Today was my first full day of Firefighter Academy. This will be the main focus of my life, especially my weekends for the next 3-1/2 months. I will not have much free time, but I know this is likely to be the best thing I can do to myself at this particular time of year. The long months of late winter and early spring have traditionally been the toughest times for me. The time when I am most likely to want to hide away, protect my loved ones from my Melancholy, wrestle Demons, and rage against the world. I feel that this year will be different. How can it not? So much is different for me. I look back one year and see how I was beginning to show the signs of Accumulative Stress, the Perfect Storm of Stress that derailed me for the better part of two months. Last year was extreme, but previous years have been no picnic either. True, I have removed the key stressers from my life, and they have been replaced with loving, supportive friends, dreams realized, goals achieved, promises kept, a wealth of health, and a new direction to my life.
The Academy adds an excitement to life that will outshine the gloom of winter, it will be a talisman against Demons. This is not why I joined the Fire District. I did not join for the purpose of making myself feel better, or better about myself, or in the hopes that the intense training would be a distraction from my typical winter Melancholy. These thoughts did not occur to me, honestly, when I decided to join up. I joined because it was a dream held secretly in the depths of my heart, a yearning, a hidden passion. It was a dream I did not dare to utter, fearing it was nothing more than a pipe dream, a childish fantasy. But here I am. Today was the first full day. Lectures, discussions, test. I had been fearful that Brain would fail me, that I would test poorly, that I would fail coming out of the gate. But I did not. I tested well, felt sharp, happy, at ease. Leaving at the end of eight hours of school I was feeling a deep contentment that can be hard for me to find at this time of year. I was energized, and yet relaxed by an inner sense of peace and well-being. I am standing at a threshold, ready to step through and into new adventures. I am tired to the point that Brain is incoherent, and my fingers are clumsy on the keys. I know I am rambling, again, but I wanted to much to put down a few words to celebrate a new stage of life, a new beginning, a new adventure.