The Two Types of People in the World


In my thirty years of life, I’ve come to realize that there are basically two types of people in the world: those who take charge of life, grab it by the horns, & create their own “destiny,” & those who sit back & allow life to happen to them, acting as passive passengers on this ride of life.  yungblud.jpg

I like what British rock star Yungblud said about labeling people or putting them in boxes: “Boxes are for cereal.  Labels are for clothes.  We are human & the need for division is becoming less relevant every day.”  Even so, I think it’s just human nature that we try to label people or put them in boxes to try to make sense of the world.  Perhaps even more so in today’s world of constant information overload, I think we feel like we have to find some way to organize & process all the information that is thrown at us on a daily basis.  At the end of the day I think we probably NEED some kinds of labels or boxes to help us make sense of the world- BUT we also need to have the presence of mind to know that not everyone will- or should- fit these boxes or labels, & furthermore that everyone has the capability of transcending whatever box or label they’ve been given- or have willingly claimed.  labels.png

Anyway, when I say that there are these two kinds of people in the world I’m not trying to cause division or hatred or to make you, the reader, feel like you have to choose between these two types.  It’s just something I’ve observed along this road of life & I’ll be the first to admit I could be totally wrong.

I realized a few weeks ago that I hadn’t taken any PTO in months- most likely since January when my daughter had her tonsils removed- so that wasn’t exactly a vacation!  But I did take off work yesterday since I was in a wedding on Sunday & wanted a day to travel back home & generally recover from a busy weekend.  As it turned out I got sick last night so that day off turned into two days off.  As you can probably guess I’m struggling with guilt over being “lazy,” even though logically I know I need to rest & recover so I can get back to my normal routine.  type

As you’ve probably guessed from reading this far (or if you know me in real life), I am definitely the first type of person I described at the beginning of this post, & while I think there are great advantages to being this way, I have to admit I occasionally wonder what it would be like to be different.  To not feel the need to plan so much.  To not weigh every life decision with so much gravity.  To not feel like I have no one else but myself to blame for my mistakes.  To be able to just say “Oh yeah, life happens.” cicero

But that’s just not me.  I see what happens to people who allow life to just happen to them.  In the end even indecision is a decision.  Even inaction is an action.  Does that make sense or is my sick mind just delusional?  While some people might be happy living this way, I know I never could be.  I may not be the most carefree person ever, I may be far too serious sometimes, but at the end of the day I don’t know any other way to be.kevin hart

There’s a reason I was married for over five years before having a baby.  There’s a reason Rachel is almost three & I’m still not ready for another kid.  There’s a reason I haven’t gone back to school yet even though my original life plan was to be an NP by thirty (or thereabouts).  I weigh these life decisions very, very heavily & I can’t make these kinds of changes until I know I’m really, truly ready- or at least as ready as I can ever hope to be.  Sometimes I hate being so self-aware, so analytical.  But I don’t how to be anything else so I’m just going to embrace it & hope that someone else reading this can relate & know they’re not alone in feeling this way.

So… which type are you?  And do you ever wish you were different?

25 Reasons Why I’m Not Cool


Do you ever have those days when you feel like you’re in high school all over again?  Everyone seems hipper, cooler, trendier, prettier, & generally more interesting than you?  I hope you don’t, but I know I still have those days from time to time.  Today is one of them for whatever reason.  This afternoon while I was sitting at the pool studying for my PCCN exam I started thinking about all the many reasons why I’m not cool, all the things that make me a nerd but not in the “cool” way.  Here we go.

1. I can’t dive.  I have tried so hard to learn but I just can’t do it.

2. I can’t use chopsticks.  Seriously, was this a lesson in high school or college that I just inadvertently missed?

3. I don’t like sushi.  I wish I did.  Everyone who eats sushi looks so sophisticated & interesting.  I have tried, but I just don’t like it.

