“In Life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.”– Charles Schulz
I used to believe my worth as a human being was dependent upon doing extraordinary things, heroic things – like saving the world, one ill, injured, or otherwise needful person at a time.
I was the first in my family to pursue any amount of education after high school, and I was one of just 5 females to successfully establish herself as a fulltime Paramedic at the time, working for a local Ambulance service with a hundred or so employees. I felt pride when I put on that uniform. I felt important when I clocked in at work. I felt needed when I was called upon to perform according to my skill-set. I felt validated when we saved a person’s life. I felt like a rock when I held my patient’s hand, like a badass when I could make them laugh, and a fierce protector when I argued on behalf of those too weak to stand up for themselves. Through the years, I grew into my profession so much that I inherently came to associate it as my entire identity… and I lost touch with who I really am.
Three years ago, I decided to make a change. I stepped away from that ambulance, out of that uniform of steel toed boots and blues, and into unfamiliar territory.
It makes sense that, at first, I felt completely lost and totally unsure. I questioned everybody, everything, and had the most difficult time learning to let my guard down and trust the new people in my life – but, as with all things, time reveals all.
I now know that my worth as a human being has absolutely nothing to do with a job title, education, skill-set or pay grade – but rather, everything to do with simply being human!
I recently took a trip to Mexico with a good friend and co-worker of mine. While we were there, we met several other interesting people from all different countries, professions, and walks of life. As always, I was enamored by their names, faces, stories, and friendships… the way they interact with each other, as well as, others whom they were also meeting for the first time. As I was returning to the pool with another round of rum drinks, I overheard my friend talking about me: “She is the most incredible human being I have ever met. She’s literally one of my best friends! She’s taught me so much about life and what it really means to pay attention and live – right here, right now, in this very moment, and I am so grateful to have her in my life.”
I handed out the drinks and floated away… staring out at that beautiful, ombré Carribean Sea. If ever I thought I’d lost my purpose in Life, I knew, in this exact moment, that it had found me once again.
Charles Schulz was right – when it comes to Life, it’s not where you go that matters, it’s who you choose to travel with and the experiences you get to share all along the way.