On September 10th. 2012, I worked my last shift as an R.N., deleted my in & out box, handed in my keys and drove home. I felt a wave of relief as I did all of this, as I was tired and no longer had any new goals or visions for my future there. Thus, a new life began for me. In hindsight, I entered a place that was not familiar to me; there was a heaviness to the atmosphere, a miasma, that hung over my brain and soul. I did not recognize who I was without a schedule, or a position. No network of peers at work to push and pull me. And the loss of goals and visions was new to me, I had always thrived on new ideas and projects. Almost everyone whom I met that knew I was no longer employed, said the same thing; "now you can do whatever you want". But, my inner response to that was "I don't know what that is". That inner response was frightening.
I began to focus on a new goal, and that was to remain in a space of reflection and remembering and to stay away from 'busyness' for the sake of being busy as a way of coping. It was a tough go for me, as anyone who really knows can vouch for the fact that I have always multi-tasked. I decided to mourn, and slowly allowed myself to acknowledge that this is a stage I must experience and not fill with emotional flagellation over things not accomplished. It is relatively easy to compare onself with others, and in so doing, achieve nothing.
Kudos to all my friends who encouraged me to set a new pace, to change my course, grieve as necessary, and look forward.