Did you miss me?
I've been off fighting fire in Wyoming and Idaho for the past two weeks.
I gotta be honest: it was hard.
Not because the work is hard--that's what I love about the job.
It was hard because I've never been in a relationship like this before. I've always loved the chance to get away for a couple weeks and work my ass off in the mountains. I've always loved getting in the dirt, sweat dripping down my neck, digging hotline with the heat of fire on my face.
But I've never had to leave someone home for two weeks. Never really had to feel that ache for someone.
I love getting away from computers with email and facebook and meaningless web browsing. But, I really had to ask myself if it's worth it--is the money and the thrill of fire and the satisfaction of a day well worked worth two weeks away from my girl?
In some ways it seems like this could be an easy answer. I mean, it's just for two weeks, right? The job is only during the summer when the wildfires are burning, right? In that sense, it could be totally worth it. Making lots of money. Playing in the dirt and the fire. Getting paid to camp out.
I love fire. The thing is, when I say I love fire I mean that I love the hard work. I love getting dirty. I love the thrill. I love actually being in the heat of fire. Unfortunately, along with the job of fighting fire comes certain types of people who I just don't get along with. I don't want to sound prejudiced or intolerant or unfair, but maybe I am those things. Fire is stereotypically a man's world (like a lot of different fields). On our 21 person hand crew, 3 of us were female.
I don't have a problem with men. However, I recognize that I do not understand men. And, I admit, I really abhor the way a lot of men seem to think about and treat women. I hate to stereotype because I know it's unfair, but men are disgusting, disrespectful, and degrading.
There are so many great things about fighting fire. But this time around I've had to think about whether it's really worth it or not. I know I have a hard time being a team player in some circumstances, but it never seemed to be quite this hard before.
So, I have questions for all y'all. How do you develop positive relationships with people in your work environment when you disagree with their views on life? When you find their way of interacting and having fun a little offensive? How do you learn to continue enjoying your work when the people around you are not