Memory of the life that could have been

I am shutting down my blog “Tales of the Field” that was to chronicle my journey as a budding EMT and Firefighter since the last embers of that dream have burned out.

However, I wish to keep the memory of the experience close to my heart and possibly spread a little joy with it. I know I will live a new dream and as long as I keep living I will always be able to find passion within myself.

This is a re-post from January 19, 2012:

“Receiving my acceptance letter to the new member academy at the firehouse was a joyous moment that marked the beginning of my career in the emergency medicine services. My first day was a bit of a wake-up call. Imagine my surprise when I was the only female, at least a head shorter than everybody else, and overall lacking in girth.

You see, I had found one of the only firehouses in the area that accepted people that were medically certified that weren’t actual fire fighters. The only catch was, by the end of the academy you needed to have a fire skill.

So, it was me the little EMT-B amongst all these big ole wannabe fire fighters. I was quickly filed away as the little sister of the class. This included the occasional support in between all the teasing.

I was presented with the opportunity to make my first big impression on the night that the bunker gear was assigned.

My first challenge came in attempting to find anything small enough to fit my womanly 5’4” frame. Once I deduced that the smallest pants on the rack could still fit two of me: I just had to suck it up. I swam in my coat and my feet felt as if I had slipped on clown shoes instead of fire boots.

Then came the time to put it all together and be checked off. Slipping on my pants, I attempted to find suspenders short enough to work. After one of the lieutenants attempted four different suspenders in an attempt to find the smallest ones, he gave up and told me that I would just need to grow a few inches and sent me off with suspenders that slipped off my shoulders.

Next came the boots. Now I knew the boots were supposed to go inside the pants, however, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to get them underneath my pant legs.

Now, I want to take a moment to once again emphasize that I was the only one in the group who was not fire fighter minded.

After failing to slip the boots under the pants, I decided to take the pants off, put the boots on, and try going about it that way. It wasn’t until my boot was stuck halfway down the pant leg and I fell onto my behind that I realized that was not the way to go about it.

So, there I was on the floor struggling to pull my boot out of my pants. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed when one of my class mates had to help pull me free. He then proceeded to show me that you are supposed to slip the boots into the pants before you put either one on and then you slip into the boot through the pant leg and promptly pull the pants the rest of the way up.

Once I had overcome that mountain, I slipped on my coat and moved on to get my helmet; which of course fell down into my eyes. I continued to push it up and assumed I was just stuck with it, until once again one of my fellow classmates showed me that there was a screw in the back which tightened the helmet.

Having been utterly humiliated, I was glad to be done for the night. I was the only one who hadn’t played with fire equipment before and I was the only girl. In the back of my mind I was really hoping that they didn’t connect the two.

The rest of the new member academy went fairly well and I gained my fire skill of tender operations (basically the person that brings the water to the fire fighters). Of course there was the fact that I couldn’t lift let alone throw the hose larger than the one and one half inches. Or the fact that I was too short to simply climb into the fire trucks like the boys and needed to swing myself like a monkey into the cab. Or that I was the only one who needed to stand up on a tire to do the engine checks. Or…well you get the point.

All in all, I survived the new member academy and made it to probie status. For those of you who do not know what this is let me explain. A probie is basically the lowest of the low for six months at a minimum. A probie is the house maid, truck cleaner, food cooker, brunt of all jokes, is known as probie or the ever affectionate “red shirt”, and of course let us not forget the pranking: such as, banging on bedroom doors, shaking chairs, being asked to complete tasks that don’t exist, and well, the list goes on.

I am now three months into my probationary period. I have had the joys of falling down in the back of an ambulance, having my very first patient attempt to comfort me as I was a nervous mess, be snapped at by a doctor because I wasn’t giving my report fast enough, and driving training.

Oh the driving training.  Now for a girl that only ever really drove a compact car, an ambulance is more than just a little big. I was able to pass the driving course with only a slightly horrific carnage of cones. The real driver training began with my crew. This was where I learned the importance of smooth stopping and turns. My paramedic in an attempt to drill it into my head that every little movement you feel up front is amplified in the back, took the lid off of my soda and set it up on the dash.

For everyone who has not done this before I’ll just let you know that it is extraordinarily stressful. Add in the fact that you are surrounded by really expensive electrical equipment and I’m hoping you can feel my pain. The entire time I was just thinking over and over “please don’t spill, for the love of all things cute and fluffy just don’t spill.” I did fairly good and was attempting to appease my paramedic by “not taking my foot off the gas until told”, when tragedy struck- the cup began to slide across the dash. My only saving grace was that it was sliding toward the paramedic and he caught it not wanting to be drenched. He lovingly told me that had it been falling towards me he would have let it spill.

