It's not always as rosy as it seems at the firehouse. I have witnessed firefighters in screaming matches, things getting thrown around. It can get pretty dramatic. We are, after all, pretty intense people. Being cooped up with the same people you haven't necessarily chosen to be with often does not help. With this damp, cold and rainy weather we have all been pretty miserable and it feels like house arrest hanging out in the fire house itching for the alarm to go so we have an excuse to get out and feel useful. Bickering starts over nothing: who cleans more, who ate the last of the peanut butter, what channel to watch on tv. Asinine problems I know but in the heat of the moment they can be real issues.
I am not immune.
Yesterday was my first shift as Acting Captain but there were some problems off the bat before I even set foot into the station:
1- I had a torn bicep muscle and my arm was in excruciating pain.
2- my children were up the past two nights with fevers and tummy aches and I was exhausted and overwhelmed
3-Aunt Flo decided to pay me an early visit.
So although I was confident and capable and sure footed as I ran the calls, I felt out of sorts and insecure fitting in with this new group of fellas that I have only been with for two weeks. I still haven't learned their working styles, their strengths, their weaknesses and they certainly didn't know mine. And even though I am senior to them, they run the show because it is their station, and they know the neighborhood and the surroundings like the back of their hand.
I can honestly say I learned more about myself as a firefighter during these past 24 hours than I have this past year. It was crazy. It was amazing. And without getting into the gory details, it is why I love this job so much because it pushes me to those mental limits that make me just want to be a better person and a contributer to this profession I love.
I have never been so exhausted in my life. But every bag under my eye and grey hair on top of my head I have proudly earned. Keep bringing it... the learning never stops and I want to continue to learn like I've never learned before. xo