It’s still sinking in that I am living my dream, that I finally found my calling. I’ve been working as an EMT on an ambulance since March 1, and I still get butterflies every time I put on my uniform at 4:30am before my shift. For the past few years, I’ve been searching for what I was meant to do next. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel to have finally put that yearning to rest.
Alex and I were chatting recently and he said, “It’s too bad you didn’t find this years ago!!” I thought about that and realized it would never have worked years ago. This dream would not have been able to be a reality if it had tried to emerge from its cocoon too early. (Much to my frustration. I am not a patient person when it comes to figuring out what I am supposed to be doing to fulfill my higher purpose, to live my best life.)
Life is like a long line of Dominos- you know, the ones you used to line up as a kid, so close they were almost touching but not quite…and then you flick your finger at the end of the long Domino snake and it all falls to pieces. Still all connected, end to end. But if you took one Domino out, the whole chain would stop. They wouldn’t be a “whole” anymore. There would be a disconnect. There has to be a Domino before and a Domino after, otherwise the chain doesn’t keep going.
Life is a lot like that Domino creation. There has to be a “before” and and “after.” You can’t jump ahead of where you’re supposed to be at any given moment because you’ll cause a gap in the Domino chain of life, and there will be a gap where things just won’t work anymore. Life has to go in order.
Back in the years when I was searching for what I was supposed to do after my chapter of Momming, I could feel something big waiting for me, readying itself and me. I tried a variety of different things to explore whether those things were my calling. I just kept saying “yes” to opportunities as they presented themselves, in hopes I would stumble upon my Big Dream. But nothing felt like Home. So I just kept saying “yes” and trusting that eventually I would find the right and perfect “yes.”
I had to go through every single thing I’ve gone through in my life- all those Dominos- in order to be exactly the right version of me at exactly the right time so that at that perfect moment, I was ready to say “yes” to the Big Dream. When the inspiration flew into my brain, I did instantly know it was The One. The Dream I’d been searching for, waiting years for, the Dream that felt like Home. I knew it instantly.
But if I hadn’t had the kids I had, I wouldn’t have experienced all their emotional, behavioral, academic, and medical crises. I wouldn’t have been immersed in the medical world the way I have been. I wouldn’t have found my voice as an advocate, mother, friend, social worker, inspirationist. If we didn’t have a global pandemic and Alex wasn’t forced to work from home, I wouldn’t be free to leave for my 12-hour shifts. If we didn’t have two kids at college, it would be too much for Alex to be able to handle working full time from home AND having to juggle the needs of four kids and three dogs all by himself while I’m working. If Ella wasn’t doing homeopathic treatment for her PANDAS and getting incrementally healthier, her overwhelming anxiety would not allow her to let me walk out the door without experiencing a panic attack. If we hadn’t moved where we did almost 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have had the experiences I’ve had where I’ve been at the right place at the right time to help strangers who had medical emergencies, which made me realized how much I love helping people who are suffering with medical issues. If my friend hadn’t been brave enough to ask for help that early August morning when her husband had a health emergency, and the paramedic hadn’t asked me, “Are you a nurse or a medic?,” I would not be in the delightful place I am today.
My motto is to just keep showing up, stay open, and keep saying “yes” to the things that feel right to my heart, and that always leads to the place I am meant to be in life.
I went to Minnesota in February to finish my clinicals for my EMT training. About halfway through the drive, a song I’d never heard before came on the radio. It’s called “Glorious Unfolding” by Curtis Chapman. It’s become my anthem:
Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it all out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold
And this is going to be a GLORIOUS UNFOLDING
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding
I mean, seriously, who doesn’t want a glorious unfolding? Can’t you just picture your beautiful, colorful wings unfurling from the cramped, dark cocoon where they’ve been waiting? Finally ready to bring the world their gifts. Finally ready to be who you are meant to be.
Your chain of Dominos is exactly the length and shape it’s supposed to be to bring you to what you are meant to do next. If you’re searching, keep your heart and eyes open, keep saying “yes.” Your glorious unfolding is already in progress.