Things change. Sometimes they change because we want them to. Sometimes they change because we need them to.
I’ve been working full-time as a paramedic since the beginning of 1999. In my working life I’ve done what seems like a million different jobs, most of them while living in New York City’s metropolitan area. My life is good. I have amazing friends and a job that I love (most of the time). I am lucky to be able to live comfortably, and I work hard for the things I have. My problem is that I feel my life has stagnated. I often find myself wondering “Is this all there is for me?”
So…what changes do I make?
Location? I’ve wanted to go back to upstate New York for years. Unfortunately, paramedics don’t make anything even resembling a living wage in the Albany area. The commute to New Jersey is doable, but not ideal. That being said, the commute would be more than worth it for a positive change. I can drive the 300 miles round-trip 3-4 times every 2 weeks.
Job? I have no desire to be in the EMS management structure; it’s like herding cats…we’re all too independent for our own good (and that’s a necessary thing in para-medicine). I have no desire to be a nurse or a physician assistant. I have no desire to be a doctor. Being a line medic is great, but (realistically speaking) I can’t do it forever. It’s hard on the body as well as being hard on the mind and on the soul. I’d also kill for the opportunity to wear something other than blue polyester-blend pants and black combat boots to work.
Both location and job? An amazing opportunity came up in the form of a job that could have been tailor-made for me. I was offered a job at a company that does translation and localization (of pretty much everything) as a project manager. I’m extremely excited about it. It’s a job I did in high school as a freelancer, and I had no idea that I could actually make a career of it. The company also happens to be located about three miles from the city I’d like to be living in.
I have a lot of change coming at once. That it’s what I’ve actively pursued doesn’t make it any less terrifying, but it’s what I want…what I’ve been working toward. You can’t make it as a paramedic without being able to handle a little fear (and a lot of blood, guts, tears, and body fluids…)
Sometimes you have to walk through a door having faith that your path to a better life lies on the other side.
Photo taken with an iPhone 4S and processed with Pixlromatic, Filterstorm, and FingerFocus.