There aren't very many women, though, and there will be less still, as fewer and fewer apply to firefighting jobs. Because of this I am somewhat of an anomaly. But this isn't the only reason.
A text out of the blue from someone I used to know caused me to think about how we see ourselves. There is what we know about ourselves and other people also know, explained a fire management officer in Alabama this spring in a moment of reflection. Then there is what we know about ourselves and nobody else knows. The last part is what other people know about us but we don't know; the Jahari window.
But what if what we think we know about ourselves is wrong?
So many of us see ourselves through a warped mirror. We are at times unattractive, boring, socially awkward. Too fat or too thin. We don't exercise enough. We are bad supervisors or parents. We are unlovable.
This kind of thinking caused me to join the other young women in college who barely ate and ran miles and miles along the lakeshore every day. It kept me in a bad marriage for too long and then caused me to choose the wrong people, the ones who lied and secretly loved others and then left.
But it wasn't the truth, and it's not your truth either. You are someone's unicorn, even if you haven't met them yet. You're an anomaly too. Believe it.