Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Admission this is a little late coming, but guess what.  I received admission to Villanova BSN Express Nursing!!!  So what does that mean.  Well, it means so many things.  The biggest thing is that I am offically an Nursing student!!  I have two classes that I MUST get A's in order to be admitted.  Well really, B's, but I am aiming for the stars because at this point I feel like I can do anything.  So I will officially be done with all prerequisites for Nursing School January 19 2011.  The big question that looms over my head, and what instills fear in me is, what is the future of my military career?  Ultimately, it's over.  Yep, just like that, it's over.  I would love to say I loved it, it was the time of my life, and I will miss it.  But the Lord, and multiple friends no my heart...GOOD RIDDANCE!!!  I know, the Army has provided a lot of benefits to a lot of people, including myself.  The Army sent me to school to get an education.  The Army deployed me to Afghanistan and has allowed me to complete four classes in a year time frame.  The Army has taught me lessons that I will always remember.  Mostly that there are certain people in life I don't want to deal with and jobs I don't want to do, because they ultimately have no purpose in life.  So to the Army, I say thank you.  You taught me life lessons, that have ultimately made me mature as a person.  You taught me alot.  Mostly about men, myself, my big mouth, and what I really want to do.

In order to guide my path, I have developed a plan.  A lot of people think I don't have a plan.  They really think I am just out in the wind flapping, hoping that I get picked up.  But in all honest truth.  Since February I have been plotting and planning for this.  The only thing that has caused me to lose focus is myself and my self fear.  I know when people ask me, what am I going to do when I get out the Army, my response is to get out and help poor babies.  And ultimately, that is it.  But there is so much behind that plan, you don't even know.  What most people don't know about me, is that I am very impatient, and I really want things now.  Meaning, I don't want to finish my prerequisites in January, I want to do it now.  That's just an example.  When I tell you that I will accept admittance to any school.  Well that is kind of true.  I will accept admittance to any school that has a stellar reputation and affordable.  So trust me when I say, when I play dumb, it's to keep you at  bay.  It's not to appease you of what my true goals are so that you can keep another body trapped in this institution of the Army.  I am a planner when it comes to me and my life.  I will stay up all night to figure out how I am going to get out of something.  This particular something is the Army.  So hear is my plan.

I have developed a five year plan that is relatively simple, but will definitely require some work.
MAY 2011 - Enter into Villanova's BSN Express Program
AUG 2012 Graduate from Villanova's BSN Express and take the NCLEX
September 2012-2014 - Beginning nursing career working in either a Pediatric or Trauma wing
JAN 2015 - Apply for Doctors Without Borders and begin working internationally.

So what does this plan say.  That I have basically and generically planned what I really want to do and the goal I want.  But what it does not detail is my night thoughts of how I will go about it.  The items and people I will ultimately have to give up in order to put this plan in motion.  What no one has failed to realize except for me that I want this so bad that I am willing to give up sex for this.  SERIOUSLY!!!  Why, because men and sex are distractions.  And I can't afford for andy distractions.  Because at the end of the day, I cannot end up where I am now, deployed unwillingly to a war zone in a job I don't care about.  So yes, the attack of the boo dreams have been in full effect.  I expect they will only get worse.

Danielle...STOP LAUGHING!!!

Yes, there are implied tasks in my five year plan, but for the most part that is the general idea, to work internationally.  If one thing, this deployment has taught me.  There are people way more less fortunate than I.  There are children starving. There are mothers with children who lay in the middle of the road hoping that a coalition vehicle will drop food or money there way.  Basic diseases that have been virtually eradicated in the US, continue to devour a sizable portion of underveloped populations.  Things, that I don't know nor did I ever experience because I grew up in the comforts of the United States.  Where vaccinations were mandatory, being poor still meant I had some resemblance of shelter over my head, and I didn't have to hustle for the next meal, I will never know what it means to be truly poor.  I know the critics will say, there are still portions of US society that experience this.  Therefore, my main priority should be to stay in the states.  I have no argument with those people except this.  America, no matter how racist the institutions may be, still offer freedom and choice, something that the majority of the population in Afghanistan and countries like it lack.

