I guess I'm a little better? ER BFF talked me down off the ledge. I'm so freaking lucky to have friends and family that get me. Her reaction when I told her I was thinking about applying at some slow country club ER or maybe just going to work at Starbucks and moving back in with my parents- "Seriously? God, you need a break, bad. Seriously. Take some time off, because if you are really talking about quitting something that is obviously your calling that you're obviously meant to do then something is wrong. And what are you gonna do at some posh ER? You'll hate it and it's gonna make you stupid, and you know that. You can do this. Just take a break."
And she's totally right. Hell. I was seriously one more bullshit remark away from walking out the other night, and then I took care of a bunch of sweet, awesome people tonight, and damn. The level of human connection that I'm able take from this job is unsurpassed by almost anything in the world. I hope I don't lose everyone here, but I'm like crazy obsessed with the Keirsey temperament sorter. You can read more about it here and self test, which I recommend because it's at least in my case, frighteningly accurate and amazing. Anyway, the temperaments are basically divided by your life focus and worldview. I'm an Idealist (counselor), the crazy hippies of the personality world who obsess day and night about their purpose in life. This is me to a T- obsessing about making a difference and finding my way and becoming the person I want to be. Constantly dealing with the gnawing feeling that I should be doing something more, that there is something bigger that I'm supposed to accomplish. Even at rest, I'm not at rest. My mind is racing all the time, and my dreams are just as hectic.
But when I'm taking care of someone, and I know I've actually, really helped them, and made them feel better.... I'm at rest. It's like the world that's flying by me all the time stops and I know I'm in the right place. I took care of a sweet little elderly cancer patient and his adorable family today. He was couldn't talk, but I got him some pain medicine and stood there for a while talking and explaining things to him and his sweet family, and I was able to ease their anxiety and make some jokes with them. As I went to step away, he grabbed my hand and squeezed it, looked me in the eyes and smiled. It was one of those moments where the journey could have stopped, where I could have stayed forever and known things were going to be okay. Where I knew for sure the universe was not random and awful and that I really had the power to bring peace and serenity to someone who needed it desperately.
This is my purpose in life. I'd still consider going to work on an oncology floor, but there's something about having the opportunity to have the right presence, and to say the right words in the middle of someone's worst nightmare that is so unique and wonderful. I just can't give it up yet.