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Fellowshipping: Month 11

Sacramento, CA, USA

Month 11 of fellowship is practically over. Like October, it seemed to begin and end quite quickly. It's hard to believe that my final month will begin in just two more days. 

I spent the beginning of this month on a short, but much needed, vacation spent visiting my parents in southern California. I am glad I was able to visit home when I did. Who would've known the cases would be back up again during the holiday weekend? It was a time when COVID cases were down. Like the theme of "timing" this year, the vacation came at a much needed time after some unfortunate events that happened the previous month that had me thinking more about what I want out of my career. 

Upon arriving home, I had found out that my second aunt on my dad's side had passed. Just last month we were told that her chronic lymphoma had become aggressive. She decided she didn't want to proceed with chemotherapy at the time, so we all knew it would be a matter of time...but who knew that time would come so quickly? At the same time, my fourth aunt on my dad's side had started chemotherapy. I only found out recently that chemotherapy has become too much for her, and she, too, wants to proceed without it now. 

I spent my month at work returning back to the inpatient wards/floors. It was a rotation I missed a lot having been in the ICU the past weeks. It was nice working alongside other advanced practice providers again and feeling more supported. I hate saying it, but my time working in the ICU was challenging... feeling and being treated like a "visitor" on a new planet, like I'm constantly on the outside looking in. It is also difficult to be new at something, ask for guidance, and to not receive the support needed. Like the times when I've earnestly told the ICU nurses that I'm a new NP and would like their help/guidance only to be met with apathy. This among other interactions and things. I guess I need to "grow thicker skin." Until then, I'll be here working where I'm more comfortable and feeling supported.


This month has been stranger than the rest given the holiday (Thanksgiving) season and being apart from family...not voluntarily. It's not the first Thanksgiving I've been apart from family. No. While I was a student up here in Sacramento, I've missed a Thanksgiving or two with my family down in southern California. Part of it had to do with the shortness of the time off, the other part of it had to do with balancing the time spent with my family with that of my husband's family in northern California. 

This year, the holiday is quite a bit different. With the virus still around and its spread ever so increasing, our original plan to visit family in southern California was cancelled. To me, it would be a heavy weight to carry if I were to go home for the holidays only to find out later that family and friends have caught the virus possibly because of me. For some, it will just be a one year miss that doesn't make a big difference in their overall lives. For me, it's yet another holiday and time spent away from family. 

I spoke on the phone with my parents recently. We mused and reflected on the past and the present and how this year has made it very challenging to see/visit each other despite living in the same state. We talked about, too, how I haven't really been back home since I went off to college (UC Berkeley) at the age of eighteen, except for the short time that I did work in Los Angeles. I've been away from home for so long that I actually am starting to miss it.

Unfortunately, whether or not I'll be going back is up in the air. Really, I don't know where (geographic location and area) my next job will be. My mom's friends have commented how easy it would be for me to find a job in southern California since my fellowship is ending and I could move anywhere. The reality is that their statement is much too simplified. I can possibly find a job by looking solely in southern California, but...what about my other half, my husband? As the only one with a stable job, which he happens to love, would it be realistic to just have him drop it and for both of us to be jobless? Eh, not really. 

Not only this, but it has been difficult finding a job in least for me. I have been concentrating my efforts mainly on northern California (bay area) and Sacramento area, while applying to some positions in southern California (LA area) if they are of great interest. The issue seems to be that there are jobs that I don't have the relevant experience for. There have even been jobs where an internal candidate (student) has filled positions. With COVID cases going up again, I don't foresee that there will be many positions out there, or if there are, they are probably positions that don't have the best working conditions. I don't expect much being picky with my job applications and job hunt so far, but wouldn't it be wonderful to find a job I truly love?

Instead of ending the month with the usual conditions I've learned about, I'll end with some things I'm thankful about (disclaimer: this is most likely not an all-inclusive list): 

  • My life
  • My family (includes the husband and his side of the family)
  • My friends
  • The essentials (water to drink, food to eat, air to breath and no trouble breathing)
  • The job I currently have
  • Having a car to drive

Nicole G.

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