Life After Brain Surgery

A week ago my family was all meeting up at a parking garage outside of University of Maryland Medical Center Baltimore, gathering our belongings necessary for the long day ahead, and rushing inside to get to where I needed to be by my 5:30 appt time. Sadly, the hospital sent us on a long run around until we finally landed right where we needed to be, but we got there. Tension was high among the group, of course. The nervousness in the air; palpable.

I was asked if I was ready, more times than a few. How do you answer that? How are you ever ready to risk leaving your family behind? How are you ever ready to risk not coming back to them the same as you left them? So I lied. I was ready, yes. I lied and said I was fine. I lied and said I was going to be okay. I was petrified.

Questions began, IV was started, prepping was moving at the speed of light, but I was still stuck. Lingering, waiting for my entire family to hug me all at once. What would be my last thing to say to each one of them? How do you decide that? You cannot scare the kids, Kristen. You cannot upset your sisters, Kris. And my God, don’t let my parents feel my fear.

Last night I was asked what I felt in those moments. What was it that I told myself to help me get through it and make the final decision to go through with it.

The answer is my life. I wanted my life back. The vibrant, exuberant, fly by the seat of her pants girl was gone. She was replaced long ago by a zombie of a woman that was barely surviving this world. She could no longer head out on grand adventures, planned or otherwise. She spent her days hardly able to make it up and down the stairs let alone to a school event with homemade brownies.

She couldn’t make it to concerts with her sisters anymore. She had to cancel plans with friends more times than a few. She couldn’t get outside and run around with her two sons anymore. Life as she knew it ceased to exist.

But this morning. 7 days after the scariest decision of her life, that girl woke up at 5 am without an alarm clock, went downstairs without a single creaking or aching bone (stairs are a different story), and made herself a cup of coffee. Do you realize how long it has been since that has happened? I won’t count the nights where sleep never happened and I got up at 5 to start a day after a night of no rest. I’m talking actually slept for hours, woke up, went down, and made my own damn coffee??

Let’s ask my little baristas when they wake. I bet ya it’s been a while.

Good morning, world. It’s good to be back.

Kismet? Or Something Else?

Mesmerized by his eyes

and the dark side that he hides.

His words, like honey, flow through my brain.

Sweet and full of substance.

Never an empty word.

He fills the spaces with thoughts to ponder.

He sends my mind reeling to another dimension.

I become a dreamer and find myself mystified by his nature.

He is something I have never experienced.

I just want to know him on every level.

I want to explore the human condition with him.

He sends this energy through me with written word.

I cannot understand this.

Who is this man?

What is his purpose for me?

~Kristen Ruchalski


Feeling Optimistic

So, I had my job interview yesterday (Friday). It could be weeks before I hear due to the hiring process at this state agency. However, when the hiring manager saw my degree, he pointed out that I would be better suited for different positions rather than the one for which I was interviewing… So now I’m feeling pretty optimistic about getting a job using my degree while also furthering my professional involvement in my field. 

Recently, my university came under fire because people that graduate from my program are not finding gainful employment. Is that the school’s fault? Or is it the fault of the graduates? I personally feel it is up to each individual person to make the best of their education and degree. It is their responsibility to go out there and find the jobs for which they are qualified. Things will not just fall in your lap. You have to get out there and present yourself to the world.
I find it odd that people spend a fortune on education then they do not even use it! I intend to put my degree to great use. I am confident in my abilities and I know that I have much to offer the world because of my degree program. I am looking forward to sharing more with all of you.


Good Things Come to Those Who…

Do things for themselves! Ah, I bet you thought I was going somewhere else with that, didn’t ya? Well I have completed my degree (Wooohoooo!) and I’ve been applying like crazy for a new job. I upgraded my blog so I now have a domain name (Yay me!). And the novel is coming along quite well. I have some great ideas to make this like no other novel you’ve read before! No, seriously though, it’s going to be awesome. 

Well, I’m just checking in to ask you guys to support me in a few things. 

  • Can you please check out my book of poetry on Amazon? It’s even on Kindle! If you read it, please leave a review.
  • Can you also head over to my new website and sign up for my mailing list? I promise no spam, just updates on the novel I’m writing.
  • And could you also think good thoughts for me as I prepare for an interview next week? It’s one of the jobs I’ve been hoping for!

Thanks for all of the support!