It took a while to recover from the exhaustion and write this; but I had a tiring 3 week stretch that included working around 188 hours in both Seattle & Indy, several flights, and briefly seeing my favorite people. There wasn’t really time to come to terms with what I was feeling, so let me try to verbalize it now.
It was just under two months that I was away from home, and it was the strangest feeling. I worked five shifts back to back in Seattle and then headed to the airport at noon after that last shift. I didn’t arrive in Indy until around 1:30am after a layover in Phoenix. (That left me with maybe 3 hours of sleep before heading in for a dayshift at Riley, as if I could be so lucky.) Regardless, I walked into my house at 2am and felt so out of place. I couldn’t get comfortable, I couldn’t relax my mind, and I definitely couldn’t sleep.
- I immediately worked two shifts back to back at Riley, on dayshift to make it feel even more foreign to me. I was busy taking care of my (awake) patients, trying to catch up with my coworkers, and struggling to stay awake myself (by consuming a coffee with 5 shots of espresso, ha…)
- I then had the weekend off to spend time with my people. Saturday I was able to get dinner with my best friends and go out downtown to celebrate two birthdays & St. Patty’s Day all in one.
- Sunday, only a little hungover, I was able to spend the day at my dad’s house with all of my siblings there. It was a perfect day, with my dad even taking the Cuda out for a drive. We fished, my dad grilled, and my stepmom brought out an ice cream cake to celebrate three birthdays. It was a day much too short.
- I then worked another two days at Riley. After my last shift, I was able to briefly play with one of my chronic patients for the last time for however long, and then had to head home. My mom made a delicious lasagna and homemade margs and invited my two best friends over again for another night of pure enjoyment and catching up.
- The following day I was able to get breakfast with my dad as our little tradition, and then spend all day (thanks to a cancelled flight) with my niece, nephews, and sister. It was perfect, and they acted as if it hadn’t been two months since I had seen their faces.
And just like that, the next morning I got up at 3am to leave for my rescheduled flight. It was such a short and busy week, I barely had time to think, let alone see everyone I wish I could have.
My dad had warned me before that after working some place for however long, that home wouldn’t feel like home. And he was so right. I’m not sure if it is because I was at home so briefly, because my mom has been living at my house, or because all my comfort items were in Seattle. But I actually felt more at ease when I got off the light rail in Capitol Hill, even after a 7.5 hour delay and having to pull my suitcase all the way up the hill.
I also felt fifteen again, having to constantly figure out how I was going to get a ride some place. I literally rode with 6 different people to get everywhere, in just a week’s time. So thank you to my family and BFFs for being willing to drive me around. Also a special thank you to my momma for making all three of my favorite meals during the week, I ate SO MUCH trying to enjoy every bit of ’em.
I am so thankful for the time I did get to spend with my people. And honestly, I am thankful for the awkward feeling returning to Indy as well. I’m growing and changing as a person, and that’s going to be uncomfortable. At one point in a conversation with my dad, he asked when I was going back to Seattle. I responded “I fly back home on Wednesday.” It wasn’t an intentional use of the word, but he immediately reacted “this is your home.” I am thankful for this opportunity to move around the country and call different places ‘home’ for a little while, but despite that, Indy will always be my true home.
I am anxiously awaiting my next trip in June, and hoping with a little more time, I’ll be able to actually feel at home and see more of my friends and family. See you then. <3