Timing. Changes.

Holy crap.

I may have actually done it. I may have succeeded. I may get precisely what I wanted.

Earlier this year, in the spring, I mentioned wanting to leave the Oncology department that I am currently a member of in order to work in Internal Medicine/Cardiology. That hope has remained present and as luck would have it, last month, I was given the opportunity to work with CardioDoc once more. Wait, no. The opportunity was not simply given to me. I went after it, talked to the right people, was scheduled as I wanted, did get to spend the week in Cardiology, …

… and I crushed it. Even though we were double-booked one day. Even though there were too many doctors working and not enough exam rooms, procedure spaces, nor technical help available. Even though this is not the field I am familiar with nor trained in.

Crushed it.

CardioDoc praised me in the presence of Bossman (the hospital manager) at the end of our week working together and I took it upon myself to tell them both that I would love to work Cardiology permanently.

Let’s make it happen.

Those were CardioDoc’s words to Bossman. I may have pumped my fist afterwards. I am doing so now.

Fast-forward an entire month and Bossman finally told me yesterday that he is thinking about moving me out of Oncology so that I can work in Cardiology for good. Oh, do not tease me so! Please, please make it happen! He said that he needs to speak to the doctors first to make sure they are all on board and agree with this decision. Dude, you already know that CardioDoc agrees, he said it himself. Come on, now.

Ugh. I am trying not to do any preemptive celebrating because this is not set in stone. Also, even if Bossman truly has every intention of making this move, who knows how soon it will take place. There are so many changes happening for our hospital presently – new doctors have started, schedule changes have been made, new software will be installed, construction on a different floor – that Bossman has his plate quite full. My move is not a priority, understandably so. Thankfully, somewhere along the line, I picked patience up as one of my virtues. I will be needing it like none other!

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It feels as though life is entering a transitional phase. The timing seems appropriate, though, given that I have started a new year. I admit, having my birthday come up when it did was something that I initially lamented as I noticed its approach. Now, in retrospect, it was fitting and ideal.

It just felt a bit improper to be in a celebratory mood given that I had just put an end to my relationship. Would he wish me a happy birthday? I did not expect him to feast with me. Would he get me something? It would be the first time in six years for him not to do these things. How awkward. Could I celebrate without him? I was not so sure that I wanted to. What would I be doing for my birthday? I am not the type to plan something for myself. That is just weird.

Welp, Hoolie ended up planning a small gathering just a few nights before my actual birthday. It was lovely, it was joyful, it was needed. She invited friends that we share, friends that she has introduced to me, friends that we have made together, and, of course, the friend who introduced us to one another, Che. We had drinks, shared stories, laughed, danced, played Giant Jenga, played skeeball, and I even got to open several gifts. Just lovely!

We were out all night, but before the the party was over, we took a group photo and in looking at it, I realized that those beautiful people had not known me for very long at all. The longest relationship I have with any of them is with Che, whom I met in late 2014 when I interviewed for my current job. That’s it. Less than two years! Yet, there they all were, on a Thursday night, celebrating, showering me with presents, enjoying life with me. I felt so darn special. I also can’t help but feel proud that even at my age – I turned 32! – I am still creating and cementing new friendships and relationships.

Aaahh, it’s such sweet success.

The following night, my beautiful friend Slow J took me out for a one-on-one dinner date. I can tell that girl anything and everything, no judgement passed, no disapproval, just unwavering support and well wishes. I was able to divulge the details of my breakup to her; she already knew of my relationship’s recent woes, naturally, since she is one of my dearest friends. She is excited about my newfound “freedom”, she told me that she predicts that marvelous things will happen to me, and she assured me that I will undoubtedly work wonders with my time. She is such a sweetheart. I love her. It was nice to spend that time with her.

My birthday finally arrived a couple days later.

The fella did end up wishing me a happy birthday. He even gave me a card and a gift. Believe me when I say that he is truly a great human being. Would you be shocked if the person you just broke up with did these things for you? I was not. That is who he is.  I wish I did not have to end it. I wish it could have worked out. Such a bummer.

