I rarely post about my own personal feelings on my blog. Lately some of my stuff has been introspective, but to a point. Recently I have had the desire to vent some thoughts I’ve had just to get them out there.
For the first time since August of 2002, I feel alone. In August of that that year I moved to Oklahoma, leaving everything familiar I knew behind, and learned how to survive on my own (albeit with a few training wheels), and chose my path in life. Made friends that endure, at a distance except for 1 but her and I don’t talk for more complicated reasons, and even she would be welcome if it helped blunt the sting. The reason I feel alone is because my more recent friends have left, or are leaving, the Memphis Fire Department.
The brain drain is on.
Yet, I find it hard for me to print out my resignation letter and march down to city hall and turn it in with a big stamp that says “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.” I could end it just like that. No longer a firefighter for Memphis. In a larger sense, to give up that which I have sweat and bleed and sacrificed my body and at times, my sanity for. To give up the fulfillment of a desire that started when I was 14.
To work “the big time.” To leave the little sleepy town of 24,000 people and make it to a fire department with more than a handful of fire stations, that actually fought fire more than once every few months. It was a dream that I fulfilled, and now I’m having a hard time with the thought of giving it up just because I’ve worked for it.
Would giving it up because the incentive to work in government is being systematically and callously dismantled represent a failure on my part to be able to “stick it out?” Does it mean I failed the people that dedicated their time to get me here?
Maybe not. If I have no guarantee of a future here, why should I stay? If I get hurt, there will be no medical benefits if I get injured and if I die (God forbid) there probably wouldn’t even be a payout to my wife and if there was it would be a meager amount that wouldn’t replace me.
Can I give up the title, the one I’ve held almost consistently since 2002? Can I be “hybrid” no more?
Only God knows.