Saturday, June 3, 2017

Be the Anomaly

I'm a woman who has fought fire for thirty years.  Unlike most of the females I started out with, I didn't quit to do something else or raise a family.  I didn't move into upper management or into a job that, while still fire-related, would have allowed me to choose whether I wanted to be on the fireline or not.  I still work in a position where I'm expected to respond to fires and other emergencies at a moment's notice.  There are plenty of men who have done this; they retire with accolades and maybe a nice painting or a shiny Pulaski tool mounted in a frame.

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.


 





13 comments:

  1. Sweet hat! Rad blog little girl. Well put.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Being rad is what I strive for. And yes, there are lots of GOOD men out there too.

      Delete
  2. Love this! RA, BA when necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful. "What if what we think about ourselves is wrong?" Lots to think about there. And where that great hat? Lovely photo of an anomaly. And yes, there are GOOD men out there...if one wants one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hat is by a company called Dissident that makes workout wear. And yes, good men are there, not just to be in relationships with but to be friends with. Luckily the not so good ones are a minority.

      Delete
  4. Nice photo of you! Yes, as a woman engineer, I've always felt like an anomaly too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure we have had a lot of similar experiences in our careers.

      Delete
  5. Very thought provoking!!!! I'm pretty sure that most of us think 'something' about ourselves that is so very untrue!!!!! Makes me rethink a lot of stuff!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! You are awesome!!!! Don't think otherwise!

      Delete
  6. Beautiful pic of yours. Women can do what they want to do...

    ReplyDelete
  7. The anomaly concept us trending...at least here. I shared this with a friend who has been through ups and downs in life and in my opinion has come out stronger and doing a lot of good things for self and community. An anomaly in a good way....like you.

    ReplyDelete

I try to answer all comments, so comment away!