Years ago, when I began blogging and getting into social media I had no clue where it would take me. I had no path, no vision, no idea of the possibilities.
I now have a better idea of what I am doing, and I can see many of the paths in front of me…but I am still not sure where I am heading.
I can tell you this, I am enjoying the ride!
Every day I wake up is a great day. I am still on course to retire with my department in about 10 years with that original goal – to have a great career, help some people along the way, make a difference, and retire with a pension. Sure, there is a lot more to that original goal but this article is more about the "other stuff".
My hobby (The Fire Critic) has turned into somewhat of a part-time job and interestingly, an alter-ego. The beautiful part about it is that I work for myself when I want to and don't answer to anyone. The "alter-ego" part of it is more that people identify me as "The Fire Critic" and not that I hide behind the identity… I am still very real and own up to my success AND failures. Over the years, I have learned that The Fire Critic can wait…but my family cannot. That is why you see some days where I don't post anything. It is a matter of priorities.
The Fire Critic including the blog and the FB page has provided me an outlet for something I enjoy doing. I get to meet so many other firefighters, share news and events, write occasionally, and provide a source of information for the fire service.
On top of all of that, it has provided me travel opportunities, speaking engagements, and much more.
And so…where exactly am I headed?
I really don't have a clue as I said before. Who knows where I will end up? Each day offers up new opportunities, some I take and others I pass on. I cannot do it all, but the opportunities keep getting better.
I have enjoyed paving the way for other fire service bloggers. I have enjoyed learning from some of the other fire service experts and personalities. Mostly, I enjoy meeting and listening to other firefighters from across the World.
Probably the biggest lesson I continue to learn (yet I never questioned it) is that the Brotherhood isn't dead. Everywhere I go, everyone I meet reminds me of this in some way. They don't say it, they live it and it is seen in their words and actions.
The latest trip I took was very exciting. I got to spend time with the Oak Ridge FD (link to story) and the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet (link to story). Captain Wines and I were in Nashville for a special event with Kidde, Craig Morgan, and Kix Brooks. In the end, we got to attend the CMA's (link to story).
Guys in my department always ask where we are heading next. Captain Wines will be in NC for a banquet on Nov. 30th (I can't attend), and then we are heading to Kalamazoo, MI for a FOOLS seminar where we are presenting in January (link to info).
Thanks for keeping up with The Fire Critic. You never know where you might see us next…or where the path will lead.
If you haven't already checked out The Fire Critic's Facebook Page, check it out here!