I've got a lot to learn and there is a ton of material to absorb, but I am excited.
Excited? Fuck that.
I am blitzed out of my mind stoked!
As I walked into class today, I felt a kind of nausea similar to those awkward high school days. I suddenly felt like the new kid in class all over again. I overheard some chatter about some people taking this course a another time. Immediately, I felt an "Uh-oh" jump up in my throat. Maybe this wasn't going to be as easy as I thought. There is actually a possiblity of me failing. I definitely need to stay on my toes.
As we waited for the lecture to begin, people were beginning to click together and chit-chat. Would I be making friends? I reminded myself that I am not here to make friends. I am here to learn, and I need to stay focused.
After a brief course overview and introductions, we learned about the history of EMTs and our impact on today's society, especially after 9/11. One of our instructors, who was as round as he was funny (which is to say very round and very funny), said something that stuck in my head. He said something like...
Everybody is somebody. We're there for the lowest of the low as well as the highest of the high. Whether we are carrying someone wearing four layers of clothing soaked in urine or helping Donald Trump down a flight of stairs, we help everybody. And everybody is somebody.
As I left the lecture hall, overwhelmed by the information given and the material to come, I knew I was on my way to do something good. I am on my way to doing something that people can't twist the truth around and call me a "bad guy". And it feels almost natural. Natural.
From as far as back as I can remember, I've spent my nights up and about waiting for action. Of course on some quiet lonely nights, I've taken myself out to where action can wait for me. These nights, that's where I am going: where the action is.
I told them about a job opening as a hospital patient transporter out near campus. They'd be happy, right? They were. And then I told them about my plans to still take the EMT training course here near home. And that's when the shit hit the fan.
They couldn't see why I would want to that. If a place offers me a job, I should take it: with full-availability. Taking this EMT course could lessen my chances of landing that job by limiting my availability to work there. They don't see why I would want to become an EMT. They felt that I was just sabotaging my chances and not moving forward with my life.
But here's what I didn't tell them. I admit, I could take this EMT course anywhere. Fresh "out of college" near campus or at a city hospital. But I didn't. I decided to get certified near home. I wanted to do this because I wanted to be there for my mom and dad. My brother is three hours away at another college and I know how lonely my mom can get. I'm here near home. And I feel like it's my responsibility as their son to take care of them and not leave them alone. I'm not sabotaging my future. I admit, I feel I have to make motions to move forward in life. But I can't let myself do that and leave my parents alone in an empty house. I'm their son. I should be there. But I didn't tell them that. I just nodded my head and walked away. I figured it was best that they didn't know. After all, I wouldn't want them to think that they were holding me back.
They're not. They're pushing me forward.
After getting some fresh air, and the 9/11 Tribute of Lights lighting up the night sky, I began seeing my parents in a different light. Maybe it's not that they're stronger than I thought they were, but that I thought they weren't that strong to begin with.
Strength. True strength. A strength that does not come from an origin of an alien race or some radioactive spider bite.
But comes from the people around you who believe in you more than life itself. That's not love. That's ferocity.
And I'm pretty sure that when people ask me how old I am, I'll have a brain fart and stutter out: "Twenty-two-err, I mean twenty-three. Twenty-Three."
It is as if that little Freudian slip was my mouth's own testimony of how fast tempus FREAKIN' fugits.
These past five days have been great. Probably one of the most memorable birthdays ever.
The other night, I spent it sitting down with a friend I haven't seen in what seemed like forever, hwen it was jsut a summer. We spent our time talking the night away with my best friend passed out behind us reeking of shots and sharpie ink. As she was telling me about her great summer, I listened happily, with a splash of jealousy. But don't get me wrong. Things were going great for her, and I was happy because I honestly felt she deserved it. It was just a little sad how my life has been juggling trick of knives with bloody knuckles to go with it.
But just sitting there, listening to her and being that shoulder she cried happy tears on was one of the best presents I ever had. And leading a life where I find myself missing out on so many good times, I was surprised to find so many people there for me on my birthday. On my own good time.
And at the end of the day, it was nice to have someone who doesn't just believe in some iconic superhero. But simply believes in the classic, the ordinary, me.
And it's nice to have a fan.