So in the end, I would like to say thank you to all my haters, you know who you are. 


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Something Kinda Like That

Since I started this journey...people have been asking me why.  Why are you going by yourself?  There is no real reason. I am not trying to find any type of enlightenment. Simply, I just want to see the world. I want to see how the other half lives. Meaning, I have been to the US of A, and it's great but I am tired of Outback and it's fake Australian dishes.  Does travling get lonely.  YES!!!  No one to share my excitement with. No one to take my picture as I stand in front of famous monuments I probably won't know the name of next week. But just the experience of looking like an idiot when I point to food that simply looks good is so much fun. The interesting people you meet along the way.  The fact that I get off the train with map in hand, and still get lost because I have no clue where I am.  Of course there are no street signs here.  They are on the sides of buildings.

Of course you get scared. Traveling alone walking through Barcelona's famous alleyways at night is enough to give me and my family a heart attack. However I was insistent on going to this jazz bar.  Meeting and talking to strangers who probably want nothing more from me other than a green card is interesting.  Especially when they ask, does your job pay good.  Either way, fear aside traveling, alone is an adventure in itself. I can't tell you how to do it mostly because I don't know how. I didn't set aside a budget of how much to spend a day.  I basically just set aside a paycheck.  I don't have a list of monuments to go see.  I pretty much just looked at a map and went.  Or as I did in Paris, got off a train and walked. 

Of course you want to tell your friends of the stories of how you visited some great temple but truth be told you probably won't remember it. What you will remember is he old lady digging up her butt before you got on the train. Or the many bikes in Amsterdam, Poland, and Brugge which almost ran you over. What I remember most is the horrible tapas food I had at this restaurant but the nice Pakistani man who took me for a drink in some alley who tried to get me to come back to his apartment. No Muhammad, I will not allow you to kiss me, is what I had to keep telling him on his 20 minute break. He told me infinite times that I was beautiful on the inside and the out.  That my lips were gorgeous and so on.  All this from being my waiter at the sucky restaurant he works at. Needless to say Muhammad as much as I needed to hear your wonderful words I will not be joining you at 0100 tonight for a night cap. 

So my tips to traveling alone:
1. Bring a book when you travel, there is nothing like sitting at a restaurant with nothing to do.  Especially if you are like me and can't quite gather the concept of people watching. 

2. Bring a map:  Even if you are clueless reading a map, it will help you to understand if you are a block over or a mile over from your destination.

3.  Don't carry a book bag with you everywhere.  Also, don't carry your passport, and major credit cards with you.  Just ensure you have enough cash to get you through the day.

4. Prepare to be out all day.  Meaning, if you leave at 9 in the morning, you will probably be out all day.

5. Invest in a city tour whether it be walking or city bus.  It will give you a history of the city and will allow you to choose what places you want to see.  This was key in Berlin.  Berlin is full of history, Check Point Charlie, a grass patch over Hitler's Bunker, and the Berlin Wall, I would have never known all this stuff without the walking tour. 

6.  There is no such things as boundaries in Europe, or manners for that matter.  They don't believe in personnel space, for the most part they don't use deodorant, and they are rude.  So much to the fact that they will push you out the way.  So pick your battles.

Random Musings after Watching Eat Love Pray?
Elizabeth Gilber is one of the best writers I have read.  She is inspiring, if for nothing else, just being her.  The movie, though it was great, did not do the book justice. 

