New York, New York

October 14, 2008

I just found a bunch of old missionary companions and friends on Facebook.  In all of their profile pictures they are either with their wife or their children or both.  If that doesn’t sum up how far off the prescribed path I’ve gone since returning from Russia…

Making the Rounds

October 4, 2008

I’ve been doing my best to make the rounds with people before I leave on the 14th.  This has meant coffees, lunches, and dinners with people.  I’m sure I won’t be able to see everyone before I go, but that might be a good thing because it’s really depressing.  Afterward I just feel sad that I’m leaving these people.  Not that I saw many of them on a very frequent basis, but at least they were close.  

I know a lot of people, but the number that I consider to be friends is much smaller and the number that I consider to be close friends is smaller still.  I do think that moving away will really shake off the dead weight, although it sounds horrible to say that.  I think that those friends that want to stay in touch will, but many will be too busy.  Not that that is a bad thing.  We all have to prioritize our time and divide it among the people we want to spend time with.  One of things I do though, is every so often I will go through my phone and call people I haven’t spoken to in awhile to check up on them and see how they’re doing.  

One of the things I’ve noticed about friends that have stuck with me over the years is that, no matter how close we are geographically, they always call me back.  They may not call back the same day I call them, or even the same week or month, but they do eventually get around to calling back.  Of course, these calls I’m making aren’t emergent in nature, that would require a quick call back, they’re just an effort to stay connected despite time and space.  I think it’s important to stay connected to the people you care about, especially if you are about to move across the country where you hardly know anyone.

Going Your Way

October 3, 2008

I am just bracing for my world to explode.  Whenever things are going the way I want them to I start to freak out that everything is going to be pulled out from under me.  This morning I woke up to a voicemail from my new job asking me to call them back.  Immediately my mind went to the thought that they were calling to tell me never mind about that job offer.  Lots of deep breathing and a returned phone call later I discovered that they were actually calling to try and schedule something with me when I get back to New York.  

As I sit here typing I’m wondering why I think things will suddenly not go my way.  I don’t know if it’s related to my religious upbringing and being taught that I wouldn’t be happy unless I lived according to Mormon principles.  I mean, I’ve never been happier or at more peace in my life, and it all started when I came out and accepted myself for who I am.  I’ve written before, when you’re taught something so earnestly as a child it’s hard to reshape your mind.  It’s easy to slip into the well-worn grooves of your brain rather than working to form new, better-educated, ways of thinking.  But these feelings may also have something to do with the opportunity filled life I’ve had.  When I lived in Russia I struggled quite a bit with the disparity in the quality of life between myself (and all Americans) as compared to much of the rest of the world.  We have a lot of freedom, pleasure, convenience, and opportunity here that isn’t seen in much of the world.  I’ve never felt like I deserved it any more than anyone else on this planet.  It’s not so much that I feel unworthy of it, because I believe everyone should have the same rights and opportunities, it’s that I don’t know why I have it and another person doesn’t.  So maybe that has something to do with why I sometimes fear it all flying out the window.  

Anyway, that last paragraph was some real-time thinking out loud.  Take it for what you will.  On another note I booked my one-way ticket back to New York for October 14th.  I’m feeling all sorts of emotions about that, but maybe I’ll babble on about that subject another time.  Right now I need to get ready to go meet my friend Angel and her daughter for lunch.  I’m doing my best to make the rounds with people before I leave.

Guy Things

October 1, 2008

Recently, and by recently I mean today, I read a profile online where the man stated that he was into guys that were into “guy things.”  What does that mean?  Because I know there are people in this country that would not consider two men kissing to fall under the category of “guy things.”  But I bet that the gay man that wrote that in his profile wouldn’t agree with them.  

Now, I know what he is trying to say, but I can’t help but feel that when gay men say things like that they just come across sounding homophobic and self-hating.  The fact of the matter is that by somebody’s standards we all do guy and girl things.  The goal, as I see it, is to discover and embrace the person you are.  And when it comes to dating, the beautiful thing is, everyone can find someone that accepts them regardless of what “girl things” they like to do and what “guy things” they like to do.

(This post won’t be of much interest to anyone that isn’t looking for a job as a new graduate nurse in NYC.)

I did want to write about the experience of the job hunt as a new graduate nurse looking for work in NYC.  My reference points for this are mostly based in Utah, where the nurse recruiters were all over the new graduates.  Most of my friends started working on temporary licenses as soon as they’d finished the degree but before they’d taken their boards.  

My understanding of New York is that as a new graduate you can start working even without a temporary license if you graduated from an accredited NY nursing program. – Of course, keeping that job is dependent upon your successfully passing your nursing boards within a designated amount of time. – Also, as you might expect, there are a lot of nursing schools in the New York area.  These factors make it more difficult to find a position if you are coming from out of state.  

Ultimately I had to travel to New York to find a job.  I tried to do it from Utah, but it was difficult to get a hold of the nurse recruiter that you wanted to talk to, and they are so busy!  Being there, standing in their office makes it a lot harder from them to brush you off by telling you that they’ll call you if they have something for you.  Mind you, a lot of them still say this, even to your face, but you have better odds of them actually considering a position for you if you’re standing there.  

