Updated: Jun 4, 2022
365 days. That can seem like a really long time, or just a passing moment. Time, as most things, is relative. I remember this time last year vividly; I was struggling with a difficult situation. I didn't know what the right decision was. I was at a fork in the road and I didn't have a clue which direction I should take. I ended up camping overnight in Fort Mountain State Park. As I often do when faced with life's difficulties, I turned to the solitude and simplicity of nature.
I've spent countless hours on that mountain. I lovingly refer to her as 'my' mountain because she has played such an integral part of my adult life. It has been my sanctuary for 15 years; a safe haven to experience happiness, sadness and all things In between. I had been toying around with the idea of leaving to become a travel nurse, but there were a lot of things going on in my life. I had a permanent position at Murray Medical center, where I worked four night shifts each week.
If I left, I wouldn't be able to work out a two week notice. I’d always been an exemplary employee (in my mind) and didn’t want to leave on bad terms. It was close to Christmas. I would have to leave my family, and spend Christmas halfway across the country - alone. The only company I would leave my permanent job for was incredibly competitive when it came to the hiring process. They would post on social media when openings were available in specific specialties. Each post had a phone number that resulted in a multitude of dropped calls and hours of being on hold. Getting past a busy tone was a task on its own. After camping overnight through howling winds and freezing temps, a friend sent me a text to let me know my preferred staffing company had posted openings for the ER.
I was on the hike back out to the car, so I immediately started calling. Over and over. I called over 600 times that afternoon just to get past the busy tone. I stayed on hold for two hours before an actual human answered the phone. After six hours of dialing, holding, hoping, praying, I finally got through. I had prayed multiple times that day, that if it was God's will for me to go, I would get hired. After answering yes to numerous questions and verifying my information, I got the job. The catch was that I had to report to Tyler, Texas by 10pm THE NEXT DAY. After hanging up, the sun had already gone down and I was left to get my entire life in order to travel over 1,000 miles in roughly 24 hours. I had hundreds of thoughts going through my mind. What was I thinking? Who was going to keep Toby? What would my grandparents say? Who did I call to say I wouldn't be coming back to work? Would my boss get mad on the phone? Who would take me to the airport?
Needless to say, it was a complete and total whirlwind. That's how this new lifestyle was born, 365 days ago. Since then, I've worked at four hospitals and one health department, all through travel companies and contracts. I have been so incredibly fortunate and blessed that every place I have worked, has received me with open arms. Mostly everyone I've worked with has been pleasant, helpful, and accommodating - some becoming new friends along the way.
Even though there are times of doubt in other areas of my life, I have full faith that God has lead me to each place that I've worked in this past year. Through going to Texas on seemingly a whim, I was able to work for three months and return home to care for my grandparents during a health crisis without being incredibly stressed about money. As I was newly single at the time, this was a huge burden lifted from my shoulders. I’ve been able to continue intermittently caring for my grandparents during this entire year thanks to traveling as a nurse. If I hadn't gotten through on the phone 365 days ago, that never would have been possible. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here and I can't wait to see what the next 365 days bring.