Up until this point I have only told a select few people and occasionally some curious travelers the story of how I actually got fired from my nursing job… which in hindsight was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. But when it happened, it was one of the worst days of my life (other than the day my 2 year relationship ended with my first love).
That fall was pretty rough for me, but I’m a pretty positive person and I am glad I was able to keep it together! After traveling through Spain with my ex, we both started to realize that we weren’t the best match for each other, no matter how much we loved each other. Spain was a beautiful country and experience, but our relationship was fizzling out and we were both fighting about the dumbest shit and I was an emotional wreck. I am the most emotional person I know, and my entire life is run by my emotions, something I am now trying to balance out. After Spain, Shane decided to stay a couple of days in Amsterdam and I was left to fly back to my nursing job alone. I cried the entire 14 hour flight home because I knew it was over between us.
Shane came home, we celebrated my 28th birthday and went to his sister’s wedding, then 2 days after my 28th birthday, Shane decided to call it quits. I felt like my entire world had ended. I had just moved into my own apartment, and throughout the entirety of my relationship with him, he was my best friend. I made the mistake of only wanting to be with him 24/7 and didn’t want to go anywhere without him. This made the breakup extra hard because I had ignored many of my good friends messages to go out or if I was with my friends I was always just missing him. I knew deep down that the breakup was going to be good for me, but he was my absolute best friend, and I was a mess. I would be at work opening medicine for my 4 year old patient and then just break down crying out of nowhere.
I remember running to the bathroom afterwards to pull myself together and seeing a DM from one of my Instagram followers, a stunning French model who had been traveling solo through SE Asia. She wanted me to come to Bali with her the following month. I immediately booked a flight to Indonesia during the shift at 4 AM with a complete internet stranger. Little did I know this would be the catalyst to an entire new life of connection, fulfillment, excitement, and personal growth, a life that I couldn’t have had back in Columbus, OH.
The EDM shows, drinking, working out at LA fitness, and feeling like a complete zombie 24/7 after working night shift at the hospital were becoming almost unbearable. Over the years of working as a nurse I had developed this coping mechanism where I would escape into my own head and imagine traveling the world and making connections with strangers from all over the world so that I wouldn’t have to pay attention to where I actually was. It is a coping mechanism I am still struggling to overcome, because I have a really hard time staying present with people still.
But, here I was, about to embark on a new and exciting adventure! I just had 4 night shifts to work (Friday, Saturday, Sunday Monday 7PM-7AM), 48 hours in a row, then I would be free for the next 2 weeks!
I was assigned 2 of the absolute best bone marrow patients on the unit, so the 4 nights were actually pretty great! (I was a pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant nurse.) I gave report after the fourth night and I was off to Bali!
This trip to Bali was life changing for me. My French babe, Lola, was just 19 years old, and she was the most courageous, daring, beautiful, fun, compassionate person I have ever met. It was November. Little did I know that 4 months later both of us would be living together in Bali. Crazy how the universe works! I was finally feeling myself again after the breakup, and felt okay knowing that I will be able to eventually fall in love again with someone who I deeply and truly connect with.
I met people in Bali who were hustling, making their dreams a reality, living, loving, learning, growing. I had hit a stand-still in nursing. I didn’t love it enough to go back to grad school to become a Nurse Practitioner. I didn’t love it enough to stay in it. But I was too scared to quit. I still had $20,000+ in student loan debt, and it was all I knew. I did have my Air Bnb business that was going really well, and I did have an Instagram account that I had managed to grow a good amount and I actually loved Instagram because of the relationships I was able to create on the platform. I knew I wanted Instagram to be my vessel to freedom, but I was still too scared.
Until I got fired.
I was fired.
The week I came back from Bali (I had been gone 15 days) everything was normal. I noticed a voicemail left by my manager that I needed to call her (she left this the day I left for Bali) but I hadn’t seen it because I didn’t have data in Bali and rarely look at my voicemails. Maybe if I noticed the voicemail everything would have been different. I’m not sure.
I immediately emailed her back asking what was up but didn’t hear anything back. I couldn’t think of anything I had done wrong, but started panicking. I left her a voicemail on her cell number. No answer. 2 days of work went by with me stressing TF out.
She finally reached back out to me saying that I had taken pills out of the Pyxis machine that needed to be wasted and that I needed to meet with her in the morning after my shift. I was confused and didn’t really know what she meant so got through work and met up with her the morning after my shift. She told me that they had video of me pulling out 2 oxycodone tablets from the Pyxis with no documentation of ever giving them. I had no recollection of this at all… but that I needed to go and meet with people to interview me and do a drug test. I was shocked but not nervous at all because I really couldn’t remember any of it since I had been in Bali and I thought it was just a mistake. I didn’t realize the severity of my mistake.
I was interviewed about all sorts of drug related questions like, “did I give the pills to my boyfriend?” “Was I selling the pills?” “Did I take them with me to Bali?” “Did I give my patient 10 mg of oxycodone without scanning it off when she was only dosed 5mg?”