After the cup torture, came the timed test. Getting across town by a designated time limit and knowing that for every minute you are late you will have to do it again. It is funny how impending torture can make you drive faster. By the end of the day, the paramedic was impressed with my progress and said next time I will be driving lights and sirens…oh fun. Don’t get me wrong, I want to run code three eventually, but I am terrified at the thought of having to speed in a giant vehicle that definitely doesn’t stop on a dime. Oh well, guess I will cross that bridge as it comes.

So, here I am with three months left of probation and wondering what the next shift will have in store.”

It still brings a smile to my face thinking of the firehouse and my old crew no matter how much I was teased and prodded. Yet it no longer causes my heart to ache with longing and wallow in self pity. Yes, I lost this dream: it was stripped from me by a split second accident and a doctor that didn’t truly listen, but I will find a new dream-there will always be a new dream. In fact, the fabrics of passion are weaving a new path for my heart to follow.

No matter what happens, or how life tears away the only thing you can see, don’t be afraid; for there will always be a dream to follow and a call to light the passion in your soul. Dare to dream and dream again as many times as necessary. 

Creating Growth, Confusion, and Longing

So many thoughts running through my head, I’m not sure how to even begin to sort them all out.

The end of last month I threw myself a pity party. It was big and it was pathetic. I wallowed in feeling sorry for myself over basically nothing. Thankfully it only lasted a few days before I heard a few harsh words I needed to hear and I slapped myself together. Trying to remember now…I have absolutely no idea why I was even feeling sorry for myself. I write this now as a reminder to myself not to allow any part of my mind to wander back to any of those thoughts.

After I pulled myself together, I enjoyed graduating my new member academy at the firehouse and conquering my first twenty four hour shift. I also dominated an interview for an emergency department tech position and was offered a job; I go over the details tomorrow. With that I was able to put in my notice at my current job.

I think leaving my current job is going to be an enormous positive influence in my life. Though I truly believe I am a stronger person now for enduring the time I spent there. Who knew working at a pizza place would be so hard. From the teasing and sexual comments to the constant ridicule about my beliefs and the way I live my life, to the continuous harassing about how pure and innocent I was as if it was a bad thing.

Since when is the word “virgin” used as an insult? Or more importantly, why? I choose to live a biblical life. Because of that, I don’t eat certain foods, I don’t cuss, I don’t participate in dirty jokes, and I don’t mess around with boys. Why is all of that seen as a bad thing?

What has happened to our society that I have been told by different people that my flaws include being “too pure” and “too nice”? Why in the world is purity and kindness frowned upon? I wonder if it is just a scary thought for those that aren’t. The people that want everyone to play in the dirt with them so they don’t feel so dirty. I think that is kind of pathetic.

Why is it that people are so quick to judge, label, and wish to change or destroy?

For instance, today, for the first time ever, I started talking to a friend of one of my friends. Out of nowhere I am starting to be interrogated by that person’s ex simply because I was having a conversation with someone. I am still trying to piece together what made them jump to the conclusion that something was going on between me and a person I had barely known for three hours. Is that how to world normally works? Am I just working on some other weird level and I’m the one out of the loop? If so, keep me out of the loop. I don’t want to partake of that kind of world.

I’d prefer stay on the outside if the inside is that ugly. However, I am learning I cannot do that with all the aspects of my life. It is still my responsibility to love and to show kindness and mercy even to those that have hurt me- especially to those that have hurt me. So, I am learning how to smile even as I see the knife coming to stab me again.

I admit it is hard and my flesh wants to fight it the whole way…but my heart knows it is the right thing to do and therefore it is what I will do. I will love and show kindness, even if it means being hurt again. I will do so, because I know that is what my love desires of me and he paid such a higher price for me than I could ever even imagine partaking.

p.s. Oh Ish, I know not where you are. Until you find me I lean upon Yashua and look to him for guidance. I am doing my best to stand strong and firm and wait patiently for you. I could wait until the end of my days, because I know that even if I don’t see you here on this earth I will be with you in the kingdom. However, I wish dearly to be with you. For you to hold me in your arms, play with my hair, and whisper YHVH’s words to me to build me up. For you to be here to encourage me in my growth and help pull me through the trails. I wish to fall deeper and deeper in love with you each and every day. I wish to have a family with you and make a home. Oh how I wish for you to find me. Until then I am loving you and preparing myself for you.

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