4. I hate skinny jeans.  If they were never in style again it would please me to no end.  It stresses me out when I go to the Gap (or the Gap Outlet to be more precise) & have to struggle to find flare or boot cut jeans.

5. While we’re on the fashion subject, I hate pretty much all the clothes that are in style nowadays (for women).  Most of them are so unflattering on anyone who isn’t a size 2.  And let’s face it.  I’ve lost 15 lbs this year but I will never be a size 2.  And I don’t even want to be.  I do sometimes like the clothes I see other girls wear & yet I think those same styles look ridiculous on me.  It’s probably a good thing my work attire consists solely of scrubs.  Oh, & I don’t wear stilettos because I can’t think of a good reason to voluntarily torture myself.

6. I think Coach bags are a sham.  If I ever spend more than $50 on a purse, someone please take me to the hospital because that will be a sign I’m having a psychotic break.

7. I really don’t know how to use make-up.  I am scared to death to use an eyelash curler & I’ve never successfully learned how to apply eyeliner.

8. I really don’t like going out for drinks.  It’s over-priced & over-rated.  I don’t hate it, but if I want to drink I would always rather do it at home or at a friend’s apt/house.  It just feels more relaxed.  I know that makes me old & boring but it’s the truth.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love hanging out with friends & don’t mind a bit if other people want to drink more than me.  It’s just not my thing most of the time.

9. I hate treadmills.  In fact I really don’t enjoy any kind of cardio other than hiking (in the mountains) & soccer, neither of which I can do whenever I please.  But I do force myself to use the treadmill anyway.

10. I would rather eat a juicy burger than a crisp, healthy salad any day of the week.  I hate going out to eat & ordering just a salad.  It feels like such a waste.

11. For basically as long as I can remember, people have always thought I am older than I am.  I remember being a freshman in college & so many people thought I was a senior.  Nowadays instead of people asking “Are you married?,” they often ask “Do you have kids?”  I always want to tell them I’m not old enough to have kids & then I remember that technically I am.

12. I refuse to use self-tanner or tanning beds.  I have no problem with other people using self-tanner but I just don’t like “faking” my skin color even if it means being ungodly pale in the winter.  Tanning beds of course are carcinogenic & it amazes me that people still use them.

13. I don’t feel very comfortable in large groups & I hate crowds.  Yet I love teaching or speaking in front of an audience if it’s about a subject I enjoy, & I’m not afraid to share my opinion in staff meetings at work.

14. I’m in my mid 20’s & I still go to a dermatologist for acne.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

15. I have never dyed my hair.  Or had a perm.  Or even gotten hi-lights (how do you even spell that?!).  It’s a damn good thing I have naturally wavy hair that more or less styles itself or I would be screwed because I have no clue how to style hair & not much interest in learning.  What could be more boring than standing in front of a mirror staring at myself?

16. I despise modern pop music.  The lyrics are so superficial & vapid that it makes my head spin.

17. I prefer the mountains to the beach.  And I have a hard time NOT checking my work email when I’m on vacation.  I know, something is wrong with me.  Clearly.

18. I never rode in a taxi until I was 19.

19. I don’t have cable TV.  Growing up, I was so annoyed with my parents for not paying for cable TV because it meant I was always out of the loop at school.  But now that I’m an adult I just can’t bring myself to spend $60-$80/month on something I care to watch so rarely.

19. I haven’t read Harry Potter, Twilight, or 50 Shades of Grey.  But I have read a ton of other less popular books & I actually enjoyed reading the vast majority of my college textbooks.  I know, I am such a nerd.

20. I really don’t like cooking.  I don’t hate it by any means.  But it just isn’t something that I enjoy.  I wish I did.  I really do.  I have tried.  But it just isn’t happening.  Yet.

21. I over-think everything.  Duh.  Or I wouldn’t be posting this crap.

22. I am a perfectionist.  And yet my house is only marginally organized & far from spotless.  And half of the decorations in my house are stuffed animals.  If that makes me creepy, so be it.

