Monday, June 9, 2008


Have you ever noticed that just when you think you know what you want, something minor changes and all of a sudden, you’re not so sure? Yeah, that’s my life these days. I thought for sure I knew what I wanted, and even had most of it planned out. Then, one conversation later, I have no clue what I want.

Part of me really wants to become a paramedic. I know it’s not the financially or the physically best thing for me, but I love the way I feel when I know I have truly helped someone, even if it’s just holding an old lady’s hand as we drive her to the hospital to check on her hypertension. Whether the wife will support me in that decision or not remains to be seen. I know she dislikes the ambulance company. She doesn’t like that I’m there so much, even though she’s away from home more than I am these days. How is she going to feel if I get the training and accept a job as a 24-hour medic? I would work 24 hours every third day. Yeah, I’d be home a lot more, but then I’d be gone a lot, too. And the money is nowhere near what I make now, so I would have to work overtime to make ends meet, which equates to more time away. It seems to be an endless loop.

Then there is the rather large part of me that wants to become a chef. I want to go to a formal culinary school, like the Culinary Institute of America. I want to get a job in a fancy restaurant, and cook fancy meals for people. I want to travel the world, learning new cuisines, and new techniques. But I know this is one decision that the wife won’t support. Go back to school? Yeah, right. Work evenings and weekends? Never.

Then there’s the unknown. What do I really want to do? What would make me happy? Would being a paramedic really make me happy? Or is it just one of those things I want to do so that I can belong somewhere, to be a part of something? Would being a chef truly make me happy? Long hours, hot work environment, constantly on my feet? Or do I just want to be able to impress people? Why does everyone else’s opinion matter so much to me?

What it comes down to, ultimately, is that I want to be great at something. Not everything, just ONE thing. ANY thing. I hate being second best. I hate second-guessing myself all the time. I just want to be considered good at one thing by those that are in the business. It’s not the same when your wife says you’re good at something, especially when she has no clue what it is you do. I want an architect to tell me I’m great at architecture. I want an EMT I respect, or even better, a well-seasoned paramedic, to tell me I am a great EMT.

These are the dilemmas of my life, and frankly, I don’t want to deal with any of them.