It took me several seconds to decide if I was going to laugh or cry the moment my face hit the ground. I’d never fallen so dramatically in all of my life – especially over something so silly as getting my heel stuck in a crack. At 22 I decided to give college a try, while maintaining a full time job (that I was not so enthusiastic about). Lugging enough bags to title me “the bag lady,” I walked my usual route to the train after class. I didn’t know what happened until my bags and I were sprawled across the sidewalk in front of someone’s house at 10:30 at night. Walking into a stranger’s lawn to pick up my flip phone and the pieces of my dinner that fell out of the container, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous that must’ve looked.
I laughed the entire ride home and laughed again when I told my co-workers. I re-enacted it several times just for the drama and laughed some more.
Looking back, it’s still one of my favorite stories to tell. Maybe because in that same time frame, I put so much pressure on myself to get my life together that there was no grace or space for cracks or falls. I was juggling school, work, trying to be healthy, starting my first fashion show, and to top it off, battling exhaustion.
Taking the fall relieved the pressure of perfection and laughter was medicine to my pride. Being human, it’s only a matter of time before we fall. (And truthfully, who walks a mile in heels? Not me anymore.) The story ended well. I still walked everyday back to the train, and giggled every time I passed the scene of the crime.
Here’s the truth: taking a fall is inevitable, but being able to laugh when you get up is invaluable.
p.s. Remind me to tell you about the time I tripped on my pants running to get to my first basketball game and sprained my ankle in front of the huge crowd…