So it's been a week since I started working at the hospital, though technically I've worked 2 weeks' worth of shifts.
It started almost immediately: the shifting of priorities.
If you don't know my long, sordid (not really) history of how I decided to go back to school after getting hurt on the job, it's all in the archives somewhere. In the past 3 years, since the day I got hurt, there's been a constant presence in my life: loneliness.
Going from working full-time to suddenly being home alone, all day, every day is a smack in the face. No pets, husband gone for 10 hours a day, no friends in the new town where you live...
For someone like me, who was very social and extraverted, it was torturous. But I changed, gradually. Little by little I came to enjoy my quiet time. I still had long bouts of depression and aching loneliness, but I threw it into my writing. After I got hurt, I finally finished my first novel and have since finished 5 total.
I started blogging out of loneliness. It helped. A lot. I made online friends, socially networked, built followings and contributed to others'. It was pretty much my social life, because we were still living in a town with no friends, husband working full time.
Did it really make me happy, though? Not really. And when I started nursing school, I started gradually filling the void. Sure, 90% of the time I'm studying, but that's okay. Books were my first friends, even dry textbooks. Then hubby started a new job, where there are people our age. We play trivia at a bar once a week. We go to occasional parties with our friends in the town we live in now.
And now I'm working again. I think I've always been the kind of person who needs to work. Everyone always said how jealous they were when I was at home all the time, but I hated it. I hate not contributing financially, not feeling productive except over laundry and cooking dinner. Housewife, I am not. Even when I was writing constantly, it wasn't enough.
But now I'm working, and I'm working hard. Twelve hour shifts are no joke, especially working two back-to-back. At the end of the second day, all you can think about is going home, spending some time with your hubby and your cats, and then going to bed.
I'm working part time, going to school part time, and I'm finally happy again. The cloud of depression started lifting almost right away. I feel light inside. It's been a long time since I could say that. I'm getting a solid grasp on what my future will look like. I'm finally making forward progress, instead of digging deeper into my rut.
Happiness, man. It's been a long time coming, and it sure feels good.
I'm not around online as much anymore. Twitter is basically one huge advertisement these days, which annoys me. I don't have time to read blogs. Facebook is and always has been for my real-life friends. And even if I wanted to tweet about my day, that cheeky little thing called HIPAA keeps all the good stories inside me anyway.
I'm almost done revising my novel, making it shiny-shiny to send to my critique partners, and then finally start thinking about querying. I start my last year of school in mid-August, and then it's going to be a race to the finish. I'll cram for boards, and then I'll be an RN. After that, who knows?