When You Need To Find Yourself Again In Life
Next February I will be 50. Wow. 50. I have come to a point in my life some time back where I stopped fearing death. What do I fear? Not doing enough. Not accomplishing everything it is that I have set out for myself to do. You may ask why this is so important. It is important to me because often times people in the end only see what you didn’t do, not what you did.
Yes, this may be a skewed way to look at how people perceive you, but I have done quite a bit of people watching in my life and this is just what I see.
I grew up the middle child of two sisters. I always found myself disconnected from others because I never fit in. I was always considered a nerd or geek. I was always that nice guy growing up that girls loved talking to, but never wanted to date. I was the guy that would give you his last piece of bread, or the coat off his back if he knew you needed it more. Growing up was interesting, a piece of bread with ketchup on it was considered a good day. Collecting bottles by the train tracks to turn in for redemption just to buy a candy bar.
Life taught me to be thankful for what I had and to never take it for granted. I carried this into my adult life. My mother taught me to be respectful, to be courteous, and to be the man I am today. Not once did I think I was better than anyone else, nor did I want to be. I never wanted that feeling that I had way more than anyone else and that people were suffering.
Did well in School, sometimes too good. Got teased a bit about being a Teacher’s Pet, but learning and life were important to me and being all that I could be was my never-ending goal.
I joined the U.S. Army out of High School. I needed to find out more about what I was capable of and who I was. I also went in for the G.I. Bill since I had turned down a couple of College Scholarships and knew my mom couldn’t help much being in the situation we were in. Then Desert Storm happened. Yep, guess who got to go! Me, and well thousands of others. Just sending me wouldn’t have done much now, would it? I lost a few friends over there. But gained so many more. It was hot during the day, and sometimes ice chilling cold at night. Go figure, huh?
I did a little over 5 years Active Duty, and 3 years with the Ohio National Guard. That part of my life was done, but I needed more.
Growing up, I remember watching a show called Emergency. It had Paramedics Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage responding to things most would run away from. I must have been about 7 or 8, but I remember telling my Mom and Grandmother that I was going to grow up and do that one day. Stay with me now, that’s exactly what happened.
When I got out of the Army, over the next few years I trained to become an EMT-Intermediate and finally went on to Paramedic training at Cuyahoga Community College in Downtown Cleveland.
I worked as an EMT on Private Ambulances, at St. Vincent Charity E.R. in Cleveland, then on to Cleveland EMS, another E.R., worked as an I.C.U Paramedic, and eventually worked in Occupational Medicine/Urgent Care my last 5 years.
Injuries I had sustained over the years caught up to me. I had to hang up my boots for the last time about 4-5 years ago. I needed the next thing in my life to click.
I thought to myself what did I enjoy the most next. Writing. So here I am a blogger now. Or trying to be a blogger. Finding people to be part of this site actively has been a challenge over the last couple of years. Before I was Tom’s Take On Things, I was A Medic’s World. The transition has not gone as well as I would have liked. Just searching for people who want to be part of this blog, to comment on what I publish, and to share this with their friends and on their social media has been a challenge.
So what is next for Tom Shewbridge? I am not sure yet. I would like to think that it’s this blog and the wonderful life I have with my wife. For some reason when it comes to this right here, I am feeling lost these past few weeks. Trying to “Find Me Again”.
I am not going to give up. Nope. I am looking for the next puzzle piece in a box full of pieces. Where is it hiding? Might take a little, but I will find it.
So how about you? How have you adjusted to change in the past? Where have you found your next step? Share some of your thoughts below and also share this with others who might enjoy it. ~Tom
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