As I keep hearing more and more interns talk about taking on new jobs, internships, and getting accepted to grad school, I am starting to panic about my future. What is my next move? Should I extend for another a month or three? Of course, I would have to let my supervisor know at least two months in advance. Or, should I explore other internship opportunities? Maybe I should travel for a little bit? I am sure about two things, though: One - I still need to apply to vet schools this Fall, and Two - If I go home after this, I don’t want to stay for long and I don’t want to return to my old job..
I want to continue learning. I want to continue traveling and challenging myself. I want to see more and experience more. Honestly, I am getting bored here. I know it sounds terrible, but it’s true. I either have commitment issues or I have a problem of being content. It is highly possible that I have both! This must be some sort of sin; some sort of greed. To never be able to find satisfaction in the current situation and therefore, always searching for something more. I wish there was a way I could burn out all my desires to wander, so I can stay put, be focused, and finally be committed.
It’s funny how empty I felt after I sent my laptop off again for another repair. I did not have a device I could escape to when I wanted an excuse to not be outside watching Criminal Minds or How I Met Your Mother. Yes, those are the top shows that we watch here, hah. Of course, no hate at all. I love both shows, but sometimes being around so many people 24/7 drives me insane and uncomfortable! All I want to do in many instances, is to sit in a quiet place away from everyone else and soak up the joy of being by myself. I did, however, end up finding a way to watch my shows on my phone, which gave me an excuse to return to my room and be alone.
Ok, what I am really trying to get at is it’s silly how we all use technology as a barrier to avoid conversation or a distraction for us to forget what is happening here and now. It’s pretty sad. I am trying to get out of the habit and talk to people instead of planting my eyes on a screen. But I have to say, I seriously missed my laptop and my heart is filled to the max with joy to have it back! From now on, I’ll try to use it less often. Try is the key word there.
This past week felt like the longest week ever!! I was working almost 10 hours per day from noon until 10 or 11 at night. I have been on late shift for the past four days. As a late shifter I handle the phone calls, give a helping hand when needed, run fecal floats, maintain the cleanliness of the hospital after everyone is gone, exam newly admitted animals, prepare diets that are needed the next day and give night treatment or feedings. When everyone leaves, I have to manage everything with one volunteer. I think it is definitely one of the hardest position for the interns especially when things get busy. You need to have extraordinary time management skills, think on your feet, be detailed, and be great at multitasking. Me? I don’t excel at any of these traits. I am okay, though. I have been missing details and forgetting some medication (thankfully, nothing important) or some side notes and I get reminded the next day of what I did wrong. i have been taking the criticisms and even asking for more feedback, so I know what I should improve on and what I can do to stop overlooking things. I have made it a goal to be more focused! And honestly, it’s quite exciting to notice the small changes I have made and really see my confidence rising in the decisions I make. There is still a long way to go and a lot to learn! It’s only been 2 months. But in one month, I will be one of the most experienced interns here because everyone before me will be gone. Such a scary thought to have others looking at me for advice when all I want to do is ask others to help me right now! Well, my training has officially ended and now we’ll have to see how I face the new challenges coming my way as the hospital gets closer to baby bird season.
Speaking of babies :)
replace the mindset of “the grass is always greener on the other side” with “the grass is greener where you water it”. Stop comparing your life to that of others, and focus instead on improving yourself. Nurture and strengthen the positive areas of your life, cherishing the little things, and your grass will be the greenest of all.
I need to work on this :)
The internship has been going well. There’s still a lot to learn and questions to ask. I still have, give or take, a month left to train. I’ve been learning to give fluids subcutaneously (under the skin) in all sorts of feathery and furry creatures, tubing different birds, and recently I got to bottle feed a young raccoon and baby squirrels (freakin’ cute!).
Here’s one of the rooms I get to work in. The turtle pit.
This is also the only room I really have time to take pictures. Since interns run this room alone, I can actually pull out my phone to take some.
