Seven and a half years is a long time. My very first post on crzegrl was on 12 November 2003, a fitting date for me as so many major events have happened on that day for me.
I swore into the Army.
I closed on my first home.
My friend Danny died.
My blog was born.
I remember purchasing my first domain in 1999 (homesickangel.net) and struggling to create what was, then, an online journal, on software that didn’t easily support the idea. Who would have predicted that I would be considered an old timer in the blogging world.
Through many life experiences and much evolution, my blogging dwindled to almost nothing. Why couldn’t I get my fingers and brain in gear? Why were the words stuck? What happened to the blogger I once was?
Time has taught me that all things happen when they are supposed to happen. They cannot be rushed or forced out of order. Life has a way of exerting control, fate will not be toyed with.
I went from documenting my thoughts as a graduate nurse and an Officer in the USAR. I didn’t tell many people I was writing. It was so much more for my own benefit. I eventually realized that gaining readers was about BEING a reader. It was so important to be part of the community. So I began reading, commenting and the readers came.
My big coming out as a blogger happened after gaining my current position as a flight nurse. I realized my passion as a professional and wanted to write about it. I understood that it would be necessary to become legitimate. This meant full exposure to not only my name, but who I am as a person. I couldn’t hide behind a shield of cold professionalism and sterility. What you see was what you were going to get. That did not mean ranting without purpose, saying unprofessional things about my employer, or writing without thought. It meant sharing my thoughts and insights, becoming more of a public person. After making that important decision, I approached my manager and outted myself.
What a scary conversation.
I had to educate, not only her, but those above her in the food chain. They were reading about me and my life.
After gaining her approval, I began sharing with my co-workers to mixed but positive feedback. The few neigh-sayers commented on my level of personal exposure. They didn’t, and still may not, realize that the exposure is necessary for legitimacy and to gain trust of those who read what I write.
After wondering if my blogging was too much, one day, it happened. While hanging out in Flight Com, the subject of being new to the company came up.
One of my flight physicians said, “You know you are a part of Aero Med when you finally make Emily’s blog.”
Everyone chimed in, agreeing. Being part of my blog was an honor, not a thing to dread.
From the beginning, it is my professional blogging policy to not mention a co-worker or publish a photo that they have not seen and approved. In fact, at one point, I wrote about an interaction with a flight communicator and took it to her. She greatly anticipated it going up and it was gratifying to share, not just the moment at the hangar with her, but have her understand what it meant to me. They trusted me.
Fast forward a few years.
This is the first mention I have made of it here. The reason it is so important is that was a major turning point in my personal and blogging life.
That day I posted, “I AM OKAY, WE ARE OK.”
We were lucky, but luck favors a prepared mind. Our training and attention to detail during a major incident saved those on board. As a department of the hospital we were supported beyond expectation and events that unfolded are without precedent.
It was that fateful day, however, which almost killed my blog.
I was immediately told to take down my blog as a knee jerk reaction to a horrible event.
“If I take it down, everyone will think I am dead.”
The blog stayed up.
I was on duty that day and had already dealt with my mom, sister Katie, brother Ben, and Sister Sarah believing I was dead.
Sarah is an OR nurse in the same hospital. She was scrubbed in 9 floors below the helistop. The OR team felt the impact.
“They just crashed! All four people are dead!” stated a very panicked co-worker who sprinted through the room Sarah was working in.
She had no idea Sarah was my sister.
I was a public voice and had a platform outside the confines of the hospital and organization. I knew better than to publish details, or any information at all about what we went through as a company or even my struggles as an individual. It was, and is not my place to share and I honored that.
In the months that followed, I believe I wrote a bit about minor things, but understood that I HAD to lay low and let the focus blow over us. The hospital’s social media policy at that time was, in my opinion, outdated and vague. My blog was taken to the head of the organization’s communication department.
I was scared that I was done. Afraid my voice would be silenced.
The wind was gone from my sails.
During the post crash phase, we realized that we were a Phoenix. We came away stronger and better and have grown as individuals, as a group and a department. I am even more proud to wear my flight suit and say, “I am a nurse in the big blue helicopter.”
The powers that be, did not silence me with a strong arm. Instead, they handed me guidance and after a time, published a well thought out, intuitive policy embracing social media. When I read it I almost cheered out loud. Not only could I keep writing, with high professional expectations, but I could finally be completely out and open.
I work at Aero Med.
On the upper right is a disclaimer. I am not an official voice of Spectrum Health. I don’t want to be an official voice. That is not my chosen profession.
What I do want to be, is proud of where I work and able to say it. I want to show others that I was given an amazing opportunity to represent nursing, flight medicine, Aero Med and in doing so will hopefully bring hope to those who need it, comfort to those who are hurting, and proof that any small town kid can do what many believe is impossible.
Even with all this,I still needed to find my voice. I needed to find that thermal which would push me back in the air, into the atmosphere where I could once again fly.
The next evolution needed to come from within me.
That evolution was a morphing. The caterpillar has been in the chrysalis long enough.
It is now time to emerge.
Today, I am happy to tell you that crzegrl.net is not going away, but becoming two blogs. The core of crzegrl.net is now FlightEMS.com. To truly represent my profession I need to focus on that profession. Instead of being an original hospital that grew with additions and towers creating a cobbled together labyrinth, crzegrl.net needed a fresh start.
It needed a new name, the new domain and a fresh set of categories and tags.
My other adventures, hobbies and interests are on a second blog. I am also proud to announce that Lucky2Be.com is where I will be sharing those. As I’ve experienced life as a flight nurse, seeing the horrible and experiencing the miraculous, it became apparent that I am so lucky to be on one gigantic adventure. Each day is part of that adventure.
As of today, the links for crzegrl.net are all the same, the RSS feed still comes from crzegrl.net. I am still very much the original crzegrl.
Lucky2Be is still in its in infancy. I am working on a complicated layout that will highlight what one small town girl can get herself into.
So thank you dear readers for making it to the end of this really long post. It is an amazing relief to be free of the chrysalis and able to, finally, stretch out my wings. Here is to hoping this butterfly will find the wind to soar.