Thursday, October 20, 2016

Comedic Relief?

I got a friend request on Facebook the other day from someone I didn't recognize. Looking through the little bit that was shown on their profile without us being friends, left me still confused as to who this person was.

I looked at the birthday and it matched Exfiance's birthday day, but it showed a different year... I looked at the name and the first name was his, but the last had been changed... There was only a profile picture taken through a windshield looking out onto fields of wild grass, and a cover photo of a motorcycle. I did not recognize the vehicle in the profile picture, nor did I recognize the motor cycle.

Something about the friend request struck me as odd, from the very beginning. As I did my short little search, more and more pointed to this being an obviously fake account, likely set up by A**hole Exfiance.

I never imagined his search for me would ever cease. I'm sure he's curious about what I'm doing, where I am, and how I'm doing without him.

You know what? I'm doing just fine right now, besides the stress of the fucking flu shot and minor stresses that plague every newly graduated college student (bills, chores, student loans, new job, etc). I have bouts of memories, but the L-rd brings me peace. I have struggles with insecurities, still, but I am also more confident than I think I've been in my whole life.

G-d is restoring me from the shell of a person I was a mere year ago, or even 4 months ago. He is filling in the cracks with gold and showing the bits of value I always had.

Praise the L-rd I'm smarter than I look. I can't believe he thought I would be so stupid that I would accept a friend request from 1) someone I didn't know, 2) that someone has his same first name and birthday and 3) pictures that do not show who the account is for... for real dumbass? You think I'm that dumb? After I went to the police, around your back, filed the report, called you on a recorded line, and broke up with you 4 times... while learning how to block you on every communication line you thought you could use. After all of that you think I'm going to be dumb enough to accept your dumbass, non-creative, completely unhidden friend request just because it has a different last name and different birth year?

Good heavens.

Annual Flu Shot

I understand the point of vaccines. Many of them save lives and provide some sort of protection from the billions of diseases that plague the earth at this point in time.


I am against mandated vaccinations for all people, and I'm against flu vaccines.

Polio is no longer killing all of our children in America each year. They say the polio vaccine got it under control and nearly eradicated it.

Flu, on the other hand, is not going to get wiped out from some dumb ass vaccine that hasn't shown proven efficacy. Getting the flu shot does not mean you are immune from the flu for that year, nor does it guarantee that you will not spread it to someone else when you do get sick.

Plus, the vaccines we get each year are fighting last year's strains and have little to do with protecting against the strains being passed around for this season. Which, makes the vaccine essentially useless. USELESS.

When hospitals mandate the flu vaccine for all of their nurses, they simply offer it to the patients. The patients can refuse with no backlash, but nurses/doctors/employees are either fired or forced to wear a surgical mask. If the flu vaccine so important, shouldn't patients be forced to protect everyone else the way nurses/doctors/employees are forced to? Should they be strong-armed into getting the fucking vaccine as well? If it's so important, that is...

I also understand that it is something that Medicare/Medicaid is forcing on hospitals saying that if they do not have over 90% of their staff receiving the flu vaccine, then the funding will be decreased, though I've heard the decrease is a mere 2%. Hey hospitals, if you take the 2% hit, I'm sure your staff would be willing to bust their assess to go raise money in the community or take a slight paycheck cut of a dollar or two. Or, like you do everything else, just up the price for all of us patients. Isn't that not how it goes when the men in the offices at the top want a raise?

I get the Tdap (redone for nursing school), I got the MMR, I got all of the Hep B and children vaccines when I was a kid, and I hope that those vaccines actually help. I didn't get measles, I didn't get mumps, I didn't die of polio, and I have not yet gotten lock jaw and died from a rusty nail. L-rd willing I don't have Hep B... I'm not turning yellow. However, the flu comes to most of us each year. They don't have a vaccine for colds... Is that next? Why not get vaccines or, better yet, cures for diseases that actually plague and kill people. Put funding into the cure for HIV/AIDS, cure herpes, cure fucking cancer! The flu vaccine is a waste of time and funding. But, that was the point, wasn't it?