I did a lot of cold calls and walked into a lot of hospitals like I actually had business being there.  My goal was to just get into the the recruiting offices – Do you have an appointment?  No, I just need to drop something off.  But do you have an appointment?  No, I just need to drop something off.  OK, it’s up on the 4th floor… – There was a lot of acting like I knew what I was doing and a little bit of playing naive to get myself through the door.   

It was my opinion that if I could just get an interview with the nurse manager I would be offered the job.  Of course, this might not have actually been the case, but that’s the opinion I have of my abilities and what I have to offer.  Fortunately for my self-esteem, the interview was in fact followed by the job offer.  Identity crisis averted.    

I have a friend that I graduated with that also went to NYC looking for a job.  Her trip was not a success.  I think she is planning on just getting a job here in SLC and then going to NY as a travel nurse (which is a better financial deal, anyway.)  In Utah she has her pick of the department she wants to work in.  I thought about this approach for myself when I was afraid the NY job wouldn’t pan out, but this approach would require me to spend at least another year in Utah.  I love Utah, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I’ve reached a life-plateau here and I still want to go higher.  I can do travel nursing later if I want, right now I want to live in NYC.  

There is a nursing shortage in this country.  It’s only going to get worse in the coming years.  But so far I’ve decided that the time this shortage is felt the least is July-October after the wave of new graduates enters the workforce.  If you want a new graduate nursing position in New York City then get there in May or June when there are more spots available and they are full on in the mode of new graduate hiring.  But no matter when you get there, it’s still possible to get a job, you just have to be willing to do the foot work.

Swinging in Central Park

September 30, 2008

I posted some of the pictures I took in Central Park last week, but here is a video I took that same day.  I went to the park with my friend Mark, he sort of acted like my tour guide.  We ended up on the swings.  I can’t remember the last time I was on a swing.  But, unlike this time, I do remember that the last time I was on a swing I didn’t start to get motion sickness.  

Anyway, after I uploaded and watched the video I noticed that Mark was on the phone when I was taking the video.  So that’s the audio you get with this video.  I’m afraid I am still unaccustomed with handling videos on the computer so these videos are my first attempt at incorporating this type of thing into my blog.  I expect that in the future it should improve slightly.  

Here is one more video I took on our walk through Central Park.  It was a Saturday and the weather was perfect.  Central Park is New York City, so hopefully these videos and the pictures I took help with whatever your mental image of the place might be.  

Makes me laugh

September 30, 2008

This is a video I took of my nephew playing a video game on the computer.  Notice how he uses his whole body.  I think boys can relate to this method of playing video games better than girls can.  

Bagels and Jobs

September 26, 2008

I accepted the job I was offered on Wednesday.  I also discovered what I get to stress and worry about now that I’ve found a job; finding a place to live.  But I keep telling myself that it will work out.  After all, everything else has.  

I also had my first NYC bagel today.  It was from a little hole-in-the-wall place near where I’m staying.  I’d heard good things about NYC bagels but I’d never tried them.  I searched for the best bagels in the city and sure enough there is a list, and I’ll let  you know when I try one of the bagels places written about, but for now I just tried a standard shop.  It was very good.  They say it’s the NYC tap water that gives the bagels their distinctive deliciousness, I think that might be true.  I’ll do more research and get back to you.  

Tomorrow I head back to Salt Lake, where I expect to spend about two weeks making the rounds and wrapping things up there before returning to NYC to try and find a place and settle in before I start work.  This whole process hasn’t been happening on my timetable (unless you count the timetable I gave myself this week to find a job,) but it really is happening.  I’m very excited.

Job Hunt Update

September 24, 2008

Whew!  A little quiet on the blog front.  I’ve been busy looking for a job and having a good time here in New York.  And, if things would have come out to failure I didn’t really feel the need to document every step of that journey.  I am happy to report that after a lot of foot/phone/email work I have one job offer and an interview at a second hospital tomorrow.  Let’s just say that there was a lot of acting like I knew what I was doing as I walked, unannounced and uninvited, into a lot of nurse recruiting offices.  Of course, the paranoid freak side of me is afraid that tomorrow the bottom of the world is going to fall out and that job offer will be rescinded.  But don’t worry, I keep talking myself back down into a more logical reality.  Now, if I were a banker it might be harder to find that logical reality, but thankfully, I am not.  

I’ll write more about the job hunt later, but here are a few pictures:

Sheep's Meadow - Central Park


Bow Bridge - Central Park

Reflection - Central Park

 

 

Bethesda Fountain - Central Park

Bethesda Fountain - Central Park

 

Belvedere Castle - Central Park

Belvedere Castle - Central Park

 

Turtle Pond/View from Belvedere Castle - Central Park

Turtle Pond/View from Belvedere Castle - Central Park

 

Empire State Building from 5th Ave and about 28th Street

Empire State Building from 5th Ave and about 28th Street