Reinventing Myself: Mid-week Musings

May 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm (Hump Day: Mid-week Musings)

Well, it is hump day again and it has been an interesting day.  I had the opportunity to spend some time today with a friend I have not had time to see in quite a while. She and I had a lot of catching up to do. One of the things we talked about was my progress–or lack thereof, really–on the job front. 

As I have mentioned before, prior to my decision to reinvent myself in my 40s, I was a mental health professional. I was both a counselor and a clinical director. My focus was inpatient, crisis stabilization. This meant that my knowledge and skill base was [is] more far-reaching than the average therapist. Due to my dual roles as a clinician and a clinical director, I had to learn an enormous amount of medical terminology, procedures and protocols, general information and practical skills. I was, for example, a certified medication technician; I was certified in seizure management; I was trained to take, record and interpret vital signs, as well as to perform withdrawal  assessment scales and assessments of other intervention values such as levels of psychosis. [I even developed, with our medical director, many of the assessment tools we used.] And, I was able to assist my nurse manager in the training of our staff.  Since the issues we treated were primarily psychiatric, I have had a great deal of medical training outside of my degree and professional certification. My knowledge of medications, their actions and interactions is almost scary. I can take blood pressures, pulses and respirations in my sleep–and do it the old-fashioned way by actually counting them rather than reading a machine. It is amazing how much of that crap I have retained despite not using it every day for over 3 years. But, then, I was very good at my job. In fact, I have a knack for it and for science in general.

My friend is a paramedic.  She is very bright, very well-trained and good at what she does.  She is also younger than I am and wise beyond her years.  Her intelligence, wit and wisdom are factors in our friendship–these things and a shared love of motorcycles, girls, and playing guitar. [And, did I mention love of girls?] So, anyway, we were catching up and talking about the whole job hunting thing–my worry over running out of savings, my struggle to not lose faith in myself, and my frustrations with trying to find a decent job, let alone a managerial and/or directorial position. You see, I have continued to think of myself as, primarily, an administrator and manager. The other skills I have were things I associated with being a clinical person. And, that is something I no longer want to do. So, all the medical skills and knowledge were not factors I considered when I thought about seeking a new career. It all seemed like the stuff that belonged in the “out-with-the-old” wagon. Until, that is, I talked to my friend.

She pointed out to me that reinvention did not mean throwing the baby out with the bath water. [Again, wisdom beyond her years.] And, she reminded me of a conversation we had late one night well over a year ago. The conversation centered around what was initially a joke:  “you could always become a paramedic and ride around with me in the middle of the night.” At the time, I did not see how I could make that work and it did not seem like such a great idea.  It seemed, then, like I would be wasting my potential in some way. It does not seem that way now.  The truth is, as my friend reminded me, I have a knack for things medically clinical…and I am good with crises and with people. Hell, I’ve got some experience with crises and I have seen some shit. The main piece of information she gave me today that helped me turn a corner is this: to get started, I only have to have the EMT certification; and, I can get that in a matter of weeks. I can then work while I attend school for the medic training.

A matter of weeks…it doesn’t take as long as I thought.  And, since I am already degreed, I do not have to mess with all the general college crap for either the EMT or the paramedic training.  Thus, my time would be shortened anyway. Wheels started turning in my feeble brain…Ideas began to take shape.  I asked one more question about whether being a paramedic could lead to other things.  Turns out, there are programs that will, in a short time [relatively speaking], take you from a medic to a RN or a PA–especially, if you are already degreed. My friend, for example, is looking at the local accelerated PA programs. “Well”, I thought…”how about them apples?”

We talked some more. We talked about how much better she feels in her own skin and how much better her life is since she came out. We even took time to discuss really important things like the women we love, the beauty of female breasts, the simplicity and power of the clitoris, and the incredible wonder of vaginas. We talked about motorcycles. And, we talked about how well we think her boy will get along with Scin’s son. Oh, and grilling out; we talked about all of us sharing food too. We covered all the major stuff. And, by the time she left, I had made the decision to follow-up with my local unemployment office to apply for the retraining funds I am eligible for.

A matter of weeks for training. Job placement assistance. A few weeks to get a position starting out working as an EMT. I can find a way to pay the bills for a few more weeks–for a couple of months. Especially, given there is a relatively quick pay off in terms of getting back to work. As well as job security. And, income while going on for the paramedic certification. I can live with that. It is a good option for me. It is a good way to use and build upon the best of my old profession, the best of my previous skill sets. It is a good way for me to still be of service, to be of use to others, without having to return to mental health care. And, as my friend pointed out, perhaps the very best part is…I get to wear a uniform. Scin really likes the idea of the uniform. I must admit, I do too.


  1. Blazer said,

    Amazing how things turn around in such a short time. It really does sound like a great match with some many of your skills and your past experience. And the uniform, a great bonus!

    • androgynonamous said,

      Well, hello friend of mine. Glad to know you think it is a good plan. I was wondering what you would think…you are always a good reality check! HA! Hope things are going well. I’ll keep you posted on the outcomes regarding finiancial aid, when I can start and all that crap. I am, actually, kind of excited. Just making the decision to branch out a bit in one way and return to what I know in another has made all the difference. And, there is the uniform! So, LMAO! Talk to you soon.

  2. Scintillectual said,

    I just have this to say about that: I love you and I continue to be incredibly proud of you. 🙂


    • androgynonamous said,

      Thank you, baby. That you are proud of my means so much and makes all the difference. I love you too.

  3. Holden said,

    That sounds like a great plan, good luck with it. I look forward to reading about how you’re getting on with your new career adventure. 🙂

    • androgynonamous said,

      Thanks so much, Holden. It is great to hear from you. I will indeed, keep you posted. I hope you are well and look forward to checking in with you too.

  4. kerie said,

    EMT sounds awesome, flashing lights, sirens, driving fast and a uniform to boot. Oh yeah…saving people too…very cool!!!

    Gotta say though, I’d love to have been a part of that conversation about bikes and breasts, I have spent considerable time studying those particular topics 😀

    • androgynonamous said,

      Thanks for your support. I think it is a cool idea for a multitude of reasons–not the least of which are the fast driving, lights, uniforms, and the saving people thng is a perk…HA!! Also, glad you liked the talk about breasts and bikes–I too find the study of these most worthwhile!! LMAO! Peace,

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