This is part of the undergoing transition, from being someone’s significant other to being single. From being in a partnership to being out on my own. Me: single. For the first time in nearly seven years. It’s almost surreal. Scary, even?

Again, the timing of my birthday ended up being perfect. I received so many loving messages – from friends, my parents, my cousins, aunts, uncles, former coworkers, current coworkers, former classmates, online friends, district Democrat friends, activism buddies, former clients. People thanking me for being Daisy, expressing gratitude for having met me, praising me for what I do with my life, conveying admiration for me. Geeze. Way to boost a girl’s spirit when personal matters are getting a tad bit tricky! To top it all off, I had a family birthday lunch gathering at my Grandma’s house complete with a little vegan cake, singing, and birthday candles. Damn.

I am so loved. And I know it. I treasure every single bit of love that is bestowed upon me. I have to. It’s invaluable!

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It is difficult to say what the coming weeks and months have in store for me. My gut is telling me that there will be an interesting mix of positive and negative. It is also telling me that it will not be more than I can handle and that I will remain happy through it all. I tell myself that timing is everything. Che tells me that the only constant in life is change.

Maybe we are all correct?

There is only one way to find out… 

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Inspiration Station

Making like Gaston, because the wheels in my head have been turning.

As far as work goes – let’s be real – I will likely stay in Oncology and have to move downstairs away from the people I adore so much. I am not allowing myself to be bummed about it, though, because realistically, the move will not be happening for a few months anyhow. There is still time to be spent with my crew – I just have to make it count and enjoy their company and camaraderie while I can. Once the move does happen, we will be forced to somehow spend time together outside of work, something that I am not opposed to at all. All will be well, without a doubt, whether I am in Cardiology or not.

There is no denying that one of the reasons I was so enthusiastic and pumped (pun intended) to join Cardiology was because it would have been an entirely different field, and I enjoy the challenge of learning something completely new. Well, why not simply learn as much about Oncology as I possibly can? How can I motivate myself to do this? What exactly should my goal be?

Answer: Get my license (as I was already planning to do) and become a Technician Specialist in Oncology.

The process will be long (a year of work) and arduous (hours and hours of continuing education, submission of case studies, a brutal exam to pass, and much more), but I want to do this. As it currently stands, there are only fifteen Oncology members in the country! That’s it. It goes to show that this is not a task that many would uptake, it is no easy venture. This, of course, only makes me want to do it more. Just as it was when I decided to train to run a marathon, the thought of all the work ahead of me and the amount of dedication required actually thrills me. It motivates me!

I also received extra motivation from OncoDoc. On Friday, he and I were the only ones who remained on a slow afternoon, waiting for a few of our patients to be picked up and taken home. He noticed that I was researching the requirements to become specialized, seemed pleased with the idea, and let me know that he would help me in any way he could. Awesome. I will take all the help I can get!

Now, unfortunately, I cannot start the application process until October. In the meantime, however, I am taking online courses in Oncology, courses offered through the company that I work for. The oncologist presenting the courses is based in New York – howdy, by the way, I’m in Texas – but includes his LinkedIn information in his webinars. I immediately asked to connect and he thankfully accepted. Aaawww, yeah. Something else to do between now and October: make connections, build a network of possible mentors, know people with influence. Let’s get things going!

I must admit, I sometimes focus so much on my personal growth that I neglect my professional life. None of that anymore. I am making things happen this year and next. And I am excited! As always, stay tuned!

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Oh, but personal growth and fulfillment matter so much to me!

Things are going quite well in that aspect of life. Sometimes I feel that I cannot find inspiration, but really, it is everywhere if we only make the effort to find it. There are also times that it is waved right in our faces, clear as can be, making matters pleasantly straightforward. In the last month or so, I was fortunate enough to attend two events that served as obvious incentives to grow and make the most of my time, and my life.

