I mean “edit” in a positive way, not edit out the bad but more focus on what makes you authentic and genuine. Pour your energy into you and those who you want in your life. Take opportunities to learn more about yourself - say yes to things you’d pass over and, perhaps, say no to things you’d otherwise routinely do. Being away from home innately adds an element of autonomy and with that, an element of mystery. The great unknown awaits!
You’re in a new environment and if it suits you, you can practice doing things you otherwise wouldn’t at home. Make new habits and try new things - go out more often, stay in more often, track your finances strictly, spend more money on your enjoyment, learn to cook, take a class, practice doing things on your own, or practice including yourself in other’s activities.
This is a chance to be the person you want to be. By embracing opportunities you otherwise may not have you’ll: not have regret of inaction, learn more about yourself (did I like it, did I not like it, will I do it again etc), and regardless of how the opportunity goes you’ve added to your life’s resume a unique experience and also have a story to reflect back on.
Basically, practice saying yes! For some of us that “yes” is an external thing we must voice and act on, for others a “yes” is an internal realization and change in attitude or point of view. Both can be celebrated equally.
Opportunities take all shapes and sizes - lean into or shoo away as you please:
Not gonna lie, I’ve done a majority of these. I found many quite satisfying (to my surprise) and others I learned didn’t align with me. So it goes as we try new things!
And, in doing all these things I’ve become more confident, humble, self-assured, forgiving, spontaneous, conscious, and caring. I’ve found a niche where I thrive. I’ve found communities, both geographically based and interest based, where I can learn and grow and participate as an impassioned, welcomed member. You can too if you haven’t already.
How do I deal with being away from home?
Well. It’s not always easy. I won’t pretend that it is. But, it is what you make it. I know that sounds cliche, but I’ve found it to be true. I’ve gone on assignments where, for whatever reason, I faced a lot of “I don’t wanna leave xyz” feelings. And that cast some shadows on the experience I had. But!! If this is something you fear, I have a tried and true tip for you! It’s all a mind game. Fool yourself. Change the way you talk to yourself about what’s happening. You can acknowledge how you’ll miss things “at home” while also psyching yourself up for an awesome assignment and an excellent adventure. It’s okay (and normal) to feel both!
I’ve learned to change my internal narrative from a focus on the negative to a focus on the positive. Yes, I miss my friends terribly and wish I was there with them. But! I also have excellent friends to miss.
I have friends who send me memes and photos of home when I ask them to, and they even (perhaps because I aggressively reminded them to) video-call me on holidays or events out #NYE2021 when they took me, via video-call, on a bar-hop and I showed them northern lights on an ice bridge.
Other ways to deal with being away from home can include: diving into nature - explore what’s around you! Walk around town, pop into odd little shops, try local delicacies, ask locals where the best brunch or view is. I’ve learned so much just by being out and about. I’m a big fan of sending postcards. I always bring a booklet of stamps with me and fire off postcards to my dad, grandparents, partner and other friends/family. I sometimes send them to myself to capture a feeling or moment (plus its like a little gift to myself when I get my mail weeks to months from then and have a little pile of postcards from myself).
A different angle on not missing home can be what you bring with you! Favourite items of mine usually include:
I am a chronic google-maps’er. I love google maps-ing everywhere and everything. To the point where a passerby may think I’m planning a heist. But… I google everything, so it’s not really out of character for me at least! Anywho, yes. I google/google-maps all the things! From large airports so I know where to go, to where the hospital is compared to the grocery store. I go on satellite view or google earth and creep the streets, I look at local parks or frequently rated attractions to look at photos and decide where I want to go and/or how to get there. I loooove google maps and google earth - something about it brings me great joy.
I also prepare for contracts by doing the gritty “work”. Comeon, I’m an ICU trained nurse - I like organization and straight, untangled lines with no crossover and clear labels so It’s no surprise to hear me say organization is key. This may just be me, but I keep a folder on my laptop organized with my contracts, licenses, receipts, kilometers, certificates, resource pages, ID copies. I literally have a folder called “frequently needed docs” and it’s got everything from N95 mask fit tests to all my immunizations to my PALS cert to my resume.
“Opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined.” - Tim Minchin, University of Western Australia Commencement Address, October 2013.