It was a vaccine developed to not actually promise to eradicate any disease. It's something they could make sound really important, and make it sound like it would save millions of lives each year, while not actually having to be measured in order to prove it's worth. It's something that makes Big Pharma billions of dollars annually because they got Medicare/Medicaid on board in order to literally force and coerce every hospital into forcing and coercing all of their employees into compliance.

It's like the EpiPen bullshit where that lady jacked up the price for EpiPens from $100 to $600, for an absolutely medically necessary and life saving medicine. Where did the money go? You guessed it, most of it went into the lady's pocket in the form of a huge salary increase.

Exactly what Big Pharma is doing with mandating flu vaccines.

Where are the protests? Where are the fights? Where are the nurses who are willing to stand up and refuse this fucking vaccine? Together we could stop this, but everyone is too lazy and too scared to send in the little piece of paper to refuse the vaccine. If enough of us refused, there's no way they could fire us all. Especially for those of us in small towns, where both hospitals in the town share the same batch of nurses because most nurses have 2 jobs.

Y'all, Ontario did it! One of the nursing unions of Ontario Canada fought the flu vaccines and stated that forcing nurses to wear a mask after refusing the vaccine was a violation of patient privacy because the masks are used for shaming the employees who refuse the vaccine. Masks then lead to patient questions and harassment by other employees and doctors. *All of which I have experienced in my short time I've been a health care worker (starting with being a CNA at the Alzheimer's home)*

So now I stand on the edge of losing my job or pumping solutions into my body that I absolutely do not agree with. Solutions that have been shown to cause early onset Alzheimer's and fertility problems. Solutions that have no proven desired effects. That benefit to risk ratio is pretty abysmal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


A beautiful perk to working at a small hospital is being able to ask to cross-train into other units without getting hired on with them as a PRN employee. I asked about a week ago to be able to start training on Postpartum or Labor and Delivery. For those of you that work L&D, or many others of you, y'all know how many certifications and training you have to have in order to be able to be an L&D nurse. As such, I was told that it was too difficult to train a nurse as an L&D RN, unless they are willing to work there full time. Seeing as I am absolutely content and excited to be full-time in NICU, I was completely okay with not doing L&D and sticking with postpartum.

Last night, turns out it was the perfect time to ask to cross-train because we had a low census last night! I showed up, scrubbed in, and looked at my assignment sheet only to find that "Hey, you've been floated to Postpartum!" "Hey, alright! I'll see y'all later!" I said cheerily as I walked my butt right back out that door and down the hall to L&D.

Y'all, I was mildly aprehensive about working on PP (postpartum), because my clinical experience in that area absolutely sucked. I was laughed at, to my face, for a few of my rookie mistakes. Now, keep in mind that this was my first night of clinicals on postpartum, that particular night, and I also didn't make a big deal about anything, I was simply asking for an experienced set of eyes.

The thing I wanted them to see? Well, I wanted a nurse to look at a baby I was checking on because the mom asked why the kid was purple. I did a short assessment to make sure the child was warm and not seeming like it was fixin' to go meet Jesus. Then I calmly (it was a fake calm for the mama's sake), walked to the nurses station and said something to the effect of, "So, know that this is my first day on this unit and the child looks fine. However, the mom is wondering why the baby is purple."

Legit, this is damn near exactly what I said.

Apparently the disclaimer that came before the "purple baby" part didn't matter at all because two nurses jumped up and legit ran into the room. I get it, they were concerned. They checked the kid out and decidedly told me, and everyone else on the fucking floor, that the baby's color was simply due to the purple pain on the wall reflecting back onto the baby. So, in order to fix said problem, the baby should be looked at with the room lighting fully on. Okay, makes sense. 