23. As you can tell from the above listed items, I’m a nerd.  Yet I don’t like Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR, or any of the “cool” nerd stuff.  I don’t hate those things.  I just don’t have any real interest in them.

24.  I’ve never really liked children very much, & yet I can’t stop thinking about being a mom lately.  What is wrong with me?!!

25. I don’t use Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Pinterest.  But I do maintain this crazy blog because I love writing & it helps keep me sane.

As much as I’d love to say that I revel in being weird, I’m not sure that I do.  Some days I do love all the crazy things that make me who I am.   And other days like today I just feel like I’m destined to always be weird & unsure where I fit in life.  Again, I know I over-think this stuff.  Forgive me.  To my friends who make me feel less weird & ridiculous, thank you.  I always say I know I have found a true friend when I meet someone who makes me feel a little less crazy & a little more normal.  Y’all know who you are & I am grateful for your friendship.

A Window Into My Brain


Because all blogs posts are better with pictures, I've included this photo taken on the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh on July 4th this year.

Because all blogs posts are better with pictures, I’ve included this photo taken on the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh on July 4th this year.

For as long as I can remember I have always been “Miss Responsible.”  I have always been the girl who did her homework early, finished her papers well before the deadline, created study guides for tests & shared them with classmates, & packed too much for every out-of-town trip because I always imagine everything I could possibly need.  As a nurse I always have my patients’ lab values & test results written down at the beginning of every shift & I always make sure to update my data & give the latest lab results in report to the next nurse.  I obsess over I&O’s so much that I often have to remind myself that I’m not a patient so I don’t need to measure my own I&O (yes, you can laugh WITH me for that).  I like to think that this makes me detail-oriented but also capable of seeing “the big picture.”  Unfortunately underneath all of this responsible behavior lies a great deal of anxiety.

The first time I saw a psychologist was about a year and a half ago when we were still living in SW Virginia.  I was concerned that I might be OCD because of how detail-oriented I am & the anxiety that this sometimes causes me.  The psychologist quickly assured me that my life is far too organized & controlled for me to actually have OCD (anyone else think that’s an ironic truth?), but that I do have “OCD personality characteristics” which he insisted actually make me a great nurse (I’d like to believe that!).  I continued seeing him maybe once a month until we moved to NC just so I could have a place to vent to someone who wouldn’t go home & worry about me or be offended by anything I said since he had no emotional connection to me.

The first few months in the Raleigh-Durham area were difficult.  Growing up in a place that had four stop-lights in the whole COUNTY makes moving to an urban environment like this an exciting but sometimes daunting challenge.  I hoped it would be easy to meet people & make new friends, but it was nothing like college where I could just walk down the hall or go to class & meet all kinds of interesting people.  (My first year out of college I still had friends in the area who were either still in college or who had graduated but, like me, still lived in the area.)  Sometime around my birthday last year I was feeling quite depressed & lonely especially as the holidays approached & I knew that, being a nurse, I would not get to spend much time with my family due to work obligations.  I decided to once again try a psychologist who turned out to be a very nice older man.  I told him how much I love music & missed playing my flute with a group, so he, a musician himself, told me about a music store downtown where he was certain I could get information about a local flute group.  I took his advice, got lost in downtown trying to find the store, eventually found it, got the information about the flute ensemble, & joined the group in January when their new “semester” began.  I didn’t end up making any great friends in the group but just the experience of making music in a group again brought me great joy.

