The Beginning of My Island Life

It’s hard to start this post because since landing on St. Thomas last Friday, it’s been completely overwhelming. People always say “it’s island time” and until you are immersed into the culture and lifestyle that doesn’t mean anything. “Island Time” has a whole new meaning to me, and I’ve only been here for a week. I’m positive that is going to change again and again as I continue to become immersed in the daily living of St. Thomas.

For those who don’t know, St. Thomas is 1 of 4 islands which form the U.S. Virgin Islands (along with St. Croix, St. John, and Water Island), an unincorporated territory of the United States since 1917. The island is home to ~51,000 residents over the ~31 square miles of land (that’s 23 miles from end to end), which sounds small but these roads are windy, steep and rough. So in reality it can take you over 2 hours to get from one side of the island to another. AND Traffic, will be, well horrible, from what I was told. We are a major port on many Caribbean cruise lines and I was told there could be as many as 5 ships in the harbor. Read more

When a Job Lands at Your Feet

I quite honestly don’t know where to begin. It’s hard to say how I landed my next job assignment, but I know it came at the right time.

If you read one of my recent post, then you know I was laid off in May and worked my last day as a full time Speech Language Pathologist on June 1st. Many of you might think, “I thought they were in high demand?!” And you might be right…when it comes to the school systems, but for me, I was dead set on the adult population. And well, um, this population, the demand is…less in demand. With the constant changes with Medicare, insurances, and billing requirements, skilled nursing rehabilitation is changing. This has been my primary setting and primary focus for the last 4 1/2 years. It’s what I’m skilled in; it’s what I enjoy doing; it’s where I thought my heart and passion belonged.

However, as usual, God had another plan for me.

I spend a good solid portion of the first two weeks in June, APPLYING. Applying to any type  of adult or medical position I found on every type of job board that is out there. I posted my resume on Indeed.com, where I’ve been blessed with excellent outcomes. I prayed and prayed that someone would lead to a call back, to an interview, to ANYTHING.

Two weeks went by and nothing. Feeling defeated, frustrated, and scared don’t really give you a good idea of my emotional status. Then came the email. The life altering, life change email. This particular email was from a staffing agency for a school system (not my preference), but what caught my eye was the location in which they were hiring SLPs…

St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.

“Um…WAIT. You mean you are reaching out to me for placement in the VIRGIN ISLANDS?” These words actually went through my head and like any grown adult female, I forwarded the email to my mom and dad. I don’t make decisions lightly nor without my parents approval (mom and dad really do know what’s best). Here were their responses

Dad: “Wow, lot to absorb.”

Mom: “I think you should continue the process, fill out paperwork ect.  Your not accepting and might be dead end but it is very interesting.”

I did what my mom advised me to do and I honestly did not think for one second I had a shot. I haven’t been a school SLP since graduation and it’s been since probably 2010 since I last worked with a child, but I took a chance. How often does a job opportunity like this land at your feet?!!  I could mentally prepare myself for the school systems. I mean, I grew up thinking and believing I’d work with children. I always did love children. At least, that’s what I kept saying to myself.

The time between the interview and acceptance of the job was a little more than a week and I’ve been in a whirlwind ever since.

I got the job that landed at my feet without believe in myself that I’d even get offered the position. (confidence booster and reality check when people see something in me that I couldn’t see myself)

I took the job that’s going to have me move, yet again, out of my known environment and requiring me to sell most of my belongings. (starting fresh, not starting over)

I took the job that is out of my comfort and safety zone in my career in hopes for further growth. (growth is good for the soul)

I took the job that God has given me and opened the door to guide me into a new unknown.  (learning experiences and God’s guided path)

I took the job that is going to teach me more about myself as a person and as a clinician.

I took the job that I’m going to put every ounce of my heart and soul into because I was hired to make a difference in those children’s lives.

I might not have started this summer as a school SLP, but I sure am now! Life doesn’t always take you down a straight path or even a path you are hoping for, but God sure knows how to guide you down the right detour to lead you to a better outcome 🙂

New Job, New Location, New Adventures

Well friends and family, it’s official!
I have accepted a position as a Clinical Fellow-Speech Language Pathologist!!!! The position is in a skilled nursing facility located in Aberdeen, Washington. If you don’t know much about Aberdeen (as I don’t really), the first thing I will tell you is that’s it is famous for being the hometown of none-other-than the famous Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, both from Nirvana. Yes, that’s right, Nirvana members…maybe I’ll fall in love with the next famous rock stars.

It’s a town located in Grey’s Harbor located on the Olympic Peninsula roughly 2 hours outside Seattle and only 20-25 minutes away from the pacific ocean!! It’s going to be a change living that close to the beach. Though I don’t think you’ll ever hear me complain.

The weather has beautiful so far. Tuesday= raining & 50, wednesday= 50 & partly cloud, and today was sunny, windy & 50. Yes, I know that Washington is known for rain, but even with the rain, it can be 50 degrees outside. It will take getting use to but all in all I don’t think the weather is going to bother me.

Aberdeen is pretty much a lumber industry location, but recently, it’s became the home to the Pontoon Project (as people here refer to it as). Basically, people moved to town to help rebuild the pontoon boats that hold up the floating freeway in Seattle. It’s only temporary but I’ve been told its good for the town.

One of my favorite aspects of this location (besides the ocean) is the fact that’s it’s so outdoors-y. Everyone goes fishing, hiking, clam digging, kayaking, and hunting. I’m looking forward to having so much open land around me and so much unknown surrounds. Between the Washington coast, Olympic National Park, Mt. Saint Helen, Mt. Rainer, plus more, my weekends are going to be packed full with adventure. I’m already starting a list of things I need to see/do while living here. Don’t worry though, I will make sure to keep you updated on all my adventures.

Today, was especially exciting for me because I have found a place to live. I guess the move is official now because theres no going back on signing the contract and a lease (haven’t really done either yet but I pretty much am going to).

I know I have bombarded everyone with a ton of information, but I’m extremely happy about my future here in the beautiful evergreen state. 

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