I am getting the feel of how the hospital works. You have to stay alert and focused to do things efficiently. Animals that need treatment are written on whiteboards around the hospital and depending on which area (birds, mammals, nursery, reptiles) you are in charge of, you need to use those boards as guidelines. It’s hard to keep track of all the animals you are doing especially if you are working on five of the same species. They all have different injuries and you need to keep their treatment plans straight. Also, we have only one vet who tends to all of these guys, so she runs around the area and she relies heavily on us to provide her info and keep her updated about the animals’ improvements. So yea, I am like a vet assistant/technician right now, but of course way better than Banfield! However, I am still slow, I forget things, and I find myself being a little foggy from time to time..,
I think partly it’s because of my bad food habits that started here!! I eat sweets every single day. No matter if it’s ice cream, chocolate cake, brownies, or cookies, I find a way to get a stomach-full of it everyday. I don’t eat as much veggies/fruits anymore and I don’t get proper exercise. I mean it’s pretty difficult if you have to walk by so much homemade goods at least fifty times during work:
So, I plan to eat healthier the rest of my internship. Instead of my EAT-EVERYTHING-IN-SITE-MODE, I do try to resist now. :P
There’s been a few times where I felt very homesick. Those were the days I called my parents instead of them calling me for once. And those were probably the days I checked up on all my friends to see what was new with them. I miss my close-knit group of buddies. I was starting to really know the few interns I hang out with on my days off, but that got changed recently. Now, I am off Tuesdays & Wednesdays and I might be the only one off on those days. It sucks. Overall, I am not very close with anyone. Although, that mostly is my issue. I still find it hard to give input in conversations and be more genuine instead of holding up a wall whenever I talk. Give me credit for trying.
Lastly, I went kayaking for the very first time!! I was a bit worried about falling out of the tiny boat and getting eaten alive by alligators when I was getting on, but I am so glad one of the other interns went with me and kind of guided me through it. Once we were in our boats, my friend was leagues away because she is so experienced! I was trailing far far behind. You would probably be laughing at how I was paddling in the beginning. I could not steer at all!! I kept getting stuck in the mangroves on the side of the river every time I wanted to make a curve. Later on, I realized my paddles were facing the wrong way..haha I finally got the stroking down, I was not great but okay at it. It turned out to be pretty peaceful.
I was hoping to see alligators, manatees, or something.. At the same time, maybe I should be glad I didn’t…I am imagining my boat getting tipped over or me leaning too far over. I think kayaking is really not my thing. I wouldn’t mind doing it again, but I will always need someone else to be there. I would never brave it on my own.
More adventures to come!
This happened about a week ago, but it just popped into my mind.
So, I called my relatives in the U.S. to say Happy Chinese New Years and wished them a prosperous and healthy year like a good kid should. Two of my aunts said the same annoying thing which I should have expected them to say: “Do you have any boys you are interested in right now?. You should find a boyfriend. You’re not a girl anymore, you are old. You are a woman and it’s time for you to find a man. Don’t be picky, okay? Soon you will have to settle down, have children, and be raising a family.”
OADFJOAJDGJAJLJALFJLAJDFH! I hate that talk. I think the part that really bothers me is that they believe that the next step at my age is to find a guy for support. That is what I should be worried about, not my schooling, not my independence, but jumping into a relationship. I don’t even completely know myself for godsake! My belief is that you won’t find your “soul mate” until you fully understand yourself and can be confident in your own skin. Then there’s the kids thing! It’s the 21st century family! We don’t need kids at the youthful age of 25! I feel like a big kid myself!
Ok whatever. The next day I decided to call my parents. I told them what my aunts said and I asked them how they felt about me not having a boyfriend. Basically my mom speaks for my dad, but my mom told me they are elated. If I was going out with anyone, they would be outrageously worried. They don’t care if I don’t find a guy now, but they prefer I live my days in the future with a partner. No kids. Pssh that’s fine. They told me at least be respectful to your aunts; say something nice back, don’t just fight back. And I was. However from this example and many others, I am so grateful for the parents I have. :)
Happy Early V-day by the way! The topic also seems quite appropriate. I want to spread the love because it’s a day to appreciate everyone!
