I’m having trouble saying who I am at present.
It was easy when I worked on the ambulances – I was ‘ambulance worker’, the job defined me completely. The shift work made me sleep at weird hours and be grumpy when I was awake. I walked around other people’s homes as if they belonged to me and I raced along the road on blue lights. I was part of a clique of people who had seen things and done things that most people never even think about, the camaraderie and the in jokes, the swearing, the ‘us vs. them’ attitude. My job defined who I was.
Then I left the ambulance service (just in time, as my crumbling back gave me numb legs and I couldn’t see myself carrying 20st patients any more) and I became a nurse practitioner. There is something about being a nurse practitioner that just doesn’t give me meaning like when I was working on an ambulance. Is it because it is less stressful? Is it because the camaraderie is not as strong? Is it because, instead of saving lives and delivering babies, I’m now telling people how to deal with sore throats and runny noses?
I’m no longer described and defined by my job. ‘Ambulance worker’ was my super hero identity, ‘Nurse practitioner’ is just a job. When I’m not at work I’m not ‘off duty’ any more – I’m just not at work. Working on the ambulances defined me but being a nurse doesn’t seem to fulfil that same role.
I’m not sure that this is a bad thing, but I think it is something that has been worrying away at the back of my mind for a while. I’m wondering if it’s come to the front of my mind because my old blog Random Acts Of Reality has finally been deleted from the internet (due to Blogware shutting down). I have the whole site in a vaguely unusable export format – but something that was such a large part of my life has now gone, and I’ve nothing new to replace it with.
Maybe I need to find something…