It’s almost 5pm on a very warm Wednesday afternoon here in Seattle and I’ve just gotten home from driving close to 100 miles between my house and home visits in the community with clients for my job. What’s good about this is that I love driving and I love meeting new people – which is why working for a company that lets me work from home and gets me out of the house works out great for me. What sucks about this that I often get thrown into very chaotic situations where people get extremely confused and overwhelmed just by my presence. I’m used to this. I spent three years as a mental health/substance abuse/co-occurring disorder residential case manager when my husband Alex and I lived in Juneau, Alaska. Every day was a new challenge and every day had the potential for extreme highs and then devastating lows. So going into people’s homes who I don’t know genuinely doesn’t bother me. I’m trained (very heavily) on how to keep myself safe and do what I need to do. I keep a smile on my face and generally that keeps the mood light and gets the work done. Today I encountered a danger I haven’t had for a while: My family’s propensity for falling UP stair cases. Of all the things in the world that could take me out in my job, it was my own feet up a perfectly safe set of stairs. Adding to my humiliation were 2 young boys hanging out their apartment window right in front of where I face planted. I quickly stood back up, brushed myself off and loudly proclaimed “you have to take a fall sometimes” and smiled at them, which elicited smiles and laughs from both of them. I waved to them, they waved back, and I went about my day loudly screaming “way to fucking go, Sara. Holy shit” in my head as I walked up to the client’s door.
I’ve done this literally my entire life. I’ve been told that I have a particular kind of charm where I can tell you to go to hell and make you look forward to the trip but I think its more than that. I use what I consider to be a really decent attitude to remove tension and embarrassment from an otherwise nasty situation (face plant on someone’s stairs aside). I found at a young age that hiding how incredibly tough I am on myself is a quick way to get people to think I have a very high level of confidence and its gotten me pretty far. Why though? Because what’s the other alternative? I could totally go through life being a complete bitch, sure. Why? To what end? People generally don’t walk all over me because for as nice as I can be, for as much as I smile and make people laugh, I also know how to set boundaries.
What is it about our society that dictates that we are one or another part of that duality?
I think truly another part of why I push to keep myself going is because I’ve always had to and I’ve never known anything else. My Matron Goddess, Hecate, teaches balance and knowing yourself above all things. There is no cutting corners, there is no taking the easy way out. There is just..well…life. You either deal with it or it deals with you.
You have to take a fall sometimes….just be willing to admit that its over your own feet while going up a staircase.