I apologized profusely and they told me it was no big deal and that they would rather run into a room because of a concern or question I had, than for me or anybody else to keep quiet about anything. They said this a mere 5 seconds before recounting the story to my clinical instructor and every single person that made their presence within 25 feet of them. As they told the story (incorrectly, I might add, as they embellished different things with each retelling), and proceeded to point at me and laugh. I shit you not. They seriously pointed at me and laughed.

For nurses who I listened bitch about constantly being short-staffed because they could not retain any of their new-hires, whether new grads or transfers from other hospitals/counties/states, they seriously made fun of a nursing student right in front of her face. And to their coworker who just so happened to be the nursing student's clinical instructor! SERIOUSLY!!! And you ladies wonder why nobody wants to join you on your floor... really? You have no fucking clue? Can I clue you in any???!!!???

Regardless, I survived the day and never had to go back to that stupid floor. It did, however, turn me off to the idea of working in postpartum.

...Until I came here. I met the postpartum nurses and talked to Mema, who was a postpartum nurse when they were short-staffed, and I decided to at least try it. Even if I hated the job, I figure it's something to help me in case I ever have to be floated somewhere, so I can work instead of being sent home, without pay, for a low census of NICU babies.

You know what? I actually ended up loving the night. I had a great nurse who is normally in the Newborn Nursery. So, once we were finished with our first assessment, we went back to the nursery and snuggled babies who were waiting until their feeding times, so their moms could sleep as much as possible during the night. It was beautiful! Plus, I found some gals to come out dancing with me!!! Since the NICU girls don't want to go line-dancing... and they don't actually seem to want to do a whole lot of dancing at all... I found some people to go with me!

Don't get me wrong, I will still do my absolute best to hang out with the NICU girls, doing what it is they want to do. I really do want to be able to spend time with them, get to know them, and bond with them so that we can all have some support on this tough road. However, I still have some desires to go out dancing and go to the country music places, and even have a few drinks every once in awhile! Goodness, I'm not looking to get blacked out drunk, but I want to enjoy a couple drinks with some fun girls, out in a place where I can dance in a line with a whole bunch of other single girls that I don't know from Eve. I can't explain it, but I'm not ready to leave that part of college life just yet. It's a good stress relief for me and I will stick to my rule about not giving my number out at bars.

For goodness sake, I'm in a place with a lot of southern guys and I just want to dance with a few of these great smelling, cutie pie guys. Is that a crime?

Long story short, I am working on getting cross-trained in Postpartum. I thought I would hate it, but it ended up being a lovely surprise, especially if I need to be floated. Plus, maybe they will let me pick up some extra shift PRN!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Don't Let the Stories Die

I recently found myself making lists of things I wanted to do. I was making lists because I was terribly bored and attempting to find fun things to do in town. Also, the lists get my mind to focus on something other than Netflix for a couple hours every once in a while.

During this list-making obsession, I decided I needed to read some "fun" books again. Oh how I love to read!... for fun. Give me a textbook about med/surg nursing and I will either fall asleep the moment it is opened or decide that my house, my mom's house, my brother's frat house, and every single vehicle in my line of vision needs to be cleaned spotless. I'm not normally a tidy or clean person, so you can see how "Pulling a Monica" (I know it's used incorrectly from how Friends uses it, but you know what I mean... she's the clean freak!) would be quite worrisome for my friends and family.

So, after my unit meeting today, I went off and signed myself up at the library. We have a surprising number of libraries in town (5-6) considering how small this town is. Even College Town didn't have this many and it was a bigger city! Anywho, I picked up some books after not finding the ones I was after. While wondering through the many isles of unopened adventures and make-believe lands, my eye caught on a book by Sally Hepworth called The Secrets of Midwives. Naturally, this sounds like a book I need to read! Does it not?

I began the book when I woke from a nap at midnight and I'm already halfway done with it at 0500. This author is an incredible writer and the story really has me engaged. I can imagine myself in each of the lives it depicts, and as being the midwife in these situations. By the way, the book is about a grandmother, mom, and granddaughter; three generations of women who are all midwives and how their various life circumstances intertwine.

