An Open Letter:

Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you know, I decided almost 2 years ago to embark on a new career path. The debate on what I should do with the rest of my life had been going on ever since graduation from high school in 2005. I started out wanting to become a teacher. This is something everyone has always told me I would be good at and it's something I enjoy. After spending a little over 2 years at a community college with Liberal Studies in mind, it occurred to me that while I enjoy teaching, it isn't something I want to do as a career. A few months after that, I thought I had finally found my ideal major: kinesiology. I had lost weight and my health and mood had improved greatly and this was in direct correlation to leading a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to study why food and weight affects people the way it does and I wanted to help people who were in a situation that I had seemingly conquered. I am still fascinated by the direct relationship between food, exercise and mood. However, after taking a required First Responder class, I discovered what I believe to be my true passion, becoming a Paramedic (and maybe with a little Firefighter on the side).

Emergency medicine has always been glamorized. Shows like E.R. and Trauma show smart, beautiful people saving lives at a fast pace. I'm not going to lie and tell you this wasn't part of the attraction. But for those of you that have read my previous blogs, you know that's not the main reason I want to become a Paramedic. If you've ever had to call 911, it probably wasn't because everything was going just fine and dandy. You probably called because everything was going wrong. So wrong, you couldn't fix it on your own and you couldn't wait for a friend, family, or a doctors appointment. This means that you know the way it feels when someone who knows what to do shows up. You feel safer, relieved (and you usually start to feel better!). I have said this before, but I want to do that for people. I want to be someone's calm in the chaos. I love the fast pace, the adrenaline rush. And, in all honesty, I love that it is not prolonged care. I'm not with someone for days at a time. Essentially, I pick up, treat, transport, drop off. It's quick and effective. There are other aspects to this career that I enjoy, too. Probably too many to list, so I'm not going to try.

The path I have chosen is arduous and life consuming. It took hard work to get to where I am now and it will take more hard work to get to where I want to be. That's what this blog is about. I want you all to know what will be happening in the next year or two.

As of right now, I am an EMT employed by a private ambulance company where I work 40+ hours a week. I also nanny 1-2 days a week, if time permits. At the end of this month, I will begin Paramedic Prep (which is just what it sounds like it is: a class that prepares you for the Paramedic Program). I will be in school 2 days a week and I will be working 5 days a week for a little over a month. After that class, I will hopefully be beginning the San Diego County Fire Authority Volunteer Firefighter Academy in El Cajon. Once that academy is completed, I will be volunteering one day a week at a fire station. I will, presumably, still be employed with the ambulance company, as well as still nannying. This means I will be busy 6-7 days a week. Come August, I hope to have been accepted into the Paramedic Program. This will launch me into a very busy, hectic schedule of class work and then eventually clinical and internship hours. I plan to resign from the ambulance company and nanny 2-3 days a week during this time. I have no idea how busy I will be. I'm assuming I will be in class 3 days a week (all day), working 2-3, studying the rest of the time. Following my completion of the Paramedic Program, I plan on going into the Fire Academy offered at Palomar. In order to do this, I will need to be getting myself physically ready prior to beginning the academy. This means that on top of school and work, I will also be in a training of sorts in preparation for the academy. At the end of this whole process, I hope to be employed at a fire station in North San Diego County. I don't have a real time line, though I have been saying that I hope to have reached my goals within 5 years (and that seems like a plausible amount of time).

Now, all of this information has been leading up to this very moment. The following is the whole point of this blog:

You may not see me for up to 5 years.

This may sound harsh, a little unrealistic, perhaps a tad dramatic. But I want to prepare you for the worst. In order to reach my many goals, I will have to be unequivocally dedicated. My life will become as follows: Study, eat, go to class, study, eat, workout, sleep, study, work, study, workout, study, eat, sleep (repeat as necessary). You will ask me to do something. I will ask if it involves any of the aforementioned items (combining several of them is always a bonus). I will most likely decline.

Please, please, please don't give up on me! Know I want to see you, want to spend time with you. Know that your support and understanding has made the process so far much more tolerable. Know it will get worse before it gets better but that it will get better. Know that when I say no, it tears me up inside. I will do what I can to make time for "fun" things. Unfortunately, I am one of those people that really, really values sleep. So, if it comes down to hanging out with people and getting 3 hours of sleep or getting 6 hours of sleep, I'm going to choose sleep. When you talk to me, all I will most likely talk about is what I'm learning about. I will be so tired from all my busy work, I probably won't even listen to what you say! Please, please, please, PLEASE don't give up on me!!!

I love spending time with my family and friends. I love the memories we make and the stories we tell. I value your advice and the listening ears/shoulders to cry on. I'm sorry I may not be there for you the way I have been and the way you have all been there for me. It will all be worth it. (Trust me, you want me to excel! You don't want to call 911 and get an F-Tard. You want the pro's)

If you take anything away from this whole, long, drawn out blog, let it be this: I will say no to hanging out, I will not listen when you talk, you may not hear from me for weeks. But I love you. And I need you. Please be patient with me.

I think I have (finally) run out of things to say... Looks like it's time to go back to paper writing and studying!