I had no idea… I couldn’t remember anything! I just kept saying I don’t remember because I literally had no idea and couldn’t remember.
I passed the drug test.
But I wasn’t allowed to return to work. I was waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For two days I heard nothing and I kept playing over and over in my head why I would have removed 2 oxycodone tablets from the Pyxis and not given them to anyone…
Then, 48 hours later, at 5 AM (I couldn’t sleep of course) I REMEMBERED!!!!!!
My patient had asked for a Tylenol, but it never relieved her pain so she always asked for her oxycodone 30 minutes afterwards. I had one patient who got 2 oxycodone tablets (10MG) and her (5MG). It was my fourth night in a row and I pulled out 2 on accident because I was in the habit of pulling out 2 for my other patient. But you can’t just put the pills back into the Pyxis, you need to waste them (narcotics are kind of a big deal!) With it being 5:00 in the morning at this point, I scoured the unit for another nurse but I couldn’t find one. My patient fell asleep.
Then my other patient started throwing up.
Then I had to pee.
Then someone needed help with turning their patient.
Then it was time to go to Bali.
I FUCKING TOOK HOME TWO OXYCODONE TABLETS!!!!!!!! LAURA YOU DIPSHIT!!!!!
After coming to this realization, I raced to my scrub pants… they were COVERED in oxycodone powder!!!!!!
I immediately call my manager to tell her my unfounded discovery of everything that had happened. Honesty and integrity is the best policy, right?
I was asked to come into work where I was met by both of my managers. And I was fired on the spot.
They grabbed all of my belongings, took my badge, and I wasn’t even allowed to leave the building alone. I was escorted out like a druggie criminal.
Once I got to the parking lot I sobbed hysterically. Was I ever going to be able to get a nursing job again? I just gave 4 years of my life to the hospital. I wasn’t given a warning of any kind. I was freaking TF out. After calming down, I decided that very second I was never going to cry over losing that nursing job again. That life was over. I was going to move to Bali. I was going to create something that fulfills me. And I am never looking back.
I moved to Bali, Indonesia on January 18th. It is now May 23rd. I have just successfully launched an Instagram growth and monetization course with live webinars. And I have made more money in one month than I ever made with that nursing job. But most importantly, I am finally aligned with who I am on the inside.
I crave human connection.
I crave freedom.
And I crave growth.
None of these things was I getting from that nursing job.
I was stuck. And I ignored it for 4 years.
As I’m crying listening to an emotional Illenium song writing this in Koh Tao, Thailand, I just want you to know that moving to Bali and building a business was HARD AS F***. It was stressful. I had so many ups, and so many downs. One minute I would be thinking “YES I’VE GOT THIS.” An hour later I would be like, “OMG I AM GOING TO GO BROKE AND LOST ALL OF MY MONEY!”
BUT YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING!!!!
YOU HAVE TO KEEP LEARNING.
Life is funny. I used to be scared of what people would think of me and my story.
I’m going to quote a very important person I met in Bali on this one…
“One day, you will be taking your final breaths and none of what other people think, or even your own fears, will matter.
No, all of that will fade away.
What will matter is how you showed up in this world. How true you were to yourself. How much of yourself you gave to the world. And impact you leave behind as you slip away.
In the face of the end of your existence, all of your fears, judgements, and opinions will disappear and you will be left looking at your life as you lived it. We will all be put in a little box in the ground and in this box there will be no room for your regrets.
What would your life look like if you began with that end in mind?
**ADDENDUM – I DID TRY AND APPEAL WHAT HAPPENED!!!
I was fired on a Thursday and told by my manager that I had 5 days to appeal what had happened. They told me who to contact and what I needed to do. The next morning I called said person I needed to contact. No response. Left a voicemail.
Then it was the weekend.
Then I called on Monday. No response. Left another voicemail. (SO STRESSED!)
THEN I called on Tuesday (the very last day I could appeal) and no response. I called my manager and told her that no one was answering and that it was the last day that I could appeal. My manager got ahold of her and I FINALLY heard back. I scheduled a meeting the following week to appeal my case.
The next week I met with someone in person to explain my story. I was brutally honest. But I could tell that the person interviewing me wasn’t buying it. (I didn’t document a pain assessment at 4 AM, which duh I got busy and had just worked like 48 hours in a row with hardly any sleep.)
They contacted me the next week to tell me that they basically didn’t buy my story and couldn’t prove that I didn’t take the drugs because it had been 3 weeks since doing the drug test. LIKE COME ON – TEST MY SCRUB PANTS THE OXYCODONE POWDER IS THERE ON THEM. But they said that I could have just crushed some white substance to make it look like oxycodone power.
I literally laughed out loud at this as I packed up my life, sold all of the new furniture I had just bought for my new apartment, and embarked for Bali 3 weeks later.