What I was not expecting, however, is an underlying story plot of domestic violence. Which, of course, brought me crashing back to earth, to reality, to my story.

When I read, or journal, or blog for that matter, I often find myself wishing I were better at writing so that I could write books. I want desperately to somehow have my story mean something. For the things I lived through to make a greater impact on the world than people hearing I am recovering from rape, domestic violence, and the complex PTSD that followed. I want people to be able to somehow find hope and perhaps be able to avoid situations like mine, by reading or hearing about my story.

I don't want my circumstances and memories to simply fade away and die with me. I figure, if someone has to survive shit like this, those stories need to be remembered and used as warnings for others before it's too late. Before they say yes to a date that they should be wary of. Before they get in to deep with a person who is digging in their evil tentacles from the very moment they meet. Before a person even begins dating, way back in middle school, so they are taught what is absolutely not okay so that the next generations of children have some sort of hope of having higher standards for what dating and love is actually supposed to be, not the sick and twisted version I and so many other have to suffer through.

Today my desire to continue on to be a Nurse Midwife is stronger than ever, as is my desire to potentially find a way to tell my story in a fictional way. Maybe, BedpanAlley could be a published writer of both midwifery, neonatal care, and fictional books someday... Y'all, it'll take a miracle, but how many other miracles have occurred already for me? I'm not even supposed to be here today.

Folks, regardless of where you are in your journey, or whether we walk similar paths or not, I think some of our hardest sufferings, along with our greatest triumphs, deserve to be remembered. Think about maybe keeping a journal to chronicle such events. Perhaps I'm overly sentimental, or odd, or whatever, but I don't think such things should die with us. I enjoy listening or reading about the things my grandparents got to experience, and I often listen with a heavy heart as they explain the pains hey endured. However, it brings a sense of understanding and greater closeness between us. It also helps the new generations not forget the happenings of the past. We lose so much by not looking back. Look at midwifery and obstetrical care: many providers have lost the ability to deliver breech presenting babies. We've lost the basic knowledge of how to build fires and keep them banked for the night so that we don't freeze in our sleep... Many of us have lost the ability to hunt, or if we do hunt we don't do it without a gun or pre-made, specialized bow. Moral of the story: you have stories, don't let them die with you. Tell them to someone who will pass them on or write them in a journal. We don't necessarily need to pass on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, but pass on the deep, meaningful and very real occurrences, both happy and sad, that occur in your life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

First Solo Night

Y'all, I had my first solo night as a NICU RN the other night! I survived it!!! But folks, it was frickin' rough.

Even with them knowing I am a brand-new nurse and had been on orientation the night before... they gave me 3 of the "easier" babies, all with things I have not had to deal with yet with a preceptor and HAD NO FUCKING CLUE HOW TO HANDLE ON MY OWN.

I was talking with a girl who was helping me out, and she asked how my night was going, 2 hours into the shift. I told her good, then explained to her I was given an 8:30 feeder and two 9 o'clock feeders. She legit looked at me and said, "get used to getting terrible assignments for awhile, it happens to everyone."

In a joking matter I laughed and asked, "is it like hazing the new kid?" with a smile and a slight look of fear... to which she responded, "yeah, a little."

Now, I get trying to get me new experiences, and giving me easy babies. Okay, I get it. But if you look at the feeding schedule and avoid giving all of the other, experienced nurses babies that all need to feed at the same time, why the fuck would you give a brand-new nurse all babies that need attention at the same time her first night by herself? Seriously.

For those of you who don't know, feeding times in the NICU are important. Those are the times when you do assessments, get labs, bath, and care for the kid, then feed them. The feeding is supposed to start at their designated feeding time and all cares should be completed before then.

My 8:30 was a kid that was needing to room-in with the parents so that if the parents had any issues during that process, they would have help literally across the hall.

