Playing the Victim...Literally

I've decided I want to get back into the disaster management world in some way (see my Hurricane Katrina life HERE and my uncanny knack of ending up near disasters of all kind HERE and really across this whole blog.) It may be as a volunteer or it may be a project at work, but dang it - I am an adrenaline junkie/disaster chaser! (which is the description a Red Cross staffer used last week when he was describing to me the typical personality of people he works with.)

So then I get an email at work that there is a simulation (something like this) taking place in the near future where first-responders need "victims" to practice with.

So I volunteered to play one of those victims.

Now, granted, this may be a really silly idea given the fact that I have to get up at an ungodly hour on a Saturday and am only getting paid with lunch. However, I'm looking at this as a way to experience the emergency response world again (since I miss it and I've yet to be contacted by another organization sending people to help with the Oklahoma tornado recovery. The answer is yes - I do sit around in my spare time and hunt down new activities. Because no, MOM, I can't just "sit still for once!" I'll DIE.) Plus I'll also get CERT credit (Community Emergency Response Team. I'm supposedly a local member of one but have yet to get direction about anything.) This is also a way to potentially connect with people in that world again, which could open doors, who knows.

Also -- I'll be put in makeup representing gnarly injuries and I'm supposed to act out scenarios. And who doesn't want to start their weekend that way?

The final reason I'm still considering doing this (even after I tried recruiting friends to join me and was met with either "are you crazy?" or blatant silence) is because I know from past experiences that you just never know what butterfly effect, chain of events reaction you set off when you just do something.

People ask me about how I get involved with different things and I want to say you just have to do things. You have to show up. You have to try new things, volunteer to work for free, show up. I've had so many people say they wanted to get involved with something too but when it comes down to setting an alarm or leaving their house, they bail. And then they wistfully talk about "living vicariously" through other people's adventures. You can find your own! They don't have to be extensive, they don't need to take you out of your city or cost anything (although I've found that eventually the need for more adventure does end up taking you out of the city and costing something if you're as addicted as I am. See: every post on this blog about international travel. Ahem.) But seriously, just try something.

It's definitely not all glamorous and you won't like everything you try but if you're open-minded you always learn something. And often make new connections. I sometimes just shake my head in disbelief in looking at chains of events in my life and it makes me want try more new things to see what new strange ways my life expands later because of them. Below is just one example:

-I heard about an all night food serving gig for the people investigating and cleaning up the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks.
-While doing that, I met "P"
-"P" later joined the military and routinely asked me from far away places to show his military friends around DC as they moved here one by one
-(I thus took over P's friends and made them mine *Evil laugh*)
-One of those friends, "T," was in my friend group when I met a new friend "M" and brought her into the group
-T and M are now married
-They have Baby H

Thus -- Baby H would not exist had I not given up a night of sleep to serve food in the parking lot of the Pentagon in 2001.

See what I mean? Mind. Blown.

Ok, yes you could argue that if things are meant to be, they'll happen anyway. But I can't tell you how many ridiculously convoluted lines runs through my life that start with random first-steps and I feel like life just gets richer the more it expands.

PHEW! I did not realize I would go off on such a tangent but short story long -I think I'm doing this weird paint-your- face- act- like- you- have- an -injury -hang -with -strangers thing on an early weekend morning. Because who knows, maybe the course of my life will change because I showed up.

...Or maybe I'll just get free lunch and the knowledge that I started my Saturday 87% more strangely than normal. And that works too.