May 17, 2012

Watch out for Wookies

Ambulance Driver has been singeing some wookie fur lately, and when I need a dose of the crazy, I scoot in there and read some comments.

This one has been puttering around in the back of my head since I read it:

AD: It isn't a "line of work" for me. It's who I am.

Commenter: If you are so wrapped up in what you do that it defines who you are--what happens if you get fired? What happens if you injure your back and can't be a paramedic anymore?

I'll tell you what happens. You either curl up and die inside, becoming a bitter shell of who you used to be, or you grit your teeth, find another way to make a living, and enjoy all the other passions in your life.

AD is one of the lucky people who found an avocation and turned it into a vocation. It helps that he's pretty damn good at what he does. If you've never had that experience, I'm sorry. I paralleled my avocation (fire and EMS) into a career as a dispatcher. I've been doing it for more than a handful of years now, and I still like going to work most mornings. Every day? Of course not. But more often than not, I like my job. It's who I am.

Kelly identifies as a paramedic. I identify as a dispatcher. It's who we are. 

What happens if I can't be a dispatcher anymore? I grit my teeth and go looking for something else that I enjoy doing and can make a living at. In the meantime, I'll find some way to pay the bills, and enjoy the other things I love: my wife, my house, my animals, my guns, my photography...


Old NFO said...

Excellent point! And well said... :-)

Bubblehead Les. said...

Sounds like something a whole lot of Military Veterans, Retired LEOs, etc have gad to deal with since the Dawn of Time. After all, wasn't a Roman Legionnaire supposed to settle down and become a Farmer after his 25 years were up?

mhaithaca said...

Sounds familiar! I identify as a Cornell IT staff member, and being shoved out of that felt very weird.

Even a part-time stint at Ithaca College may give me the chance to find a new identity.