The pacific northwest (PNW), is a beautiful, majestic, and serene area of the USA. It offers an outdoor lifestyle with mild temperatures, coastal waters and mountainous views. The PNW isnot far from Vancouver where I lived and grew up and I often ventured south of the border to enjoy cross border shopping and vacation adventures. So when I had a choice in where I would apply for a nursing license, of course this was my first option. As a brief reminder, we had recently moved to Indiana where I lacked a nursing license and I was growing desperate for a job. After consulting with and contracting to a nursing agency, the only way I was going to be able to get my SSN was to accept a job in a state that I already had a license…Washington.
Once the decision was made to accept a twelve week contract in WA, it was easy to gather the documents, visit the border, and with a few minor tears, I walked away with the TN Visa I so coveted. A short drive to the SSN office, a small lineup and quick application process, my SSN was en route to my mailbox. The paperwork portion of my adventure finally settled; however, now I have just agreed to work in WA for 3 months…wait…what?
With my family in BC, my sweetheart in Indiana, myself in WA, my first semester of my masters program, and full time work, how was I going to manage this?
After careful planning and organizing, I was able to fill up my calendar with work, school and fEditamily commitments.
I documented every movement I made in an effort to maintain sanity and clarity. The hospital I worked for made sincere efforts to schedule me in a way that would allow me to travel home weekly to Indiana, and I squeezed homework into every other available minute including on flights, in hotels, at airports, and at home. This was going to be doable, right?No breakdown pending…
Twelve weeks in the grand picture is really not that long. Thus, when I took on a job, school, family, and travel; I committed myself wholeheartedly to all of it. I set out with grandiose ideas that I was invincible and this would not shake me, only to find out how human I was.
In the prior three months, I had left the only city I knew as home, I left a secure and comfortable job, I started my Masters in Nursing Education, and now I’m including weekly flights between Seattle and Indiana.
As each day passed and I crossed another day off the calendar, I grew in bothexcitement that this lifestyle would soon come to an end, and I grew weak in my coping abilities. The weeks passed, the tears became more frequent and I was lost in who I was as a person and as a nurse, the reflection in the mirror was my face but the soul behind those tears was forever altered.