Today I have some pretty exciting new to announce!!! For those of you who don't know I have taken a job in Billings, Montana! I am finally home for good.
At first I wasn't 100% sure it was the best option for me but it was the option I have committed to pursuing and honestly my could not be any better. As l look back at the choices I have made I realize that, in life, the path is never clear. I have pursued many avenues that I thought were right only to have them fail and vise versa. It seems like, at least for me, I needed the wrong paths, the failed pursuits, and the hard choices in order to be satisfied completely. And I am so excited to have a job, get back to work, put down roots, and really start living my life. I have written this post over many months so it might not flow perfectly but these are thoughts I've had so I want to share and not delete them as some things have changed.
Although I loved so many aspects of Reno, the amazing nurses and doctors I worked with, the great group of creatives that I collaborated with, Tahoe and so many other amazing places being so close, I knew deep down in my heart that Reno was not my forever home. After a year and a half, and months and months of stressing over what to do next, I decided to quit, move back home, and take some time off. I was lucky enough that I could live with my parents for free and I had done a good job of building a little savings "nest egg". But it was still scary. I thought about not getting a job, having a time gap on my resume, and eventually, after being home, I was worried about where to go. There was not one place calling my name, no avenue screaming to be explored. So I started looking at any and every job hoping one would stand out. Although I knew going home was the right decision I still felt lost. I was extremely stressed, on and off, for months. Then one day I realized how passionate I am about traveling and I realized that no matter where I went I would land on my feet and make the best of the situation.
Sometimes you make a decision, knowing it's the right decision, but you aren't sure what the next step is and that is very scary. I can tell you, as can my friends, I had quite a few breakdowns the first few months. It is very scary. I had never been in this exact position before but I have had stressful times where I didn't know my future. When I applied for pharmacy school I was a nervous wreck. When I applied for a pharmacy residency I was even more of a wreck. I was a mess for a month when I was trying to decide whether to stay in Boise or move to Reno with my ex-boyfriend. But each time everything worked itself out, even though none of the situations worked themselves out the way I thought they would. We worry a lot about "what ifs" - something I am trying to stop. I need to make a decision, allow it to play itself out, then react based on the result. There is no point having 10 backup plans, like I did, until you know how to current situation unfolds. I think it's the same when people say, "put good vibes out in the universe and everything will work itself out".
I do want to want to give caution with this advice, however. Because sometimes making the right decision for yourself might actually end up causing many "bad" things to happen. But those bad things usually help you grow, learn who you are, and what you want. Confusing? Let me give 3 examples.
successes due to failure
First, I actually applied for pharmacy school twice. The first time I had a lower than accepted grade so I was rejected and had to retake the class. At the time, I was devastated. Applying and not getting in is a horrible feeling. However, now, looking back, I am so happy I didn't get in the first time. The class above me was "older", a lot of people married with kids. The class that I got into was younger, most unmarried, without children, and I fit into that class so much better. My pharmacy school experience would have been likely far less enjoyable if I got in the first time. It didn't see it at the time but sometimes closed doors truly are blessings.
The second time this happened was with my pharmacy residency. I applied for residencies in Boise, Idaho. I had visited one summer and fell in love; I wanted to move to a bigger city yet still be somewhat close to home. I loved the VA but ended up getting a residency at St. Al's, which was my last choice. As the year progressed I thanked my lucky stars I didn't get a residency at the VA. I am more a trauma, ER, critical care pharmacist than an ambulatory care pharmacist who spends an hours taking to patients about asthma. My interested very much aligned with the actual place I got a residency versus my top choice although, again, I was disappointed at first.
The last example is where I am now. I decided to move to Reno with my ex-boyfriend instead of staying on in Boise. My life would have been a lot different but I am so thankful for the decisions I've made that got me here. I honestly had a lot of issues when I got done with residency. I was depressed, alone, overworked, and had not worked through my past. No matter where I went I felt the burden of my past. My problems didn't go away when I ran from them. Many things ultimately occurred that led me to moving back home, but the past few months I have come to terms with my past, completely and wholly. I am not mad or resentful; I am not regretful or pained by my past. I am finally 100% at peace with it. I am leaving it in the past but keeping the lessons I learned. I truly believe this is one reason people should wait to get married and have children. The peace and happiness I feel right now compares to how I felt bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 18 with the world in front of me. I honestly think I would have destroyed myself or others if I had married or had children. Additionally my interests in the past few months have basically done a 180 or, maybe, I am finally allowing myself to be 100% me. Either way I have learned so much and will use those lessons to avoid the same pitfalls. I am SO excited for the future and I know that every mistake, broken heart, missed or taken opportunity, every time life didn't turn out how I wanted or expected, led me here to this amazing place. I've finally found myself and peace.
When I said above that I wasn't 100% sure taking a job in Montana is the right choice for me I meant it for two reasons.
First is that I love to travel. I took a job where I work 4 ten hour shifts instead of 7 on/7 off which was what I have been applying for. My goal for the next few years, given my lost and nomadic soul, was to travel on my days off. I will still have the opportunity to do that, travel around Montana on the weekend and where ever else with my vacation, but I won't be able to see as much as I wanted. I am okay with it because I am closer to family and friends and Montana is a gorgeous state so there is A LOT for me to do on my off time. Since I have become quite the outdoor enthusiast I am okay with the adventures I will be able to create in my own backyard.
The second reason: although I love Montana and a lot of my family and friends are here I do worry about finding a tribe.
I know I have a lot of work to do on myself, personally and professional, but I am excited to be at a new starting place and hope I am one step closer to my forever place!