The first occurred late in March. One of my dear coworkers – I will call her Kay – invited me to see and listen to the incredible Jane Goodall speak at the University of Arlington. What can I say about Jane? No amount of eloquent words can suffice in describing what an extraordinary human being the woman is. She is in her eighties and continues to travel the world, advocating not only for her beloved chimpanzees, but ALL animals, nature, and the environment.

I was especially pleased, though, because Jane devoted a part of her lecture to speak on behalf of the animals that tug my heartstrings the most: “food” animals. I preemptively cheered as soon as I realized that she was turning the focus of her speech to the animals raised to be consumed as food. She spoke briefly about them, but was concise and said everything that needed to be said. I cheered, I applauded, I wanted to thank her for raising awareness and encouraging others to be compassionate and mindful. Luckily, after the lecture, we were able to meet Jane and get her autograph. All I was able to say to her was all that I wanted to say to her:

“Thank you.” 

It was a lovely experience, one that left me filled with joy and a strong desire to continue my pursuit of making life better for animals. She’s done it decade after decade; I would love to do the same.

How?

That question was answered during the second inspiring event, which happened less than two weeks ago. Early in the week, I received a message from the gentleman who was once the director of The Humane League’s Dallas office. This is the same organization that I ran my marathon for, raising over $1,000 in doing so. The group was hosting a gala in downtown Dallas in celebration of their ten-year anniversary. I never bought a ticket to attend, but was told that I would be placed on the guest list for the gala anyhow. No ticket required due to all that I did as a member of Team Humane. Isn’t that great? I was so flattered that they thought of little ol’ me and appreciated my efforts, I immediately agreed to go, and became all sorts of stupid-excited.

The night was delightful.

Delicious vegan food was served, along with local craft beer. There was a silent auction, music, and my favorite… dessert! I recognized many faces in the crowd, including Fashion Veggie and Cykochik, both wonderful local ladies making an impact by advocating for vegan/cruelty-free fashion. At the end of the evening, we watched a presentation highlighting all the accomplishments The Humane League has made locally and nationwide. They are putting up an aggressive, successful fight and I am overwhelmingly proud to have contributed to their efforts by raising funds for them.

The best part, though? Simply being in a room full of people who are not only vegan, but are so active in their efforts to help our fellow earthlings. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in my views and my desires to end animal cruelty. There is a vibrant community of compassionate souls right here in my hometown! And guess what: I can be one of them!

That very night I decided that raising money is not enough; I have to get out there, protest, leaflet, make phone calls, march, and whatever else it takes. It is all I want to do. It is where I will find fulfillment. It will give my life more meaning than what it already has and – cliche, cliche – I will grow as a person. I may never be as successful as Jane Goodall, but every little bit helps. It truly does, I am confident of it.

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I suppose I have my work cut out for me, but I would not have things any other way. Life is short, I have drive, there are improvements to be made. Once again, I just hope I can maintain my focus. I should be able to. I am constantly surrounded by sweet, furry faces that can serve as reminders of why I do what I do, and I have wonderful friends and family who consistently encourage me and wish me the best.

What more do I need?   ❤

Saturday, Saturday

Ah, a Saturday without any plans. How perfect considering that the next few weekends will be hectic with concerts, festivals, birthday parties, and weddings to attend. And what if my Stars continue their quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup? Not complaining, but there is no denying that I needed a day like today.

I woke up before 7 this morning to take my bicycle out for its first ride. I have had Lucifee (that’s what I named my bicycle because she’s red and black, which made me think of the devil, which made me think Lucifer, which made me think of the cat from Cinderella, whom Gus Gus referred to as Lucifee) for nine months now, but with marathon training last year, I could not expend energy nor workouts on anything but running. Then it was cold so I said, “Fuck it, that can wait.” I hate winter.

Anyhow, being a runner, I know how quickly the day warms up once the sun is shining high and bright, and also how uncomfortable that can be for someone in the midst of a lengthy cardio session. I decided last night to start my trek early because if this first ride was miserable in any way, the chances of me sticking to cycling would not be great.

