It was 10 years ago this week that I started my 5000 km journey to California.
I worked with a recruitment company and after the painful processs of becoming qualified to work in the USA, I was on my way! I had accepted a 13 week assignment in the city of Torrance, working as an RN in the neonatal intensive care unit.
I drove down with my parents, and had to make many stops along the way. Setting up a bank account in Great Falls, applying for social security in Reno, paying for my RN license in Sacremento.
Eventually I made it to my little apartment in Hermosa Beach. Pretty sweet deal, I had a furnished apartment paid for by the recruiters. just a couple blocks from the beach. It was fantastic.
My parents flew home a few days later, and I was on my own. For the first time ever, I was truly by myself. Some people thought I was crazy for moving to a strange city all alone. Some said I’d be lonely. I had never lived alone before this time, and I was ready to enjoy every minute. I also felt ok meeting new people, so I looked forward to forcing myself to go out and make friends.
I worked straight nights at my job, and I absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic hospital. The NICU was great. Staff were super and I loved the way it was run. (This eventually led to me leaving the NICU in Saskatoon, because it just couldn’t compare).
I was having a great time. I was able to make friends, work, save a lot of money, and have a lot of fun! When my 13 week assignment was up, I decided to head home for the summer, and return in the fall for a new contract at the same hospital.
Upon return I worked the same unit, still nights. This time I lived in the city of Redondo beach. I loved living in these beach communities. So casual and fun, and LA craziness was just close enough to visit from time to time.
I stayed for another 9 months or so. Travel nursing was such a wonderful experience, and one of the best decisions I ever made. I began to grow a little sad with the temporary life style though. Friends came and went in 3 month increments. I dated a bit, but nothing ever seemed to have long term potential.
Deep down I knew I wouldn’t live there forever, but it was still so hard to leave. A lot of people think I’m crazy for ever leaving, but I feel my timing was just right. I was in my 20’s and had a great time. Eventually, the parties would have died. The night shift life would have caught up with me. The crazy friends all settled down.
So now I can remember the experience, and I can still feel like a cool kid and say “well, when I lived in California….”
I have been doing a little more old diary reading. I’ve just been so nostalgic lately. I think I just feel time is going so fast, I don’t want to forget who I was.
I’m not a huge Taylor Swift fan, but her song “fifteen’ can bring tears to my eyes. Somehow this song just really brings to life the wonder of being fifteen and being in amazement of everything happening to you for the first time. I really like these verses. I can’t tell you how many nights I twirled and danced in my room after a date with a boy I really liked.
“And then you’re on your very first date and he’s got a car
And you’re feeling like flying
And your mamma’s waiting up
And you’re thinking he’s the one
And you’re dancing ’round the room when the night ends, when the night ends
‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen and your first kiss makes your head spin around
But in your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team
But I didn’t know it at fifteen”
Now let me be clear, I was a very naive, immature, childish, defensive teenager for the most part. But I didn’t know I was those things. That’s truely the beauty of youth, you don’t know what you don’t know.
However, I did have little snippets of wisdom. I was happily surprised at myself. This was an entry from March of 1995. I was 16, and mad about a boy I liked who didn’t like me. (this happened a lot).
So true. Yes, boyfriend heartache was rough, but there is so much worse. In the 20 years since I wrote this, I’ve had my heart broken in more ways than I ever thought possible. But I’ve also felt more joy than I knew existed.
Here’s another great quote from the same song.
“When all you wanted was to be wanted
Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now”
And here’s another little diary entry from March 1999. I was 20, and just finishing my second year of nursing. I was having one of those nights. I was trying to figure out who I was and where I was going.
Oh, and I felt ‘old’. At 20. 20!
It actually feels good to go back and read all this. Even if some of it is laughable now. I was so boy crazy. I just shake my head, it’s kind of embarrassing. But its who I was. Who I am. Maybe when I’m 60, I’ll read this blog… and wish I could talk to that young new mom, and tell her to just enjoy everything.
I don’t know why, but I thoroughly enjoy old TV crime dramas from the 80’s.
The plots were easy to follow, the special effects were laughable, but every once in awhile the story line was really good!
I can remember being a little kid and watching Hart to Hart with my mom. I recently found this classic on Netflix, and I just finished the entire series. Here’s a summary of the show.
Hart to Hart
When I worked in California about 10 yeas ago, I did straight nights. I would get home about 7:45 am. I found an awesome channel that showed Magnum PI at 8, and Quincy ME at 9.
I love Magnum. I’ve watched the entire 8 seasons. If for some strange reason, you’ve never heard of this great show, here’s some info for you. Magnum pi
I’m also a big Tom Selleck fan. I think he played the character very well. Many layers to Thomas Magnum.
I quite enjoyed Quincy as well, but unfortunately I often fell asleep watching it. However I love medical dramas, and the cases were really interesting. Even if the show was dated, the medical stuff stays the same. I remember one great episode that focused on botulism. I have to find Quincy on line or get some DVDs, and catch a few more. Here’s the synopsis. Quincy
Here’s an entry from my old diary. I was 19 when this was written. I had been at a local bar , where i spent a lot of my time. The boy in question was a bouncer at said bar. I have no idea where he is now, nothing ever came of him and I. But at the time, it was a very important night in my life. Somehow, coming home tipsy and writing in a journal was really fun!