The Moment Begins Now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unemployed: Day 72

Somewhere between Canmore and Lake Louise, Alberta (early February)

I’m jolted awake from peaceful weariness with an audible gasp, like I had been holding my breath for way too long. My first thought, “Where am I?” is never a comforting feeling to wake up to. All I can see is a musky brown carpet above me. I wriggle my toes, and take a deep breath. It’s cold, as my visible breath shows, and I’m in a sleeping bag. As I shift up in a reclined seat, it comes back to me. I’m in my car, aptly nicknamed trusty old Godzilla. Still shaking the sleep out of my being, I look out the window and am greeted by the looming, jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The road trip was three days old.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, I thought to myself as I slinked back into the uncomfortable driver side seat for a couple extra minutes of sleep.I call it the “Degree-Hangover,” the place where you finally have this piece of paper stating your skills, but can’t manage to find work. I had watched friends go through the same phase, and was determined to skip it.

The past two months had been proactive and optimistic. I mailed, called, emailed and applied to over 70 hospitals. From Iqaluit to the Salt Spring Islands, the only pill I could swallow was the bitter one of defeat, of rejection... of failure. What if I could never find a job??? My imagination wandered to being on the side of the road in a grizzled beard and tattered nursing scrubs with a large cardboard sign scribbled in Black Sharpie, “Need Food! Will Give IV.”

Disappointed and disillusioned, I packed up the car and followed the sunset West. If I returned home from the road-trip and there was still no hope, I would move to the only place that had shown some interest in my career....last chance saloon (also known as Saskatoon). I looked at the clock: 11:15am. Today could be big. A good friend (thank you) had shown me a Nursing Teaching Internship in Rwanda. Originally, I planned to get experience in Canada before taking nursing on the road.

As with every thing you try to plan in life, it didn’t work that way. My phone interview was in 10 minutes! I drove to a nestled spot between two large snow-capped mountains, brushed my teeth (just in case they could smell through the phone) and took the interview that changed my life.

Unemployed: Day 84 - Victoria, Vancouver Island

The call came the day I thought it would, and when the caller ID read, Nova Scotia, I couldn’t feel my legs. That makes driving a vehicle tough. It had been so long since I heard the word “Congratulations,” I thought it was a cruel joke, and waited for her to add, “JUST KIDDING!!”
After numbly hanging up the phone and miraculously avoiding all traffic disasters along the way, I decided that the first phone call I should make was the hardest... to my parents.

Me: “So... Mom? I, um, I got a job!”
Mom: “Oh, in Saskatoon? That’s wonderful dear, when will you be starting?”
Me: “Actually, change of plan... I’ll be moving to Rwanda for six months to teach Nursing. It doesn't pay well... well, actually at all, but a job is a job...right?”
Mom: “Call your father when he gets home. We’ll talk when you get home.” *Click*

"She didn't say NO!" I thought, as I pushed Godzilla further to the most Western point of our country, and celebrated with my road-trip partner. It hadn't sunk in yet, and it wouldn't, for a while, but this was the start of something big.


  1. haha MENTION ME and we can cross blog!

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  3. i love it. sounds alot like feelings i could very well identify with. funny how life works...

    - amy

  4. I read this post and then I figured out how many days I have been unemployed, low and behold, 72. Thanks for giving me hope Ravi!! xo Kendragon