My High(s):

More firefighting experience. I hate that there have been an increase of fires, but I'm glad to get the experience.

My Low:

I got hot at above mentioned fire. I feel like a schmuck because of it.

Listening To:

The police scanner
Tim McGraw:
"You Don't Love Me Anymore"

Last Thing I Drank:

Coca-Cola Classic.

Thinking About:

Wearing jeans after I take the shower I'm about to take. And why I hate going to work... even though the project is almost over.

the fourteenth day of august, 2000... a monday.

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Quote Du Jour:
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." - Harry S. Truman.

On Saturday night / Sunday, I didn't go to bed until 9 a.m. Sunday night, I was in bed by 9 p.m. This morning, I was "wide-eyed and bushy-tailed" shortly before 5 a.m. My body has absolutely no clue as to what day & night are supposed to be. (0625)
It's 3:16. I'm at home. I should be at work. I skipped out for a while. And it's not because I don't want to be there. (Although I wouldn't say that I do want to be there -- I don't). I'm at home because I needed a place to privately kick myself in the ass.

Shorts and firefighting are not a good combination. For that reason, the fire department doesn't allow you to wear them on the fireground. I've taken said rule in consideration this summer and worn jeans more than I usually would have in the summer (usually, I wouldn't have pulled a pair out of the closet at all). However, today wasn't such a day.

I was at the station when the duty crew was dispatched to check on what was supposed to be a controlled burn. I rode over in my truck in case additional help was needed... and that was the case. The fire was out of the control and spreading fairly quickly. Because I was wearing shorts, I slipped on my turnout pants. "Turnouts" is the term used to described the pants and coat worn by firefighters. They are heavy and thick and designed to protect firefighters from the variety of dangers they face. They are designed primarily for structural firefighting -- not wildland fires. It didn't matter. I needed to cover my legs, so I put the pants on. The temperature was somewhere near 98 degrees. After running about in those warm pants, I started noticing that the heat was affecting me a bit. Several years ago, I almost let the heat bring me down while umpiring a baseball tournament... and didn't want to end up like that again. So, I finally stepped out of the firefighting action.

That sucks so hard. I'm there. I'm trying to prove myself. And I get too warm. If I had been wearing jeans, I would have lasted longer. I would have been okay. Putting on shorts this morning hurt me this afternoon. And I'm upset about it. I really dig this firefighting stuff. I don't want anything to stop me. I want to learn as much as I can. And I want to be the best. Granted, I can not be the best if I'm lying dead in a field from heat exhaustion... but I don't think I can be the best if I'm sitting on the side of an engine because I got too hot. It was a lose-lose situation:

If I stay in the action, I get sick. If I step out of the action, then I lose another chance at some more experience before leaving for school and I risk looking weak in front of the others. All of this trouble because of a pair of shorts. Yeesh. (1516)

Somewhere, someone is writing some damn good stuff. They then send it to all of their friends. And all of those friends send it to more friends. And somewhere along the way, the writings find themselves in my mailbox. Don't you just love e-mail?

One of the things I received and saved is a piece titled "Everything Happens For A Reason." It's not too terribly long and it's 100% correct. I found the copy I had saved this morning and read it again. It hit even closer to home this time around. And that's sad in some ways... and comforting in others. It means that the struggle is not mine alone. There is someone out there that's thinking along the same lines that I am. That's nice to know. It means that even if I am insane... there are others like me. :-) (1517)

Everything Happens For A Reason:

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way. And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul.

Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless. The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart to. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.


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