A tough post to write, and it will be going through several drafts, just so you, as the end-reader, know...
As some of you know, I had a bit of surgery late last year. All went well, but as a result, I'm not able to return to my duties as a bomb guy, or as a cop. Which, means an unplanned and unforeseen early medical retirement.
Before we go further, this isn't a "woe is me" whiny post. Just a few thoughts connected with it all.
Because, if you walk the path I've chosen, it happens sooner or later. I've seen and talked with enough similar guys from the military and law enforcement over the years to know that. Sure, you think "That won't be me." But, one day it is.
Whether it's age, or health, or just the time to move on.
You're not the one to go through the door first anymore. You aren't even in the stack. You've gone from being in the top 1% of your community to "someone who used to work here", all in the space of a few hours.
You go from "What new thing do I need to make my gear easier for the job?" to "What can I get rid of out of these years of crap?"
Instead of carrying the phone everywhere, waiting for that next call-out, you're looking at your inbox and wishing someone would just say hi.
You'll see the news story and smile a bit guessing at the backstory. Or resist the urge to rant on something online, because you know better but figure it's not worth the energy.
The hardest part? You're no longer in "the club." Sure, folks will still talk with you. Grab lunch. Share a joke. But, you're not the same anymore. You don't get to go into those closed rooms and prep for the next mission. You don't get the rush of a "holy crap this is real" callout where what you're doing affects who goes home alive. You aren't "one of the guys" anymore so much as "you remember when?" And, it can be tough. I'm still processing a lot of it, so I can't even fully write that part yet.
Again, I'm not whining. I've had a hell of a run over the past few decades. I've visited places, good and bad, that I never imagined growing up. I've met people I trust with my life. I've learned who I am in ways I never would have otherwise. I've challenged myself, failed, succeeded, and grown from both. Most importantly, I feel I've made a difference - I can honestly say there are people alive today because of choices I made, and that is a great gift to have.
I suppose it would have been "easier" had this been in the plans - the normal "In "xx" months I'm retiring," do a transition and so on. Unfortunately, that's not how things worked out. Also, unfortunately, I didn't even get the transition really - it went from a "You're coming back to work on this day," to "Sorry, you'll just have to use sick time til the paperwork goes through," in the space of an email. Which led to far too much time to think.
The good parts? I've had a few months to just be. I honestly don't know when that happened last, and it has helped me put some stuff in perspective. I've gotten more time at home, without those extra duties or call-outs, and have been more a part of my kid's days than ever before. And, I've gotten to reflect - on the issues, both internal and external to the job, which let me know it's not a bad change.
So - I'm officially "retired" from being a cop. Looking for work (some possibilities on the horizon, but that's a different stress) and for the first time in almost 3 decades not really sure where things are going. I'm not in a financial position to just sit at home, nor will my character and drive allow me to.
I'm not hanging up my hat here, despite the infrequent writing. In fact, perhaps this will let me write more, since I'm not "obligated" to be silent on some of the things as much.
It's just time to find the next challenge and figure out where I can thrive.
If the past is any indication, it will be an interesting trip...
Just a few ramblings from a confused guy. Former military, former cop. Husband. Father. Student. Role playing gamer, on intermittent weeks. Avid reader. Internet addict. Small "l" libertarian. Too many others to mention. The views and opinions expressed herein are my own, and do not reflect those of any official agency or government or species. Names have been changed to protect the guilty; God protects the innocent as a matter of course.
“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”
"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds
Monday, May 30, 2016
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Best wishes to you, Cap'n. I've been a reader for some time now, and I hope that you find happiness in the next part of your journey.
Captain, I know sermons make you sleepy, but I have faith you will land on your feet.
Like JR, I have been reading your posts for some time. Although this transition has been more abrupt than expected, this day has always been a part of this calling. Whether Law Enforcement or Military, the Game was in progress before you joined and will continue long after we all leave. As long as you gave your best (and I feel that you have), hold your head high, hug your family, and look for the next adventure. I look forward to reading whatever you are willing to share. All the best.
Thankfully you are getting out alive... THAT is a win, in and of itself... Re the future, it's wide open for you. Now it's time to take that next step, whatever it may be. Best wishes going forward!
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