If you missed part one, you can catch that here.
I got a job and continued with my 9-5 life, which I didn’t really like. I was working in insurance and trying to move up in the company. When I got denied for a promotion, I was told by HR I would never get one, I began seeking employment elsewhere. I found a job at a company that developed software and hardware for farming companies. I jumped right from the frying pan into the fire.
I spent 3 years working for a company where the stress was so great I gained 80+ lbs. While I was well liked by many people in the company, I just didn’t seem to fit in with my department. I didn’t agree with their practices or values and struggled every day to find a reason to go into work… aside from the paycheck. Feeling under appreciated, sitting in a cubicle with no windows and being scrutinized for the littlest of things left me on the verge of depression. I hated that “emergency” at work was some server down or a password not working. While they were nuisance, they weren’t life or death and didn’t affect daily businesses. I sought counseling and was able to make it 6 more months. Every morning on my drive to work, I tried to figure out what my next plan would be. I didn’t finish college, for health reasons at first, and then again because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life… even at 31.
One morning on my long drive to work, I passed a golf course with a tractor engulfed in flames. The fire department wasn’t on scene, but I could hear the sirens coming. I turned off my radio and watched for the lights to make sure I could pull over when needed. While I continued driving I thought for a moment how gratifying it would be to join the FD. Thinking back to my son, I thought that running in and out of burning buildings would be too risky. I thought about following my grandmothers footsteps of becoming and ED RN, but knew how much you had to fight to obtain that position. While I respected the nurses I had encountered, I just didn’t see myself in that role. Then it came to me, I wanted the adrenaline rush of being an EMT. No, I wanted to pay tribute to those that saved my son and me; I wanted to be a flight paramedic. For the first time in months, I went into work smiling.
When I got home, I saw a commercial for a community college on Paramedicine. I called them up and inquired about how to become a Paramedic. They informed me I needed to become an EMT first, and they gave me the name and number of several programs in the region where I could go. I spent the next several hours calling the phone numbers given to me and researching other options online. I finally registered for a course at the State College provided by the regional Level 1 Hospital. Classes would start three months later.
Going into work became both increasingly easy and hard. Every day, I would bring one of my personal possessions home, until the only thing I had left on my walls was my name tag and a picture of my son. No one said anything if they had noticed how my desk became more and more barren. I had found a way out, but had to play it cool until I not only found a job as an EMT, but until class was done. Lessons were going well, and the instructor I had was amazing. He was not only knowledgeable, but kept the class entertaining. Two days before the state practical exams, I went into work. I dreaded being there, and since classes started, I kept telling myself, “one more day.” About midway through my last day, I got an email from my supervisor. He needed to talk to me, and after researching what he wanted to discuss with me, I found out it was an error my coworker had made… and he kept giving me the run around about scheduling a meeting. He exclaimed his first open day was a week out. I quit right then and there without having a security blanket. And looking back, even though the job I was working was not the right job for me, my attitude at work was pretty horrible. The day after I quit, a massive tornado hit the town I worked in, and although my former work was mostly unharmed, it was a sign I had done the right thing.
At the state exam, they stated it could take up to a week to get your results online, but could be posted as early as 3 days later. I recall sitting on the reclining chair in my dining room hitting refresh on my computer screen every ten seconds. I could not see myself going back to a desk job and without being certified, my life for the current future was sitting in limbo. I had already been accepted to a local volunteer service pending the results of my test. After an hour of driving myself crazy, I decided I had to do something other than stare at my unchanged computer screen. One last refresh of the screen would be enough to get me moving. I hit the refresh tab one last time, but there was a change… there sitting on the screen was the fact I had passed. I sat in amazement for a good 15 minutes; still hitting refresh to make sure what I had seen was true. I ran around the house with such excitement, I could’ve been mistaken for a “Price is Right” contestant.
Part 3 (last part) tomorrow.
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