Whenever I meet new people, which is usually quite rare, as I have a bit of a habit of avoiding people, the question invariably comes up: “What do you do for a living?” which is virtually always followed by something along the lines of “That must be exciting!” or “I bet you see some gross/weird/strange stuff!” And that question usually comes up too early in a conversation, and I become “the paramedic” instead of the “guy that happens to be a paramedic.”
True, I readily identify myself as a paramedic, and proudly so. I enjoy this job and get great personal satisfaction from it. There are many other things that I like to do aside from work, however. I golf. I paint. I cook. I read. I write. And on and on.
But herein lies the problem. I intentionally avoid socializing with my coworkers. They for the most part, form small cliques and tend to hang together. I can’t help but know that there is so much more out there than other paramedics and EMTs.
This may be why I isolate myself from people. I don’t like being “that guy that is a paramedic.” The majority of the people I call friends have known me prior to my career in EMS, which would have been high school. They know who I am without the uniform.
But occasionally, you meet a fellow EMS guy or gal who is truly interesting. Someone who knows who you are, but not really. Someone who doesn’t want to hear about the gross/weird/strange stuff you see at work. Someone who says, “yeah, I get it, you are a paramedic. But what else do you do?”
It is refreshing to have someone to talk to, to get to know. It’s nice to be able to call someone halfway across the country a friend, having never met them outside an internet or mobile phone connection. This anonymity lends itself to openness and honesty, and it is very refreshing.
You know who you are. Thanks for being my friend. I am glad I know you.