I will never understand why I wanted it so bad.
I purchased a study guide by John Purryear and the day that it arrived in the mail I listened to it. 16 hours of review on Emergency Medicine Technician Paramedic skills. He said: Don't worry about passing the test. You're going to pass. You're going to pass because no one chooses this profession. This profession is a calling. The things we see. The choices we are forced to make. The hours. No one chooses this career. This career chooses you.
Looking back now, during the calm, I can see that.
Just over two years ago I chose to leave a very unhealthy marriage and I was terrified at where I might land. I had friends tell me that I wasn't praying enough... and then I had friends disappear. I was in a foreign state, no family, no degree, just me and my babies and this ridiculous calling.
I sometimes think about what that "friend" said, about how I don't pray enough. How does one know how much prayer is enough... or not enough? Do people really think God punishes us for not being formal in our conversations with Him? I think about that when I look at a patient's loved ones forced to face the fact that there is nothing more we can do to help them, or those who have suffered tremendous abuse. I look at them and not one time do I think that they didn't pray enough, I just think.. what can I do to help.
It's not only my job to help... It's my duty. My human duty.
I graduated this ridiculous course, took my skills test this past week, and then I scheduled my registry. Scared out of my mind, Saturday morning at 8 am, I took it... and you can bet your ass I prayed. I don't know if it was enough, but it was certainly prayer.
I walked out of there, called Dale CariAnn, and my mother, and I informed them that I had just failed my Paramedic Registry. That was the most challenging thing I have ever done. Two years of my life wasted. What would I tell my kids?!
Everyone reminded me that this test was designed to be hard. To test you above your skill level and that the better you did the harder it was and that I should Calm down until receiving the official results Monday morning. I had to sit with this doom of being a complete failure, of forcing my kids to sacrifice so much for nothing, for two full days. And I had to work.
Monday morning came... and at 7:45 am I read the following:
Congratulations on successfully passing your NREMT Paramedic Registry.
There it was. I passed.
This has been, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the most difficult year of my life and this week I will get to lay it to rest.
By the grace of God, I am finally a paramedic.
It was so long. I wanted to quit so many times. Heck, I was told to quit. My kids begged me to quit. I was so beyond tired that I couldn't hold my head up in class at times.
I have been told time and time again how strong I am. So many people have said "I don't know how you do it", but the thing is... I didn't have a choice. It's always meant as a kindness. As a gentle reminder of how highly that individual thinks of me and possibly the amount of Grace they believe that I carry. It's almost always a compliment, but it never feels like it, because the fact is... I don't get a choice in the matter. I don't get to be weak. I don't get to have a melt down. I can't afford to break. I'm strong because of the road that was set before me.
Climbing mountains builds endurance, character, and strength. Occasionally it'd be nice if those mountains leveled off just a bit.
I had one shot at this. I had no idea if I was going to have a soft place to land or come crashing down, but there is one thing I was certain of: I had to find out.
During the refresher, John Purryear says: "I'm going to kill someone if I pass this test,"
I'm sure that thought has crossed all of our minds.
I don't know why I was called to this profession, but it is my hope that God will continue to guide me. I can't think of a greater responsibility than to have the fate of that of another human being in your hands.
Yes, I passed registry, but I'm certainly no Doctor. That being said: I can do a damn fine job of quoting one. For as Dr. Suess says: