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Tag Archives: optimism

Moving Day

26 Jul

The last month and a half has been a whirlwind. I’ve been doing everything I can to just catch my breath and stay afloat. But now that things are calming down, and I’m feeling settled, something has felt missing. And, it was only a couple of days ago that I thought about my poor, neglected blog. So excuse me while I stretch my typing fingers out and try and remember how to do this again.

 

To make a long story short, perhaps to be discussed in another post, I thought I was moving to Vermont for a while, then I decided to stay. It made me happy and sad, and it’s complicated. But through it all, I kept in contact with my landlord to make sure it was okay that I stayed through the summer (my lease was up in June) and when I decided to stay, that I could resign a 12-month lease. Through it all, I was told this was fine.

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend, when I get a text from my landlord that says that they are actually going to give the apartment to a family member, so my roommates and I need to be out by the end of June. I was essentially being evicted. I was covering for co-workers for the following 13 days straight, no days off, and I had also just received a jury duty summons in the mail.

Of course I’ve been through tougher things, but it felt like nothing was going right. How was I going to find a new place in time, in my price range, not to far out from the city, not in a horrible neighborhood? That night I drank Tequila and cried on the phone to my mom. Finding a new place and moving in the space of a couple of weeks felt impossible.

Fast forward to now. I’m sitting in my adorable apartment, in a cute house with a rose garden out front. I’m in a vibrant neighborhood that makes me grin ear to ear when I get off the train and walk home. My new roommates are friendly and keep the apartment clean and homey. All in all, I’m in a much better place. My old apartment (albeit my enormous) was always dirty due to my negligent roommates, my neighborhood was a Chinatown without a quality grocery store or bar around, my landlords were rude and inept at fixing things in the apartment. But I was settled. It was where I had lived for years, and I was happy enough. Not really happy, but happy enough.

But I didn’t know how wonderful things COULD be, and even though things felt overwhelming and frustrating during the weeks of apartment hunting nonstop, all the annoyance and pain brought me to a much better place. It made me think about other times that has happened in my life. When I got my reception job at the Veterinary office five years ago, I lamented to my then-boyfriend that it was a dead-end job, unworthy of my ambitions. But I didn’t realize it would lead me to a career I have loved and to another one I’m truly excited about. Almost two years ago, I sat at a bar with a friend of mine, crying about a recent break-up, certain I’d never meet anyone ever again, and I’d never find happiness. The bartender that was working that night became a friend of mine and over time has become something even more than that. And he’s the one that, with genuine excitement, helped me pack up my old apartment and move into my beautiful new one, keeping me calm through the process and sharing beers with me afterwards.

It’s hard to remember it in the moment, but sometimes the frustrating or difficult parts of life are making room or preparing us for something better. Maybe I’m lucky or blessed, and I try to keep in mind that in a lot of ways, I am. But I also think things do happen for a reason, and to quote one of my favorite poems “The Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, “…whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should be.” I don’t subscribe to any religion, but I do have faith in the fact that good things can happen, good things are on the horizon, and in the end, it’s all just trivial nonsense. I look back at the stress and tears over having to move in a short amount of time, and it feels like nothing in the greater scheme of my life or even my year or even this summer. Some way somehow, it is all going to be a-ok.

 

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New Jobs Suck

12 Jun

Nail trims are the most dangerous things we do. Here’s proof.

My job as a technician isn’t new. I’ve been training at it for months. But, now I’m full-time. When they offered me the position a couple of weeks ago, they put me in the tutelage of my co-worker Christine who was due to give birth the first week of July. Dr. Z (the practice owner) very firmly told me that I had two months to “sponge Christine’s two years of college-level tech training and her 16 years of experience. You must become the best technician.”

One and a half weeks into my intensive training, Christine is out on bed-rest, and I am completely unprepared. I am a perfectionist. I hate not doing things well and starting a new job kills me. I hate being discombobulated and feeling useless.

Last week went really well. Christine is an awesome trainer. I was inserting catheters in pit bulls, intubating poodles, running ear swab cytologies, setting up ultrasound equipment and scrubbing in a dog for a nasty gastrotomy. I was feeling amazing. Drawing blood from the jugular vein of a cat? That ain’t no thang.

I don’t know what was wrong today. All I could think of is watching Mariner’s games where Felix Hernandez doesn’t pitch well. He’s such an amazing pitcher with exceeding talent, but sometimes things are off, and it gets into his head, and he pitches a shitty game. Today, I pitched a shitty game.

I made so many simple mistakes. I was tripping over myself, and I felt like I spent most of the day just standing around taking up space. It makes matters so much worse that Dr. S, the vet that once told me he’d help me in my path to becoming a vet tech and that he had complete faith in me, now wants me gone. He was happy when I quit, and I only got the tech position because of Dr. Z and Christine’s efforts. He glares at me. He snaps at me. But most of the time, he pretends like I’m not there. The man hates me for a lot of inconsequential and silly reasons. Stupid metaphor, but I feel like the dog that keeps getting kicked.

It got into my head. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to criticism, and I’ll beat the shit out of myself mentally when I make mistakes. At some point in the afternoon I was running an ear swab cytology for Dr. R. I could not for the life of me focus the microscope. I kept checking the oil lens, readjusting, making sure the slide was in place. It just wasn’t happening, and Dr. S was standing nearby staring me down while flipping through his charts. I felt like crying. But I didn’t. I just kept focusing until I found the swabs I was looking for. But it took forever. Dr. R appeared at my side.
“How’s that slide coming? Got a yeast party for me?”
“Um, the left ear has tw0 to three yeast per field with occasional cocci, but I’m still checking the right ear. I’m so sorry it’s taking so long.”
“No worries. Listen, you are doing fine. It sucks that Christine had to leave early, but if you need help, I’m here. I’ve been exactly where you are. I can answer any of your questions.”
It was reassuring, but I hate being so helpless.

After that I held a Cairn Terrier for my co-worker Daryl to cut his nails. The dog started flipping out the second Daryl touched its paws. I tightened my grip and braced myself. This dog was going crazy. I had the dog in a muzzle and a headlock to keep him from biting us, but his foot got up under my arm and sliced me (see above.) I’ve been scratched a million times before, so I didn’t think anything of it until another technician Clive walked by.
“Woah, he got you!” I looked down at the gashes in my arm, gushing blood. No dog had ever broken skin before. Clive and Daryl started clapping.
“Welcome to being a technician! You are one of us now!” They patted me on the back and started to show me all their scars.

I’ve been staring at that stinging wound all day. I rolled up my sleeves on the subway so everyone could see.

I was a shitty barista at first, and my boss wouldn’t let me anywhere near a steam wand. Now I can make you gorgeous latte art and the silkiest milk imaginable. I was originally dead weight with the Mariners, but I ended up running my own kiosk and raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the team I love.

I am a technician now. It’s just going to take a while before I’m a really really good one. But I will be. I’ll be the Felix Hernandez of veterinary technicians.