I chose to take my well-known running route, the one that takes me through the busy intersection just north of my apartment, down the road, through a couple parks, and to the downtown train station that I actually frequent quite a bit. It’s five miles there, five miles back. This seemed like a reasonable distance for my first tour. I walked Canelo Dog, posted yet another ridiculous Snap, ate a banana, grabbed my water bottle, strapped my phone into the nifty holder I bought, got my noggin secured in my helmet, and off I went.

I pwned it.

Additional tours will definitely be happening! What’s even more exciting is that my friend Slow J, an amazing cyclist who 1) works at a popular local bike shop, 2) is a certified spin instructor, and 3) actually leads group rides, says that she will join me on future rides! She’s a badass. If she wasn’t such a good friend, I would be intimidated to have her pedaling along with me, but I know she will be patient, likely give me useful pointers, and be the best company I could ask for. I am stoked.

I really think that I will stick to this. Runs will still happen, of course, but this cycling business is pretty fun. I am glad I got out and rode today. I was so happy with myself that shortly after I was done riding, I shared news of my success on Facebook. I immediately received two notifications:

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I screenshot like a mofo.

Is my Mom not the most adorable thing? She is so precious, so proud of every little thing I do, whether it is truly relevant or utterly common. She is the main reason I do not deactivate my Facebook account. I did so a few years ago and she just about freaked out and told me that I would just have to text her every photograph I took and every thought I had. I love her…

So! the rest of today was simply relaxing. The fella took me to one of my favorite places in Dallas, Reverie Bakeshop. It is 100% vegan and has yet to disappoint me with any of its offerings. Today, I walked out with two sausage kolaches, a cinnamon roll, a chocolate donut, and a slice of lemon cheesecake. I rode ten miles today, folks. I deserve all those calories and carbs! No shame in my game.

After the feast, I relaxed a little in my hammock, read for a few, listened to music, and finally took a nap. I woke up and was motivated to make some moves. SE, my supervisor and friend that I mentioned in my previous entry, has been getting onto me about taking my State Boards and finally getting my license. She even downloaded and printed the application for me as a reminder to get it done. This afternoon, I reviewed what documents I need to turn in, downloaded the material I need to study, requested my college transcript, and registered with the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. I texted her to let her know that I have initiated the process. She seemed pleased, for certain.

I cannot say enough about SE and how happy I am that she’s my supervisor. I can vent to her about anything and fully trust her. Initially, when I first started my job, I only went to her with work-related questions and concerns. Over time, however, I started sharing more personal anecdotes with her and we quickly became friends. She’s older than I am, which doesn’t make her any less fabulous, but it does make her wiser, so I value all the advice she has to give me. It makes me sad that because our hospital is growing, I will soon be moving to the first floor of our building with our Oncology department, all while SE stays on the second floor that we currently occupy. I won’t be able to go to her all the time as I do now. Not cool.

Maybe I should really consider the possibility of working with CardioDoc…

You see, when CardioDoc praised me last week, I not-so-surprisingly told SE about it almost instantly. I had to. Especially because the week before she left, she made sure to prepare me to take her place. Halfway through my week of working with him, she even messaged me to make sure everything was going well. She’s just thoughtful like that, she looks out for me. How could I not share the good news with her when she absolutely wished for and contributed to my success?

Here’s the best part: when she returned to work on Monday, SE went to CardioDoc and asked him about me. His response? He wishes he could clone me. Well, shit. It does not get much better than that! Those are the best compliments I have received from a doctor in a while, quite honestly. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to work with him? Right?

Meh. We shall see. I still dig Oncology, after all.

I’ll wrap things up with yet another darling message from Mom, this one made in response to me sharing all the awesome things CardioDoc said about me. Bear with me, please. Mother’s Day is around the corner and she is wonderful so I feel that this is justified:

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I get my Spanish skillz from my momma.