By the time January-February came around I had started making more friends at work & generally feeling a lot happier with life, so I never went back to see that psychologist until one fateful day this summer when I was talking to one of my best friends online.  She was telling me about her struggles with bipolar disorder & I suddenly realized that my own struggles with anxiety were far from controlled, especially in light of the fact that I have started thinking a lot more about having children someday.  I felt such a relief in knowing that I wasn’t the only “crazy” one out there & also in knowing that if she had the strength to seek treatment I could too.  With her encouragement, I immediately called the psychologist I had seen in December & booked an appointment for that very day.  As it turned out, the psychologist told me I should see a psychiatrist in case I needed actual medical treatment for a possible anxiety disorder.  I was both devastated & relieved.  It took quite a few phone calls to find a psychiatrist who would accept my insurance & once I found one I had to schedule my appointment for a month in the future.  In the ensuing month I considered canceling the appointment so many times.  On good days I would tell myself, as I have so many times in my life, “I’m fine.  I’ve got this.  My life is so ‘perfect’ in so many ways.  I’m 24 years old, married to a wonderful man with whom I own a beautiful house in a gorgeous neighborhood, I have great health, & I’m about to train for charge nurse at my job.  How could I possibly need to see a psychiatrist?”  But on bad days, I couldn’t wait for the appointment just so I could hear what the psychiatrist had to say.

Well, finally the day of the dreaded/highly anticipated appointment arrived & much to my relief the psychiatrist was extremely friendly & put me immediately at ease.  She assured me that I do not have any true mental illness & definitely do not need any medication.  However, she suggested I start seeing one of the counselors in her office to work on some of my anxiety & self-esteem issues which, though they may not be “significant” enough to warrant the title of a true disorder, are still serious enough to bother me.  She applauded me for being so self-aware & for caring so much about my future children that I want to be the best, most stable version of myself before I seriously consider becoming a parent in the next couple of years.

As it turned out one of the counselors had had a last-minute cancellation right at the time my visit with the psychiatrist ended so I was able to start with a counselor that very day.  The counselor was very gentle, caring, & quickly made me feel comfortable in her beautifully decorated office.  I left the office that day feeling “lighter” than I had felt in God knows how long.  I had my second appointment with her last week & I already can’t wait to go back.  I honestly think everyone can benefit from counseling with a good therapist at least a few times a year.  As a friend of mine used to say, we ALL have issues from our childhood, our families, our friends, & just LIFE in general & we all can all benefit from having a caring but objective person to vent to who, as I mentioned before, isn’t going to go home & worry about you or be offended by anything you say (because they have probably heard MUCH worse) & doesn’t have any real emotional connection to you anyway.

It may sound strange to say I am excited about being in counseling, but I really am.  I’ve known for most of my life, even as a kid, that I am a very sensitive, perceptive person.  As my middle school English teacher, wise woman that she is, told me, I am both highly intelligent & highly sensitive which makes me feel things, both good & bad, more strongly than perhaps the average person does.  I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant but I don’t know how else to put it.

As much as I would sometimes like to trade in my brain for one that just doesn’t THINK so darn much about EVERYTHING, I know at the end of the day this brain is what makes me who I am.  I do think it makes me a good nurse; as I have told both psychologists, the psychiatrist, & my current counselor, I often think I am my best self at work because I have something important & meaningful on which to focus all my nervous energy & obsessive tendencies.  And I’d also like to think this brain makes me an empathetic human being who makes a consistent effort to recycle everything possible, donate to charities, & buy water bottles for homeless people who are stuck outside in the heat.

In the near future I hope to post more about my struggles with what one might call “sub-clinical anxiety.”  This isn’t a comfortable topic to discuss & I’ll admit that I feel like I have taken the easy way out by writing about this as a blog post instead of just telling my family, friends, & coworkers in person about my issues.  But as my counselor told me this past week, we all have to start somewhere.  In the meantime, I hope this post will encourage even one person to seek counseling or treatment for their own issues with anxiety or depression.  And for those of you who are lucky enough not to struggle with such issues (though I daresay we all will at some point in our lives), I hope this post will encourage you to be more considerate & compassionate of those who do.

Also, please check out my friend’s brilliant blog (who inspired my own) at http://doesthatmakemecrazyblog.com/