The first weeks in Florida were filled with a hodgepodge of fun, excitement, uncomfortable feelings, and lots of getting use to.
Here were some highlights:
I was picked up by a prepaid taxi service when I arrived at Fort Meyers. The driver held up a sign up with my name on it. Felt pretty important to get such service. Wish I took a picture.
I had my room to myself for a bit.
Found out the beach was only a mile away! And the conservancy was close to everything I would ever need.
Beautiful scenery and wildlife everywhere. I heard lions roaring and monkeys howling from my dorm.
All the interns seemed (and are) nice and got along with each other. - Though, some girls are closer to some people than others. But everyone is on the same boat of graduating not too long ago and are currently trying to find out what they want to do for a real job.
One of the staff from my department baked a cake for my birthday. Really uncalled for (I wanted to keep it on the down low) yet thoughtful and made my day. Just like the calls from my friends and family :). Thanks for making my 23rd special!
Held my first pelican and medicated it! They are actually quite gentle and shy.
Get to work with an excellent veterinarian. Experienced, approachable, and extremely knowledgeable in this field.
Cookies, cakes, donuts, and brownies are only a small assortment of sweets that volunteers give us at work :D
Learning to drive an 18 passenger van. Damn. Should never doubt my driving skills.
Went out to a bar because it was ladies’ night even though I was completely exhausted from work. Had an unexpectedly great time.
Biked around town, explored Naples’s downtown district, and scavenged for seashells on the beach.
Soooo many old people down here! It’s like an upscale version of Sun City where the rich, multi-millionaires build their dream homes.
Felt a bit homesick for the first few days. Not as bad as when I was in Costa Rica, but I still felt uncomfortable.
No A/C in my room. Instead we have… WALL-E?
No car = less freedom. I have to be more flexible to other’s schedule. It was and still is difficult for me to rely on other people to take me around and to buy groceries.
Moldy showers. Enough said.
Came in during the busiest season that the conservancy has ever seen and had to haul ass when I was training to catch up to what was going on. Did well though, but I was completely exhausted from work almost everyday for the first week. I also couldn’t sleep well (beds are worse than The Reserves), so it added to my tiredness.
Didn’t feel like i was really making any friends for a while…I felt pretty uncomfortable talking about myself. I think I seemed serious and uninviting :P
Scolding myself for not bringing more food from home and not bringing enough shorts and T-shirts.
Now that I am entering my fourth week, I’ve learned and experienced a lot more. Some uncertainties have also changed.
To be continued…
I got in? I was selected to be part of the internship? At the Conservancy of Southwest Florida?! Is this real…I get to work with wildlife again? Wha?!?
I could not bring myself to believe what I heard from the voicemail left by interviewer (and now supervisor). Since September, I had no hopes of leaving Arizona for anything and basically surrendered myself to my alternative plan of staying at home and taking it slow for the next year. This really threw me off. My plans had to change again, which kinda annoyed me too. i was (and still) super thankful, but at the moment I was taken aback. And, I was probably a bit hysterical around my family for a little while after.
From that day on, I was excited to get out, escape, ready to leave my cozy home and try something new. I admit. I was excited, not ecstatic, almost to an indifference when it came to what I expected to gain from this internship and the overall trip. But I was also nervous. I was going to a new place on my own, knowing no one, and living with a bunch of total strangers in a dorm setting. That sounded like a nightmare to me… I don’t remember how to interact with new people in a home setting any longer and I am an awkward child in general. So whatever, I told myself to put it aside and just let things happen. Hey, I went on a plane ride again! I seriously missed being on one especially if they made up 10% of your childhood memories. I love the feeling of taking off.
And with that, I was off to Florida before I knew it. See you later Phoenix!
To be continued…