I've been doing some soul-searching lately because I'm about to take on a bit of a challenge. I'm going to start paramedic classes.
It'll be a massive sacrifice of my time. Becoming a paramedic is no joke. Being an EMT was just four months of evening classes, 48 hours of riding in ambulances, another 24 hours annoying firemen, passing a test and BOOM! You're a certified Emergency Medical "Technician." That basically means you can insert a nasal cannula without poking a patient's septum. Most of the time.
Being a paramedic, on the other hand, is a whole 'nother ball game. The paramedic class is ten months long. It involves over three hundred hours of clinic time. I can't take the class and hold a full-time job as well, so taking a paramedic class also involves a massive financial sacrifice on my part. Plus there's my three-year-old son, my search for a decent car and a decent apartment.... and the fact that I won't be the only one making sacrificing should I make the choice to take paramedic classes. My parents will be sacrificing as well. I will need them to do a great deal more free babysitting if I'm going to spend the next ten months shedding blood, sweat, and tears for a paramedic certificate.
And that doesn't even begin to cover the damn TEST!
But whenever I start to get scared about all the work in front of me, I think of Jennifer Arnold.
Jennifer Arnold did all that however, while at the same time marrying a wonderful husband and adopting two adorable children. The warm, fuzzy, genteel upper-middle-class household Arnold has built with her husband is almost a disappointment for TLC's reality show The Little Couple. There's nothing dramatic or lurid about Jennifer Arnold and her husband. There's no drama, no tears, no tantrums (besides the occasional one from their two children, of course), and no shallow grandstanding. Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold are incredibly normal people and watching their lives unfold in front of the camera becomes dull after a while. It's like watching home videos of your parents.
As I've said before, I haven't watched a great deal of The Little Couple because I tend to get bored by its wholesomeness. Nevertheless, I've watched enough to be impressed- and chastened- by Jennifer Arnold's competent demeanor as she strides around the Texas Children's Hospital in her lab coat, uses a stepladder to peak into the bassinets of her newest patients, and succeeds in reassuring nervous parents whilst speaking to them with her face upturned because of the massive height difference. Basically, Jennifer Arnold is a bold lesson for me: You can advance professionally in your career because dammit! No matter how bad you think you have it trust me.... Jennifer Arnold had it worse and she managed to become an employed doctor anyway!
So I'm going for it. I'm getting my paramedic degree. It doesn't matter that I'll be exhausted. It doesn't matter that I'll feel so guilty about how much work I'm giving my mother in terms of free babysitting or how much time I'll be missing with my son. Frankly, watching Jennifer Arnold live her life lays a smack-down on all of us: What the hell are y'all bellyachin' about?? Compared to some people, we have a helluva head start when it comes to building a successful life. So get on with it!