So what did she say? Good for you, my daughter! That says a lot about you, how dedicated you are to your job, and your love for the little animals. Keep it up and don’t ever change! Love you!

Gaaaaaaaah. Whatever you say, Mom. ❤

Up and away

Currently, I hear thunder, the whirl of the fan in the living room, the rain falling outside my bedroom window, my dog snoring, my kitty cat sniffing around with curiosity, and now, the sound of these keys as I strike. I love mornings like this.

It has been raining heavily – and incessantly – for nearly three hours now. That is how long I have been awake. I waited in bed for about an hour, hoping that the downpour would subside a bit. When it did not, I decided to give my pooch a break and venture out so he could relieve himself. I got dressed, grabbed the massive umbrella that I won at a Texas Rangers fan event, called Canelo over, and out we went. He makes me so proud, how he braves the weather and his old joints. I think he actually enjoyed our walk, that sweet boy. I know I did.

Why do I not own proper rain boots, though? Given the fact that I take Canelo out three times a day, regardless of the weather, and the fact that I do not own a car, which means that walking and waiting outdoors for buses and trains are frequent undertakings, you would think that I would own at least one pair. Alas, I do not. So I wore my cowboy boots instead. They are red (what up, Footloose?) and vegan (duh!) and fabulous and I really ought to wear them more often. How about some outfit ideas, Pinterest?

Anyhow, I got back from our walk and really could not think of much to do other than to read or write. I obviously went with the latter…

Life is in a total upswing! Mind over matter, right? I changed my attitude, re-centered my focus, decided not to stress over situations that are out of my control, and boom! Things are happenin’ again. They are so happenin’ that at any given moment, time and location notwithstanding, I can break out in a happy dance. Truth be told, I totally happy danced my way down the hallway at work last week. One of my coworkers witnessed it, laughed, and encouraged me not to stop. This is what life has become.

Work has had a lot to do with the current upward trend I find myself on. A couple weeks ago, my partner fell ill and missed a day, then had to travel the following day. This meant that for two days straight, I was left flying solo with the doctor we both assist. This would be seemingly daunting, but in reality, it was nothing that I could not handle with proper time management, prioritizing, and asking my amazing coworkers to handle tasks that I did not necessarily have to personally complete. Doc and I owned those days and he praised and thanked me when the week was over. Oh! he even bought me lunch to demonstrate his appreciation! Free food makes for one happy gal over here. Food is my favorite. Haha.

That was late last month. This past week, Doc was out of town at a leadership conference, which our supervisor (whom I happen to love and who also owns a jumbo umbrella because we went to the aforementioned fan fest together!) also attended. This meant that the Cardiologist whom she works with was without an assistant and was without a doctor. Daisy – say goodbye to Oncology for the week and hello to Cardiology! Yikes, talk about being out of my element. No matter, though, because CardioDoc and I clicked rather well and had a great week working together. Things went so well, in fact, that before he left on Friday, he came up to me and in front of other employees said,

“Daisy, it has been a real pleasure working with you this week. You are very efficient and did an outstanding job, I appreciate you.”

“Aahhh, SE prepared me well!”

“Honestly, if you ever want to join Team (insert CardioDoc’s name here), you just tell me when you’re ready.”

Um, goodbye Oncology for good? I mean, geesh, talk about a fucking ego-boost. This doctor also happens to be the Medical Director of our hospital, the head honcho. And he wants little ol’ me on his team?! I am absolutely floored. I am doing my happy dance right now – it’s all in the hips. I cannot believe he said those things. A simple “thank you” would have sufficed, that would have made my day. Instead, my entire MONTH has been made! Man.

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Well, there are other reasons why I am overjoyed as of lately, there are changes I have made, new opportunities that have been presented to me, but I have a brunch date to get to. I will have to leave those details for another entry, hopefully to be completed in the next few days.

Have a most wonderful Sunday, my friends. May life be good to you, good enough to cause you to break out into your own dance!