25: Farewell to the "young" in "young adult"

Tomorrow I turn 25.
Somewhere between college, a dog, a marriage, the start of my career, a few thousand laughs, and some beautifully cultivated relationships, something terrible happened. 
I'm almost never late, but in this instance I lost track of time. The only statement that comes to mind is, "what the fuck?".
Not very literature worthy, I'm aware.
I would say that this is a quarter life crisis, but the chances of me living to 100 are slim. depressing.
I'm half way to 50. sickening.
Young Adult: 18 – 24 years of age.            Bye Felicia.
The inevitability of my birthday has left me a little consumed. It’s been two years since I graduated college and seven since I graduated high school. Actors and actresses and singers and boy bands and celebrities are younger than I am. When did that happen?
My life played out like some dusty photo album on the coffee table. Tomorrow will mark the start of another year of dreams, ambitions, regret, loss, and what I can hope wi…

Donor 5##

I am up to do just about anything for some extra cash. Over the last 6 years, on top of sipping a lot of caffeine to support my overtime habit, it would not be abnormal to find me in a blood donation chair twice a week donating plasma for beer money or spending weekends in a facility where generic medication was tested on me for the price of couple thousand dollars which paid for my wedding and a trip to Africa. I am a slave to the almighty dollar. Money makes the world go round. This means that any legal opportunity (hold the prostitution jokes) I have to make a little extra cash, I typically go for it.
In July 2014  I decided that I was going to donate my eggs to a stranger and in return I would get $5,000.
I put in my information in an on-line application and one week later I had a 30-40 page packet in my mailbox. This included all of the information about the donation process. It also included a profile packet that I was to complete and return. I let all of this sit on the counter …

River Gulls and the Misconception of Milestones

On coldwinterdays, sheused to beg her father to take her to the Mississippi river's edge. Shelovedthewaythecoldwindfelt on her pale, wind-flushed cheeks. Shemarveled at thesheets of ice that would givethefearlesslittlegirlthe urge to jumponandseewheretheriver would take her, butmost of all, thatlittlegirllovedthegulls. Sheenjoyedwatching them fly above her head, andthesoundsalwaysmade her giggle in delight- somany squawks. Shealsoadoredfeeding them thestalebread from their pantry. Thewaytheyskimmedthewater to grabthesoggypiece of discardedfood, thewaythey would fighteachotherforalternatingbites. Sheused to give them namesandpretendthattheywere a giganticfamilywho relied on her and daddy to feed them in thewinter. Afamilywhocherished her as much as shedid them. Her father would watch, in what would be assumedpleasure, as thelittlegirldisplayedraw, openjoy by something soeasy, sonatural. 

Thatlittlegirl has since grown up, married, graduatedcollegeandobtained a good paying job …

The Adequacy in Inadequacy

As of August 10th I have been a working, bachelor's prepared RN for six months. As the intended audience of this post is generally my fellow new nurses and those who will come behind me, I take no offense to those of you who skip this entry. However, I will say that despite most of it being medical, there is, as always, a deeper message. Also, for friends and family who ask questions like "how is it going?" and "are you liking it?", here is some insight into the depths of nursing.

February 2014 I walked into my place of employment with my degree and license in hand. There were mixed emotions. They mostly consisted of nervousness, impatience and inadequacy. I wanted so badly to be THAT nurse. THAT nurse who could spit pathophysiology so clearly, patients understood it as easily as a children's book. THAT nurse who could juggle six patients and still find the time to help her coworkers. THAT nurse who listened to her patients, to not only medicall…

The Omnipresence of Absence

June is warm and full of the promise of a hot St. Louis summer.

June also contains Father's Day.

My dad passed away on Dec. 22, 2006. He was 52.

While I have had the opportunity to feel this loss for close to 8 years, there is always that nagging feeling that my father isn't among the living. It is a more intense version of leaving my house without my cell phone or my wallet. Others cannot see what isn’t there, but I feel the itch under my skin. It is the buzz of the clandestine fly in my dark bedroom as I try to sleep.

In June, he is everywhere, and he is nowhere.

He is gone, and he is holding my hand.

He is the air.

I spoke to him the night before he passed then found him the next day. His body lukewarm and beyond saving, a gift given to me and taken away abruptly. 

Bereavement is also more challenging if the relationship is dependent. My dad and I had a fiercely strong relationship.

Every week or so since his death, I have a dream where I am speaking to him on the phone. I he…

The Stories On My Skin

One Month Later, the Permanence of Kenya in My Heart

It has been one month since I have returned from Kenya. I just finished the last of my chocolate from a layover in Switzerland and all of my mosquito bites have finally cleared up. I have had a negative tuberculosis test and no symptoms of malaria. The only thing that lingers, is a permanent place in my heart for the experience I endured. A permanent place for that humbling, heart-wrenching, incredible journey.

The first week after I came back, I had no desire to speak about the trip. I didn't want to show photos, I hardly wanted to smile. I was in a very dark place of guilt, sadness and anger. I wanted nothing to do with my family and if Ben hadn't been so understanding, I think that my demeanor could have been grounds for divorce (haha). That first week, I cried nearly every day over nothing significant. I became enraged after Ben watered the flowers, flowers with no fruit or vegetables, no purpose. Flowers that drank more clean water in that ten seconds than a Kenyan child …