One of my 9:00 feeders was brand new that day, and a train-wreck because not all of her admission labs had been done upon admission, then the NP decided later in the day (like 5 hours later) that hey, maybe getting blood cultures and the other normal admission labs should be collected, just in case. So, day-shift nurse left those for me to do... Now, I'm getting better at regular labs where you just do a heal stick an milk their little foot. The blood culture labs require an IV stick, leaving the catheter in the vein, then aspirating blood drop by drop into a 10 mL syringe to ensure that it is not contaminated with the bacteria from the skin. This is a super scary way to draw labs, and mighty tedious. However, baby veins are so little that you can't just use a butterfly needle or draw blood the way one can on adults or even children. Yes, drawing labs this way is as irritating and tedious as it sounds. Add in the fact that I haven't gotten an IV stick since the very first one I placed on day 2 of orientation, and it stresses me out to no end.

My other 9:00 feeder is truly a feeder-grower. His parents know how to do all cares and he eats really fast. He knows what he's doing and, honestly, I'm not entirely certain why he isn't able to go home yet. But hey, I'm new, so they must be keeping him around for something.

On top of normal cares, me freaking out, and work needing to be completed, we have to get baby weights on night shift. In order to do so, all 20-30 babies are weighed using 1 of 2 scales, unless they happen to be so small that they have a bed with a bed scale.

I had just finished my first assessment when ALL of the parents showed up for ALL of my kids. I needed to do a bunch of paperwork and teaching for the parents who needed to room-in, then get them over to their hospital room for the night. One dad came in with his mom to hold his daughter for the first time since her early birth from emergency c-sections (the kid I still needed to draw labs on...), and the other parents for my second 9:00 feeding showed up and started in on cares and feeding for that baby.

Meanwhile, the charge nurse is asking where I'm at, I had time to only poke my head into each baby's room before I got caught up in the new kids room with a very nervous but sweet dad. The parents waiting to be able to room-in were working on feeding their kid, but ended up having to wait 30 minutes after he was done eating in order for me to get back to help them. And, my sweet parents for my last baby's feeding took care of everything except for weighing their baby, which I put off until the last feeding.

The charge nurse found me, and seemed to get mildly upset with the fact that I wasn't able to be in all three rooms at the same time, but started to help me with delegation and getting other nurses to help with the rooming-in training and whatnot.

Looking back on it now, I can see that feeding the newbie kid should have waited a little bit and I should have gotten labs drawn on the kid when I had a little bit of time before parents showed up. However, I have seen the super-experienced nurses have tons of days like that and I think I handled it pretty fuckin' well. I taught the new dad a lot, and answered all of his questions. I let the parents that knew what they were doing get time with their baby and kept checking in on them instead of just disappearing, and I was able to find a time to sneak away from patient's in order to ask for help. Plus, I was given a difficult assignment that even the day nurse, who has been a NICU nurse for like 15 years, changed as soon as she got in and got report. Now I know I can ask to change it.

I survived my first solo night as a NICU RN. I got done everything I needed to get done, though some was a little bit late. I got a kid a bath, who was in desperate need to be bathed, and he gave me good-smelling baby snuggles with each feeding. I offered help when I had the time, and worked my ass off all night. I organized the beds, talked with all of the parents, and did all that I could, while fending for myself. I was a difficult night and some newbie mistakes were made, but people helped me and went to bat for me once they determined I am willing of their time and effort. I thanked people up one side and down the other to make sure they know I am appreciative of their help. I left in the morning feeling tired, and a little bit defeated, but now that I think back on it, I did an amazing job for a brand-new nurse with only 2 weeks of night time orientation and 12 weeks over-all orientation.

There will be many nights where I will feel way worse because of everything getting crazy busy and hectic all at the same time. There will be days I mess up really bad and need someone to bail me out. There will be difficult parents, babies who are not wanting to fight to live anymore, and times where I feel like a complete failure. For me, I have only had one job where I left and didn't care what happened at work: IT. Working IT left me dreading going to work and counting down the minutes until I left. When I was a cashier in high school, I was so invested in my work that I was constantly trying to improve and do better than I was the day before. In being a CNA, both in the Alzheimer's facility and as a patient sitter in the hospital, I left each day either elated and accomplished or feeling sad/defeated/frustrated/upset. Leaving clinicals was a similar experience for me.

