Apparently I missed my blogiversary. My wife brought it up to me a few days ago when she asked how long I had been blogging. I figured it had been about 9 or 10 months. It turns out my first post was on August 20, 2011.
But in all seriousness, blogging has saved my career. Let me explain.
Back in May/June of last year, I was in a bad place in my career. I was burned out, fed up, and all sorts of other things. This wonderful field is the only thing I have done serious with my life, though I have had other jobs. I was at a point where I was angry with EMS, and angry at myself for a myriad of other reasons. I was making serious plans to leave EMS.
Since I was a little boy, I have loved law, and wanted to be a lawyer. My mother says I would make a perfect lawyer, as I love to argue. She will tell you that I rarely argue emotionally, but rather I use a rational thought process in an attempt to sway opinions, or to lobby for a later bed time. The law just makes sense to me, and I truly love it. I like how the law continually evolves, and is a living thing. Much like medicine, law is always changing.
I frequently sit up in bed late at night reading court decisions, much to my wife’s chagrin.
So in early June of last year, I sat for the LSAT. I prepared a bit for the exam over a couple of months, mostly while at work in the ambulance. Preparing for the LSAT was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to focus on something other than EMS work, and gave my mind a much needed distraction. I was able, while focusing on test prep, to fall in love with EMS again. After I sat for the LSAT, I took two weeks off from work to spend some time with my young family, and to evaluate my future.
Somehow I knew I wasn’t going to law school, and I knew I belonged in that ambulance. But I didn’t want to be there.
When my results came back, I was incredibly surprised. 156. While that is not a stunning score, it was better than I expected. Combined with my college GPA, I certainly wasn’t getting into a top-tier law school, but I would easily be accepted to a state law school.
Something clicked in my mind, and in my heart. I know I belong in an ambulance. There is something about this field, something that laypersons don’t understand, but my fellow EMTs and Paramedics just get it.
EMS is more than a job, and more than a career. EMS is a large part of how I identify myself. Husband, father, son, brother, Paramedic.
When I came back to work after my short hiatus, a coworker approached me and asked about a text document she found on the computer. I had run a particularly bad call that had a bad outcome. One of those once-a-year calls that just stays with you. I was having difficulty reconciling the events of this particular call. Almost two years later, this call still stays with me.
My coworker pulled me aside at the station that day after work, and asked me if I wrote that document. I sheepishly replied that I had, and expressed some remorse that I left that document on the computer. I had meant to delete it, but never did. The result of our conversation was the impetus for my blogging. We talked about that call for over an hour, and she made me realize that writing about the call helped my deal with the outcome.
So I started writing. I started taking my computer with me to work, with a backup spiral notebook. When I have down time, I write. I find that I don’t get writer’s block too much. Mostly, words flow through my fingers, and it has become remarkably therapeutic. My computer has a file with an inconspicuous name which is literally hundreds of pages of writing. I just keep adding to it. Occasionally, something is good enough for me to post here. Maybe one day I will do something with all those words, but for now, it is my therapy.
I received an email shortly after I started posting to my old blog site, which led me to Dave Konig, and EMSBlogs. He and I corresponded over a few days, maybe a week, and the next thing I knew, I was an EMSBlogs hosted blogger, getting thousands of views a week. I have made virtual friends, which are simply too many to name, and I feel like I have become a changed person. This has truly been an exciting ride, and I am grateful to have received a ticket. I don’t know where this ride is going, but I know that I belong in EMS.
I am extremely grateful for you, the reader, for being here with me. I feel honored to work in the same field as you, and am delighted to call my readers my brothers and sisters in EMS. I don’t have to physically meet any of you to call you friends.
This is the best career in the world, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Thanks for being there with me in my journey. I still have my LSAT scores tucked away in a special spot in my office, but I’m not going anywhere.
CCC ain’t going out of service for a long time.