked being a ten minute drive from the airport. I liked tubing the river in June and monsoon season and cooking with my boy in our tiny kitchen.

I liked having a place in which I belonged, even if it wasn't quite home.

And now, it's just me. And Vegas. And a tiny apartment that feels too big and no friends to call for brunch and a job that pays the bills but isn't quite what I expected it to be. I don't hate it, but I don't particularly like it, either. There's too much chaos and not enough babies and I'm so busy that I don't have time to think, which is important when lives are on the line. I'm learning how to juggle and appease but not how to think clearly. I'm often frustrated and annoyed and I can already feel myself not caring about these people. This isn't why I became a nurse and it isn't the type of nurse that I want to be.

I'm here for a little while, until the idea of packing up and moving again doesn't seem so insane. Until I can finish a few more certifications and get a few more months at this job. Until Russell finds a job somewhere that can be a home for both of us.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I Have Learned at the Gym

- If you walk into what you think is supposed to be a nice vinyasa yoga class and the guy in front of you has an Ironman (the triathlon, not the superhero) tattoo, you're about to get your butt kicked.

- People who like to work out really like to sweat. I don't particularly like to do either, but I still do both.

- The older you are, the more you like to walk around naked ALL THE TIME in the locker room. As a card-carrying never-nude, this disturbs me terribly.

- I am not the weirdest person there. Case in point: the woman showering next to me after her workout was belting out 80s tunes the whole time. You go girl.

- Even though I'm often sleep deprived, getting a good workout in makes me feel a thousand times better.

- Spin classes still scare the bejeezus out of me.

Monday, May 21, 2012


*So I live in Texas now. I got a job and moved out here and things are great, although Ben is my only friend. I joined a gym to get myself out of the house and in hopes that I might make some awesome girlfriends. Other than that, I don't have a whole lot to say. I know that my dad and a few other people like reading the nonsense that I write, so I'm busting out some vintage blogs that I didn't have the guts to post at the time. Here's some vintage Katy from 2008, laying it out the way you only can when you're 21 and have just gotten your heart smashed into bits.*

Sometimes I wish I had an accurate count of how many nights I have spent like this. Awake. Silent. Waiting for a phone call that will never come. These nights pass without tears, without music, but achingly full of thoughts that I can't control.

Here is the painful, ugly, honest truth:

I loved you. I would have done anything and been anyone for you. I would have waited a thousand years for you to come back to me. I would have ignored every single red flag and foregone every means of defending myself if it meant that you would have been in my life. You were my first love. You were my only love. I loved you with every atom in my body and you shattered every last piece of me by walking in and out of my life time and time again. I let you hurt me again and again because I loved you more than I can say.

I don't understand. I don't know when it all changed or why you decided not to tell me anything, leaving me to form bitter assumptions. I don't know if you ever think of me and I wouldn't be surprised if you never do. I don't love you anymore and I don't miss you, but these unanswered questions still leave me restless. I stay awake because it still hurts; I spent years pretending not to mourn, because I didn't think that I had the right.

I wish you had been man enough to protect me. I wish that you had been steadfast and stepped back when all of this started, instead of infiltrating my heart like ivy encircling an old wooden fence. I wish that I had been older and less naive and I wish I wouldn't have allowed you to take advantage of the love that I had for you. I wish you had been man enough to tell me the truth, instead of convincing yourself that I was tough enough to do this on my own. We both know that I was strong enough, but I wish you would have cared enough for me to tell me yourself.

I don't want you. I don't want an apology. I don't even want my letters back, because there's no way to pretend that I didn't carefully address them, sending another piece of my heart with each one. I just want to know what happened; after three years, I at least deserve that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The thing that I loved most about working the night shift was that I would come home so exhausted that I could crawl into bed and fall right asleep.

I am not a good sleeper. I have never been a good sleeper. I lay in bed, planning out conversations that I will have, that I should have had, that I wish I could erase and repeat. I think about interviews and meals that I want to cook. I pray. I try to prepare for every possible scenario, so that I can be ready for the morning.

I am wide awake, trying to prepare for the next step. I am not sad, nor am I scared. But I keep hoping that if I stay up long enough, I will be able to face whatever comes next.

I want to know what tomorrow will bring. I'd rather wait awake than be woken in surprise.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My grief is quiet, nearly silent. It is drowned out by the words and tears of your parents, your siblings, your friends, your coworkers. It finds me in the middle of the night, in secluded corners, on long car rides.

Most days, I keep you out of my thoughts. It's easier not to remember you because then I don't miss you. It's easier to forget. It's easier to deny that there is a dull, heavy ache in my heart, right where you used to live. If I forget to remember you, I don't need to mourn never seeing you get married or the fact that my children will grow up never knowing yours.

The unfairness of losing you will never lose its sting. It will always be at the forefront of my feelings for you. I am not simple-minded enough to convert my grief into nostalgia. I am unwilling to deny the anger and confusion that I feel every single time I remember that you died at twenty-four, all of your goals unaccomplished, all of your dreams unrealized. There is nothing natural or correct about the way that you were taken.

I miss you. I will never stop missing you. I may never accept the way that you left us. I may never outgrow this grief.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

23 was a strange year

Being 23 was rough in ways that I never expected. I am a girl wholly unaccustomed to failure; graduating from nursing school during a recession was not something that I expected or appreciated. My best friend died unexpectedly, turning my world completely upside-down. I drove across the country twice and flew between Arizona and California more times than I can count. Lost weight, gained it back. Broke up with Russell, got back together. Was unemployed for a few months, took a bunch of classes, got my DREAM JOB (even if it is temporary).

I am happy. Some days, I work at it, and it's really hard. It's been almost a year since Kaylee died and I've gotten out of bed every day since then. I consider that a victory.

I absolutely LOVE my job. I'm working nights on an infant/toddler general pediatrics floor. Sometimes when my floor is slow, I float to Level I NICU. For 12 hours, I feed babies, change diapers, and sing nursery songs. NG tubes, TPN feeds, lab draws. The last time I worked, an exceptionally chatty 4-year-old grabbed my nose; when I asked what he was doing, he yelled, "I'm beeping your horn!"

So, resolutions. It's 2012 already. I didn't make any. But here's a follow-up on the ones that I made last year:
- Cook more. ---> I've roasted chickens and hosted dinner parties and feel like I'm really finding my stride in the kitchen.
- Work less. Stress less. Generally give myself a break. ---> I'm definitely working less and enjoying my free time more.
- 6 pack abs? Right? ---> I'm sure.
- Rediscover all the things I used to love to do before I convinced myself that falling into the "work hard in high school SO you can get into a good college SO you can work hard in college SO you can get a good job SO you can make lots of money SO you can buy lots of things SO..." So what? I don't know. But the money is good and the job is not so good, so maybe by this time next year, I'll have a whole different career? Or at least hobbies that make the day job not so...job-like. ---> I'm in the same career, but a different job, and so much happier.
- Here's the big one, though: Figure out how in the world I'm going to get back to Namibia or to Haiti to work with all the babies that my heart hurts for. Whether it's nursing or being a teacher or saving all my tips from the barista gig I have to get when I finally quit being a nurse, I just can't help but believe that God puts these kids on my heart and never lets me forget them for a reason. So that's the big one. Figure out how to get from point A to point B (or point Z, because as of right now, it seems like quite a ways off). ---> I still can't quite see how it's all going to fall into place, but I'm on the right path.