My upset/defeated days come from thinking I could have done something vastly different to lead to a much better outcome than what happened. This can be from interactions with patients, their family, nurses, or any number of the medical staff. It might come from a day when I have no help and the full fuckin' moon is up along with every person with some sore of behavioral issue (both temporary and chronic), or it may come from a day where I am perpetually behind because of something happening at the beginning of the shift.

My happy days come from knowing I did as much as I could. Or from a patient/family member telling me how much I helped them that day. Occasionally, it'll come from a nurse or doctor letting me know how much I helped and how much my presence was required and useful that day (did not happen but once in my 3 years of CNA experience and I didn't believe it when the nurses would tell me that during clinicals because I know I slowed them down). It also came when I had just an amazing learning or teaching experience, like getting to scrub in and assist with a surgery on my first OB clinical night!

For me, I could not handle going to a job where I didn't have emotional connection and attachment to my work. Yes, my heart and emotions are constantly on a roller coaster but, let's be real, I'm on a roller coaster all the time anyway with my bipolar episodes *ba-dum-ts* (that was supposed to be the drum and cymbal sound for when people make a joke). Ha, I made a joke.

You know what, it's true though. My whole heart has been in everything I do, even working IT, and I wouldn't have it any other way. People can tell when you're just there for money or if you actually care about what is happening. I pray my heart stays tender, that I never lose my sense of wonder, and that I am able to continually learn how to be better and care more efficiently so that everyone can feel how much I truly care for them. I never want to get a hard and jaded heart. This means I will have to endure many heartaches and a lot of pain, but I cannot imagine working for 30 years and not feeling anything for my patients or caring about people by the time I retire.

Moral of story for this post: I survived. My babies survived (thought one tried to die on me). And, to top it all off, I was one of the first ones to leave even thought I was able to keep up with all of my work and even help others with their work (as much as possible). I figured I would have been one of the last to leave and super behind all night. Woohoo!

Views On Marriage

After the post I wrote about the dating culture found in my generation, I went to church and learned sat through a whole sermon on marriage.

Let's start off by knowing that I had worked Saturday night, decided to stay awake in order to go to Sunday morning church, but needed to be sleeping in order to work Sunday night. Also remember that I need sleep more than I need oxygen. Sleep is my drug, my comfort, one of my main coping tools, and a general excitement to me at any point in time.

Sleep is important to me, that's the moral of that story.

So, instead of sleeping, that Sunday morning, I went to church (a new church to me, mind you), like a good girl... and regretted it. The pastor decided it would be a good decision to talk about marriage and why it is so important to our lives. Super.

He had 3 points, that I cannot recall at the moment, because I was mostly sitting there in zombie mode, tuning out because I was not following his sermon at all. What I did catch, however, was that we read 4-5 verses about marriage out of Genesis 5, and then we NEVER OPENED THE BIBLE OR READ ANY MORE VERSES FOR THE ENTIRE REST OF CHURCH. Instead of reading from the Good Book to talk about how G-d seems to place certain gravity on the importance of marriage, relationships, and the raising of children, the pastor used quotes from people. He used quotes from guys who have probably been dead for a few decades, but once upon a time had written some doctrinal document that is now revered as being more important that G-d's Word. Of all the frickin' subjects spoken of in the Bible, marriage is kind up there on subjects that you can find a plethora of verses for. I'm just sayin'. For the love of Pete, dude, why are you having a sermon about what mere humans have to say about what they think they want G-d to be referring to in the Word instead of simply going to the Word yourself? Ugh, it made me more angry than I probably should have been. I was sleep deprived and already riled up without throwing this on the mix.

