Honorable Mention

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The other day I received an email from a friend who is considering entering the field I currently work in. She asked all kinds of questions: about what I love, what I hate, whether I enjoy my job or have any regrets in not finishing my nursing degree years ago. (It's a work in progress.) Her letter made me realize how much perspective I've lost doing the same thing day in and day out. It's been a really long time since I've asked myself any of those questions, and initially I didn't know how to respond. I don't want my entire identity to be wrapped up in what I do for a living, so I think I have a tendency to go too far in the other direction and not give my job the credit it deserves. I suppose that means its past time I gave it a little extra contemplation and a blog shout-out. (Or at least an honorable mention.) Especially as it occupies -at minimum- 48 hrs of any given week. 

So what happens when a girl who is painfully shy, quiet, and reserved (Hey, I was homeschooled mmkay? Graduating class: 1) with an uber religious upbringing (sorta goes with the homeschooling) jumps into the world of Emergency Medicine and gets her first job on an ambulance? Culture shock. Big time. I was what those in the ambulance business refer to as "green." In laymen's terms: completely lost. I couldn't map my way out of a paper sack, had never driven anything bigger than a Toyota Tercel (do they even make those anymore?) and may have been ever-so-slightly scared of my own shadow.
Fast forward a few (ok...13) years and said girl has grown up: evolved -some might say devolved- into a sometimes  bossy, generally fiesty, opinionated Type A with a mouth like a sailor. And a closet with an entire section devoted to navy blue polyester. The unassuming, go-with-the-flow girl inside has been forced to give up a little elbow room.


Over the years my job has dragged me (kicking, screaming, and cussing on occasion) waaay outside my comfort zone. It has given me the gifts of cynicism, dark humor, (and a touch of sciatica) but also of critical thinking, compassion and the ability to act under stress. It has given me friendships formed from partnerships and surrounded me with people I can respect and learn from (hint hint Erin...Chris...). EMS has provided me with a front row seat to the comic/tragic/sometimes beautiful/sometimes horrific theatre of human nature. I have never laughed -or cried- so hard.  It's a love/hate relationship.

So do I enjoy my job? Yes, usually. Some days and some calls more than others. But it's deeper than that. For better or worse the job has made me who I am. And I'm okay with that.

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