Where to go next

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I did a quiz to find out where I should live and it said Connecticut, which has never even been on my radar. It might be nice though, and I do need to start thinking about applying for jobs soon-ish. People keep telling me that my CristyOff The Map, Everwood plans of immediately jumping into working in a tiny rural community are ill-advised. I’ve never had a real career, but when I leave Hopkins in July I’ll be starting one, and that’s downright terrifying. I got over the whole living-independently thing, so that doesn’t seem scary anymore, but I don’t feel grown up enough to really be a nurse and have a real job and real coworkers (I’ve had jobs, but they were always short-term- semester and summer stuff, because my real job has always been being a student). I know my first job isn’t going to be my last, and I’m going to move on in a couple years anyway to go back to school so I can level up and become a midwife, but it’s still scary. I’m so happy at Hopkins, and it’s due almost entirely to the incredible people, so I naturally don’t want to leave. I’ve literally never felt like this before- I was thrilled to leave high school, relieved to shake the dust of Geneseo from my boots, and more than ready when it was time to say goodbye to Smith, but I finally feel like I’m in the right place and I don’t want it to end. All of this makes planning my next move really scary.

While the future is uncertain, I am still in school for the time being, and so last night I attended to some psych nursing homework and went to an AA meeting. I had never been to one before, and while the speaker was dull, the experience itself was rather interesting. It was bigger than I expected- there were probably about fifty people, and even though it was an open meeting, so non-addicts were welcome, I felt like a fraud. I couldn’t think of a graceful way of explaining that I was there as part of a school assignment, so I just didn’t say anything and let people assume that I had a drinking problem. The crowd was pretty diverse, ranging from sorority-type girls to blue collar men with mustaches, so I didn’t stand out at all, and I did my best to go unnoticed. I did have to raise my hand and say my name when they asked if anyone was there for the first time, but aside from that I just observed and was grateful for the fact that no one approached me. It was a lot like the AA meetings you see in movies and on tv- someone got up and told their story, there was a strong smell of burnt coffee, as soon as the meeting broke up everyone went outside to smoke, but I could see how it would be helpful to have a community supporting you while you get sober. I’d actually like to go to more meetings, not in a Fight Club way, just to see what they’re like, and how they’re different. Is that bad? I’m really concerned about being inappropriate or insensitive, but I’m also interested. I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it, especially not while I’m in Buffalo and worried about running into people I know, but addiction and recovery are interesting parts of the human condition, and I think learning more could help me be a better nurse.

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