The only plus about the church was that there were a few cute guys, but I feel like they were 1) likely already married or 2) not somebody I should be dating if I already know I don't agree with the pastor on a few subjects...

The kid I "broke up" with a couple weeks ago keeps asking me if I am going to church on Sundays. I keep reminding him that I work but that I'll get around to finding a church eventually. I don't know why everybody feels the need to tell me what I need to be doing all the time. I've been living on my own for 4 years now... if I need help I usually call mom, call dad, then ask for help if they cannot assist me. However, for the most part, I am okay with figuring out how to be an adult on my own. Of all the things I have had to learn on my own: dmv, driver's license, college financial aid nightmares..., college admission, FAFSA, car maintenance (with phone assistance from dad in many cases), renting houses/apartments, living in the dorms, getting jobs (since I was 16!)... I've done a lot on my own. Yes, I still need help occassionally and sometimes it's good to get reminders when I'm going through my depression of "hey, maybe you should remember that it's hard to motivate yourself to go to support group, but it will probably help you today." That's a nice reminder. However, harping on me to go to church continually, like several times in a week when it's already only fucking Tuesday, is not going to do anyone any good and you might end up as a patient in the ER.

Anywho, that particular Sunday, I answered his "good morning" text by letting him know I went to a church but didn't like it so the hunt was continuing on. It turned into a 15 message conversation where he kept telling me what I should be doing, which led me to getting angry but trying to stay civil while also not taking any of his shit...

I was still sleep deprived, now irritated after church, and beginning to boil with him telling me what to do repeatedly. He asked why I didn't like the church, but I never told him which one I had visited. I told him the pastor was more worried about what some silly guy wrote as a doctrine a billion years ago that he (pastor) was about what the Word actually said.

He sympathized, finally, with me then suggested I go to Church R. He said it was a solid, Biblically-based church, with great fellowship... blah, blah, blah. Then, I got to reveal to him the church I was so upset with was Church R!!!

Hahaha, oh man, that made me laugh! It was a sick and twisted thing to laugh at, now that I think back, but I finally found words to explain why some of his discussions with me frustrated me so much, without making it personal towards him. This kid is all about doctrine and quoting some dead guy, from generations past, who thinks he found this "missing meaning" in the Bible that doesn't have a whole lot of scriptural backing when the rest of the Bible is considered. It drives me crazy.

Despite this fact, he is fairly kind in our discussions, even though we believe very differently about most things. And, it's allowing me to have chances to figure out what I believe and how to explain it to others with scriptures to reference. So, in a way, it's good to have some "friendly" fights/discussions every once in a while so that I don't become stagnant in my beliefs and forget why I believe what I believe.

My views and beliefs of marriage are still similar and still perplexing to me. I called my Mom crying when I told her all of this and confessed that I feel torn between wanting marriage and feeling completely okay with being single for the rest of my life. The flip-flopping is ridiculous and giving me a headache! Not really, that was an exaggeration. I also wrestle with the timing of when/if marriage will happen for me. My mom, in her patience and wisdom has had to endure listening to me ramble on about this stuff too many times to count. She reminded me that if G-d wants me single, He will make a way that single life is okay, productive, and my life will still have abundant meaning. If, however, He so chooses to provide a husband and allow me to experience marriage, then He will orchestrate the time and person all in His infinite knowledge.

Even knowing all of these things does not always make it easier in the wait. You know what? That's okay. I've found that the things I have wanted most in this life: jobs, my car, getting into nursing school, graduating college, becoming an RN, getting a NICU job, moving away from home then moving to Small Town, and even the dog that we adopted... all of these things are things that I prayed and prayed for, had to wait for, and worked really hard for (minus the dog, mom paid for her). In all of these things, I wanted to take short-cuts, but that only led to heart-ache and unnecessary stress in my life. However, when I waited and took things slow, waiting on G-d's plan and not trying to make things happen how I wanted it, G-d gave me the desires of my heart and I am content with the outcomes because there is peace in the end result when everything is the way G-d needed it to be.