For the most part I have found myself, and started forgiving myself for my wrong doings in life.  I am working on settling my thoughts, as well as getting closer to God.  Somedays it seems as if I am on a verge of a breakthrough in life, pertaining to God and myself.  Other days I seem farther and farther away from what my purpose is.  Either way, I am trying.  The hard part is letting go of the past while trying not to make past mistakes.  However, I have come to realize that I am beautiful, even with short hair.  And there is no need to limit myself to just black men.  Mostly because all skin color is just a color.  I find myself daily admiring men of all different ethnicities.  I have been toying around with the idea of vegetarianism.  Why do you ask.  Well, I love meat.  I love ham, and bacon, and hamburger.  However, I am against killing some animals but not all.  Isn't that a little hypocritcal.  I think so.  Therefore, I am justing going to give it up completely.  Not for health reasons, but for moral reason.  However, it will have to start tomorrow.  Because what is Europe without meat.  I am scared that I won't like vegetables, and peas and such, however, no better place to start than my deployment since the food is free.

Intersting questions of the my travels.  Why are you single?  What I usually tell American men, is my husband has not found me.  What I tell the European men, I'm not ready.  Both are true statements, however, my inability to conform to any man's standards of girlfriend has kept me single, with a few flings in between for the longest.  I am the rebel that no one wants.  I'm not truly a good girlfriend, nor do I think I will be a good wife.  I still believe in love, but on my own terms.  I want to be happy.  I want someone who wants to be with me and only me, who wants to fall madly and passionately in love, and who want to be in that partiular place with me.  Someone who wants to be happy with only me and who also looks like Adam Rodriguez from CSI Miami.  To all my older friends, they probably think I am crazy.  But I really want this man.  So bad, that I refuse to settle for anything less.  I have friends who have told me, my standards are too high.  Let me say it again for emphasis, I really want the Adam Rodriguez look a like with all the characteristics of Felipe from Eat Pray Love.  However, I have yet to meet this person.  The men I do meet are the men who want to add me to their list of hookups, who for the most part are lame and boring.  There are the few who want to be with me, but the young me who they think they can mold into their perfect wife.  Ugh, I hate those guys, which is why I rebell.  As miserable as my life is with them, I make there's equally as miserable because I have no desire to be with them, not intentionally.  This has caused me to just rethink my tactics of holding on to a man hoping he will change, by just ending it because he won't change and neither will I.  I have yet to find the funny romantic man who will travel the world with me, or sit at home with me and my dog, since Casey was stolen ,and pass  my lazy weekend days away.  However, until my Felipe or George comes, that is the name I have giving my imaginary boyfriend, I will continue to live in my fantasy world where love conquers all. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 2

So I have to try and work my way back through today because it was quite interesting.

I would first like to thank Marvin and Pam for my ticket to the Picasso Museum.  It's not that I couldn't pay for it, but since Americans are easily spotted overseas we chatted in line.  So big thanks to you all.

The Picasso museum was interesting, I think I am more fond of modern day art, meaning 20th century to the present.  It is very different, even though the greats started the way most artists, did, through still life pics and such

So I got off my city tour bus and what did I see.  A big crowd of people because this dog was barking at this guy, probably because he had drugs.  That's the only reason why I understand a police dog barking at a random person.  Well, this lady starts going off, and SPITS on the police/security guard.  I have no clue which he was because they have police, security and guards.  Before the spitting on the police security guard guy I went to lunch. 

**Let me warn the average traveler, 0.5L of Sangria in Spain is more potent that a Liter of Sangria in the states.  Let's just say, I walked away drunk. 

Touring the city, it was okay, not too many scenic or hisorical things to see however, it was great to get up and not have anywhere to go. 

I think on to the beach tomorrow.

Oh, mixing olive oil with my conditioner was a great deep condition.  For the most part of the day, my hair stayed moisturized and shiny.  LOVE IT!!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting to Happy

I just finished Terry McMillian's new book, "Getting to Happy", and though it will not be my favorite book anytime soon it did make some key points.  This is the reason I really didn't like it was Terry took all four characters to their lowest point in life. Yes the characters are older, but the don't seem any wiser and she takes them to their lowest of the low.  Too the point that all four of them had hit rock bottom, and miraculously they all came out on top at the end, for the most part.  The hardest part of the book for me to deal with was Gloria and her loss. 

I'm not sharing anything else about the book because I don't want to ruin it.  Let's just say these are my take away points. 

