Selflessness Versus Selfishness

When I think about growing up in a lower middle class neighborhood, I keep coming back to the amazing sacrifices that my Mom made for us. We were fortunate; we had a home, actually, a very nice home for the neighborhood we were in. (Looking back it really wasn’t that bad of a neighborhood—Today it’s totally different.) We had food on the table. When we went anywhere my mom made sure we were clean and pressed. We were able to attend the same local Catholic school my mom attended as a child. My mom did her best to make sure we had everything we needed, from the material to the emotional. And she did an fantastic job. She's one of my true real life heroes.

For all of this to happen, my Mom sacrificed untold amounts. She worked constantly, sometimes two or three jobs at a time. None of the jobs were anything she actually enjoyed. Managing a cosmetics counter, working at a modeling agency as a scout (they actually sent my HOT mom to a private all boys high school once – I remember her saying it was one of the most degrading moments of her life.), and her least favorite, bill collector. I remember her just having to force herself to go. She didn’t complain much, but I knew she hated it. She was doing what she had to do to provide for us.

Fast forward 20 years. I’m happy to say she has a job she enjoys, and she’s very good at it. She makes great money, and doesn’t dread getting up for work in the morning. She has the best work ethic of any person I know.

I’m grateful… I’m SO grateful… For EVERYTHING she’s done for me, my younger brother, and my family.

Here’s where things get a little…sticky.

In the past my Mom has expressed her displeasure with me working an EMS job. She did change her tune a little bit as I progressed through Medic school, but now that I’m taking a mod off (Going back in May to finish up), she’s reverted back to her anti-EMS stance. She doesn’t have a problem with me working fifty hour weeks as a dispatcher (a job I’m quickly learning to DESPISE), but doesn’t want to even entertain the idea of her daughter working on the road. When I found out I was going to have to take a break from school she actually told that it “was God’s way of saying I wasn’t supposed to be an EMT.” I’ll come back to that in a moment.

Here’s where the problem lies. I don’t want to dispatch. I want to work on the road. Maybe that’s not clear enough. I DO NOT WANT TO DISPATCH. I WANT TO WORK ON THE ROAD. *Stomps her feet for good measure* If She Who Rules has taught me anything, it’s how to throw a very impressive tantrum.

I realize that I probably sound like a spoiled brat… I get that. After all, I’ve been out of work for awhile, and I just found this job, and it pays halfway decently, and I should be grateful I have a job and just shut my mouth and do it to the best of my ability.

The problem is that my heart and soul is in EMS. I love everything about it. I’m a geek like that. :)

Okay, let’s go back to Mom telling me that God was telling me I wasn’t meant to be an EMT.

In the last week I’ve had two calls for interviews at Ambulance companies. One is local company and would result in me doing transfers all day long. Twelve hours a day, five days a week. I’m okay with this, but I’d rather work an ABC shift (24 on, 48 off). The other is for a company that does primary 9-1-1 runs in several nearby cities. I’ve been trying to get an interview with them for six months. Bonus: It’s a 24/48 shift. BINGO.

Looks like God thinks maybe I’m supposed to work in EMS. *smirk*

My mom thinks I’m being selfish by wanting to have a job where I LOVE to get up in the morning. Her reasoning is that “Not everyone gets to LOVE their job.” And I know that’s her past speaking, and she has a point. Not everyone does get to do a job they love. But my point is, if you have the opportunity, why wouldn’t you jump on it? As long as I’m not putting a financial burden on my family by accepting the position, why shouldn’t I do it? I'm married, my Mr EpiJunky has a good job, a job he LOVES, and he makes good money doing it. I wouldn't be taking a pay cut by accepting this job.

My mind is made up.

I’ll let you know how the interview goes.

Now... what to tell mom?


CrankyProf said...

Congrats on the interview, and I will work the ol' Rosary beads for you.

Second -- your mom is probably being a bit protective. All you can do is express yourself clearly -- this is a job you love, and want, and will fulfill you. A mom is supposed to want all those things for their child.

david mcmahon said...

Wonderful. Good luck and let us know what happens.

Yes, all our parents made sacrifices for us. I admit that, hand on heart.

But we all need to follow our own dreams. If your dream is working on the road, then go get it. Believe in the power of your own innate sense of achievement.

Go get it - and let us know when you're dancing in triumph. If it doesn;t happen this week, it will - very soon.

Been VERY busy with completing my novel, but I'm so glad I dropped by today.

Good luck and God bless


none said...

Your mom worked her butt off so you could have a better life and so YOU could pick a job YOU love.

She's just worried about you.

Don't fret.. all will be fine :)

Unknown said...

Nod and smile at her, and do your own thing anyway. That's my preferred strategy. And there is always the bean dip one. It is about homeschooling, but can be applied to anything that people want to bring up for discussion.

Gratz @ the interviews! That's awesome,


Anonymous said...

You sound younger than I am, but here's my take on your problem:

First off, your Mom's opinion is just that, an opinion. It should not be a factor in your job decisions.

Second, you are NOT selfish for going after a career you'll love. She is being selfish for telling AN ADULT what to do FOR HER SELFISH REASONS. Now, if your husband, a person that will be affected greatly by 24 hour shifts, by worrying about you being in harm's way, has a problem with that career, then you should work it out together.

What do you tell your Mom?

Here's what I'd do:

Let her tell you the reasons she doesn't want you in EMS. Tell her your reasons for wanting that career. When she starts responding with more (or the same) reasons you shouldn't, tell her:

"Mom, I've listened to your reasons. I've told you mine. Ultimately, this is my life, and my reasons are the the ONLY ones that are important."

You may want to be gentler, or firmer. But stand your ground.

I've had to use that conversation several times with my Mom when she kept trying to tell me how to raise my daughter. It was delivered with a calm voice and I refused to argue any more after that. "I'm sorry you feel that way" was probably used initially.

She got the point. I will allow her to tell me how she feels. But that's it. She now accepts that she cannot run things anymore. No more guilt trips.

Good luck. Hope it all works out for you.

PS: The above assumes that you and your husband really run your lives as independent adults. If you keep borrowing money, cars, etc from your parents, then they are still allowed to interfere in your lives.... don't know your situation, just wanted to qualify my answer.

Epijunky said...

Wow... What a response!

To everyone who commented... Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. The Bean Dip link left by Karen/Nanny has been printed out. I LOVE IT!

This is why I love the blogging community. Thank you all so much.