Long-winded response to remind myself to be patient.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Today's Dating Culture

I've been doing some thinking about today's "dating" culture. I know, that's sketchy business 1) for me thinking and 2) trying to analyze the culture of my generation. I've come to some sad realizations, and it makes me believe that the only way for me to end up getting married or even having a successful dating relationship will be by major miracle and some serious mountain moving/water splitting. I have no doubt the Good L-rd can do it, but it'll be interesting to see if He wants to.

  1. Guys don't know how to keep conversations except by text or meme. Even when going to coffee with a guy, I found myself trying to make conversation with someone who clearly didn't have any interest in speaking with me. Why, then, did he insist he enjoyed spending time with me and talking with me when he would end up ignoring me to look at memes on his phone? Bro, seriously, I'm right here.
  2. Boys/guys (because they are legally old enough to be "men" but not mature enough to be labeled as such) don't know how to ask a girl out. Back in the day, they would go up to a girl who caught their fancy, learn a little about them, bring the girl flowers, ask her on a date, plan said date to a T, pay for her meal, pull out her chair, hold open doors, and they would get excited about hand holding and plan how to get a hand hold worked into the date. Now, girls are expected to kiss the guy who asks "do you want to hang out?" and proceeds to meet her somewhere that she is expected to pick. Affectionate displays like hand holding, hugs, and generally kisses are expected, especially if dinner was paid for by the guy. And things like flowers, cards, sweet acts from them are not the norm, they are reserved for a year anniversary or Valentine's Day if the couple has been dating for several months before the despicable day arrives. 
  3. Texting is something that is done on a daily basis, so there is not much to talk about when the couple meets in person. Add that to the fact that guys these days don't know how to carry on a conversation or talk about anything real and this is simply a recipe for disaster and suddenly, the fact that guys spend their whole date on their phone instead of looking at the girl sitting across from them, makes much more sense. Also the text "WRYD?" (translation: "What are you doing?" We're too lazy to even type it out *facepalm*) instead of asking meaningful questions to spark an intellectual discussion, comes into play about 4 times an hour, at minimum.
  4. With no values placed on the importance of dating, having the balls to ask a girl out in person, and getting to know one another while having worth-while conversations face-to-face, it's a wonder anyone gets married these days. 
  5. Add in the prevalence of online-dating, and it becomes clear why guys are less likely to commit to one girl, why they have no guts to ask a girl out in person, and how conversations never get past the "so what's your favorite thing to do?" texts. 
Don't get me wrong, girls are helping to perpetuate all of this shit. We make it too easy on guys, by not expecting anything more of them, by not demanding respect and by not waiting ourselves for hand-holding, hugs, and kisses. We have become so addicted to the feel good hormones that accompany such acts, that we refuse to put off that sensation when we meet a new fella. Therefore, we are always chasing the rush instead of finding a guy that is ready to commit to a relationship, and we are often not even wanting to commit because we "fall out of love". Instead, it turns out we merely "fell out" of infatuation because love was never a destination we understood how to get to.

In a culture of instant gratification, looking for deals, expecting life to turn out like a fucking Disney Princess movie, and nobody taking responsibility for their own actions, we have lost the art of dating. What chance do we stand to have a life-long marriage to a high-school sweetheart? What hope do we have to even find someone to marry for any longer than about 6 months to a year? There are online dating sites targeted to help married men find someone to cheat on their wife with. There are countless websites aimed at helping people to find meaningless "relationships" in order to merely have a one-night stand. Even dating websites targeted at "helping" those of a religious background find others with a similar mindset are being used for evil people to find the purest members of a particular faith in order to target them for sexual violence or to try to snatch them away from G-d. Don't tell me it doesn't happen, I know it does.

So, with the cowards that we have become, the inability to tear ourselves from our fucking screens, and the loss of understanding what dating and marriage is supposed to look like, how is there any chance for anyone from this generation to find what G-d intended marriage to look like?