1. As humans, we are all scared to fail, whether it be changing careers, finding a career, finding oneself.  No one wants to say that I tried to open a boutique and failed miserably.  Or I tried in my marriage, and ended up with the worst heart break in the world.  However, as we all know.  This just so happens to be apart of life.  My best friend Danielle, she is my inspiration because through failures, heartache, and let downs, she has continued to do what her goals lead her to do.  Have her own practice. 

2.  Get over it.  I know I am the last person to tell someone to let go and get over a boyfriend or the loss of a loved one.  I for one am probably holding on to several situations that were deeply traumatic.  HOWEVER, I need to get over it.  Yes I said it.  It is time for me to get over thinking about and remembering the hurtful times of past loves.  They sucked and there is a reason why they are no longer in my life.  Therefore it is time to let go.

3.  Make yourself happy.  Easier said than done right.  Not really.  I have been discouraged by many that doing things alone is highly discouraged.  Did you know that you are suppose to bring a date to a wedding.  I honestly had no clue.  Every wedding I have been too, I have gone alone.  Why, mostly because I don't want to inconvience my friends and I really don't have any men that I would actually take to a wedding.  Onto travelling alone.  Contrary to popular belief, it is one of the greatest treasures God has given me.  Being alone forces me to deal with me.  It helps me realize who I am.  For example, with friends, one will tolerate bad service, such as I experienced today at this little cafe.  However, alone, one is left to contemplate that this sucky ass waited will not be recieving any tips nor will this establishment receive anything from me.  Traveling allows a person to do whatever he or she wants without worrying about what the other person wants.  I have yet to find solitude with myself where I can sit along the Seine in Paris and watch couples kiss or just people watch.  But I have mastered the sitting in a restaurant by myself as well as venturing out alone seeing the sites. 

Well that's all right now.  Someday soon, I will explain how I have managed to get around Europe by myself, with the help of friends.


Friday, October 1, 2010


Today was exciting and humbling.  We started our first full day in Amsterdam on a canal cruise.  I probably would have gotten more out of it if I had actually been inside listening to the history.  However, I sat outside looking at the beautiful house and boat houses.  Paris is still my favorite city.  Anyways, the group and I went to the Anne Frank house.  A sobering experience.  It was like looking hate in the face, or at least the history of hate because of a person's religion was interesting and sad.  A neighbor of Anne's talked about while her and Anne were at a concentration camp, Anne had no hope because her sister had died and did not know her father was still alive.  I thought about the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller who wrote the following poem.

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
For some reason, history like this inspires me to want to do something more.  To make another person's life a little more better.  To speak up for the little people who have a voice.  But what can I do.  I am currently trying to figure that out.  It seems that my calling is to be a nurse.  Maybe that will help me speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

I love Amsterdam.  The little quaint cafe's down the little streets.  The little holes in the wall, that in the states a person would not dare to even venture into.  After a fun filled afternoon at the Rijks Museum where I discovered I have no clue about art because I have never heard of the Jan Six portrait or the Night Watch.  However, I have seen the self portrati of Rembrandt portraying himself as the apostle Paul.  I figure that's my thing.  Learning about the history of different places and seeing it in art. 

Dinner was at a Thai restaurant.  Owners of restaurant establishments love to serve you dinner and have you wait.  Either way, we ended the night at a Jazz club.  Another first in my book.  AND, it was awesome.  I think it will be something I will continue.  I always wonder what story musicians are trying to tell. 

Louise and I decided to pay our way back to the hotel and got on the number two that took us out of our way.  Three stops out of our way.  So of course at midnight, in Amsterdam the number two train was not running the opposite direction.  Therefore, we were forced to walk in the rain back to a familiar area.  Which turned out to be right around the corner from our hotel.  LOVELY!!! At least we are safe at home.

Did I mention I don't miss Afghanistan, or the stuffiness of the military or the Dementor like military officers that only hope for world domination.

Off to another adventure tomorrow!!!