Right now, I am 9 weeks in to my contract here in Memphis, Tennessee. You can say that by now I’ve settled in and got into my routine of work, sleep, leisure activities, repeat. I just want to start this post off by saying that I have truly done some soul searching these past 9 weeks. You name it: from work, to my personal life, to my future goals...when you spend more time alone, you really dive into yourself and your thoughts and knowing me, my mind is like the Energizer Bunny (lol). But I won’t get too much into that, just wanted to be transparent with y’all. What I will discuss next is why y’all really came to read this blog post:
1. You’ve read Part 1 and want to hear more about my time in Memphis.
2. You haven’t read Part 1, but still have an interest about my time in Memphis.
Whatever the case is, thank you for reading! It truly makes my heart happy to hear that my readers are interested in my travel adventures :)
HOW’S WORK GOING, YOU ASK?
Just had to start off with a little nursing humor haha, but seriously, I get this question A LOT: from fellow nurses, my friends, my family, the list goes on. If you don’t already know, I work night shift so my schedule is already opposite from majority of the people in my life. But anyway, my nursing groove came back pretty strong and I actually feel comfortable doing my job at work. My manager has actually placed some responsibility on me by training new grads/other travel nurses from time to time. I never got this opportunity at my permanent positions so to do this as a traveler really amazes me. I have found joy in training other nurses. Throughout my nursing career, I have had great preceptors and I can truly say that I have learned something different, but valuable, from each of them. I was nervous at first when my manager asked me to step up, but I’m glad I did (still working on getting out of my comfort zone!) I find work more rewarding now that I can teach and help other nurses get to where I am and beyond. “Each one, teach one”. I feel if we go by this more often, there would be less competition and hostility in the workplace.
WHAT ABOUT SPARE TIME THINGS?
Besides work, sleep, and Netflix/Hulu, I try to keep myself busy on my off days. I have a pretty high stress job so I like to do things that allow me to relax and also have fun. I’ll go get my nails done, visit the Mississippi River parks with Hugo (one of my favorite things to do and when weather permits), take a drive, catch up with other travel nurses, go shopping, do research, and keep in contact with my friends and family. I did take a drive to Jackson, Mississippi to visit a friend of mine for a weekend. That was a great getaway and Jackson is almost three hours away from Memphis. One thing about me is I like to step out of my “normal” environment every once in a while just to gain a fresh perspective on my life currently and come back recharged and ready to take on the next task at hand-which is work of course lol. The next two sections describe the major things that I really enjoyed and what I wanted to see while being here in Memphis: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the National Civil Rights Museum.
**ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL - THE INFOMERCIALS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE
I had the pleasure of touring the famous St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My apartment is literally right down the street from it and I knew I wanted to take a tour there on one of my days off so I made it happen. Like you, I saw the infomercials all the time while growing up. When I tell you that the infomercials don’t do it justice, they don’t and never will. The things that those workers and volunteers do for the children and their families is amazing beyond words and it’s such a beautiful facility! To give a little background, St. Jude was founded by Danny Thomas in 1960 and the doors were opened in 1962. Did you know that, despite its size, it is actually around a 78 - bed hospital? Majority of what they do is outpatient services and no family has to pay for medical treatment, travel, meals, lodging, etc. I find that remarkable. Also, the facility has different areas where they provide treatments for the children depending on their diagnosis. If a child does have to be admitted to the hospital, they get a customized team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, even teachers! Things such as graduations, proms, “no more chemo” parties, etc. are done for the kids while at St. Jude, just to name a few. Families come from all over just to make sure their child receives the best care possible. Celebrities also donate millions of dollars just to keep this facility up and running. Fun Fact: St. Jude runs off 2.4 million dollars a day!!! Research is tirelessly done day and night by doctors and researchers from all over the world! Each discovery made is shared with other healthcare facilities to make sure that pediatric cancer or any other life-threatening disease doesn’t take another child’s life. If you know me, you know I went to the gift shop after the tour and got something to remember them by. I need to stay away from gift shops, they take all my money lol. Lastly, I went back a few weeks later to donate blood to help any child that would need it.
**DID YOU KNOW??
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a major impact on Memphis. Huge impact. The Lorraine Motel, located in downtown Memphis, was the last place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was seen alive. He was on the balcony in front of room 306 that he shared with a friend. On April 4th, 1968, James Earl Ray shot him from a boarding house across the street. Today, the Lorraine Motel is home to Memphis’ own National Civil Rights Museum. I was so amazed with this museum that I went twice. If y’all ever get to go to Memphis, this is one of the places that you HAVE TO SEE. The museum goes through slavery, the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights Movement and all in between, and finally ends with Dr. King’s last moments. During that exhibit, I was able to see inside his hotel room and we could see the balcony from inside. Afterwards, we went across the street to the boarding house where James Earl Ray was and you could see the exact view he had of Dr. King before he was assasinated. I had so many emotions going through the museum both times. April 4th, 2018 was the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death. It was a day of remembrance, fellowship, and honor for the Memphis residents and I was happy to be a part of it (left middle pic). I’m ending this blog post a little differently by sharing some of my favorite pictures from both times that I visited the Civil Rights Musuem.
Until next time, don’t forget to do these three things:
**Keep scrolling to see my top ten pictures from the Civil Rights Museum!
Live life, love always, and don’t forget to smile,