So what now? I took a seasonal Paramedic job with the Tri-Valley Fire Department, resigning from my clinic job after eight months of blood pressures, flu shots & nebulizers for a chance to get more solid Paramedic experience, if only temporarily. I’ve been here nearly a month, working every other week. As the spring semester was wrapping up, The Plan was for Peter to finish up school in the fall, after which we would move to Texas to establish residency as he applied to Texas med schools. I was going to get a real, full-time Paramedic job. Finally.
I turned thirty a few weeks ago. I was hoping it would pass like every other birthday … just a blip on the radar and on to another year. I refused to believe it would bother me. But apparently a self-reflective freak-out was inevitably right on the heels of the margarita & hot-wing celebration. Since I finished my B.A., I’ve never held a job for more than nine months. I’ve applied to and been rejected from MFA programs, started applications for and abandoned the pursuit of an MSW, and dropped out of a Master’s in Education one semester from finishing. I’ve tried eight year’s worth of different jobs on different tracks. I’ve made lots of roads into what I don’t want to do and backed out a little wiser each time, but until I started into the medical field last year I hadn’t found anything that stuck.
Turning thirty and Peter’s trajectory into the next eight (plus) years of medical school & residency have made me give my life a longer look. I love pre-hospital medicine, at least in the limited capacity I’ve experienced it so far. But a life of being underpaid and working twenty-four hour shifts isn’t exactly where I want to be when I’m turning 40.
With encouragement from the PA & ANP I was working with at the clinic, I’ve been looking into what it would take to apply to PA school. It’s a little intimidating, going back to school … again … on so many levels. But the life & possibilities presented by being a PA are so much more along the lines of what I want for my life. I think. Even though I won’t be on the front lines anymore, my Paramedic license and out-of-hospital work isn’t going away. I do love what I’m doing right now, now that I’m working as a Paramedic. I just need to start looking ahead as well.
I worry a little that by jumping with both feet onto a career path that heads directly into science and medicine and several more solid and very full years of school with a R.E.A.L. J.O.B. at the end, that somehow I'm giving up on writing, on running dogs, on playing guitar on stage and raising goats & chickens & a greenhouse full of tomatoes & peppers & spinach. I'm trying to remember, more, to believe that all these things are mutually possible. But looking at the specter of hard sciences on the horizon it's a little hard to see how its all going to fit.
We'll see how I feel about all this in six weeks.