What Began as a Joke…
The first time I was called “extra”, I was explaining my rationale for not making recent purchase. I can’t exactly recall what I’d been picky about, maybe dresses for a wedding, but I self-deprecatingly said something along the lines of “I walk a tightrope between extra and vanilla”.
Depending on how well you know me, this could land one of two ways.
- One, you laugh, because it’s true, at my core, I am not terribly complex (vanilla) though I do have a lot of preferred ways of doing things (extra).
- Two, you scratch your head, because I try not to radiate the latter.
A Happy Marriage
The pairing of laid-back with control freak carries me far. I sidestep wanton fret. The quarantine situation, while frustrating at times, gave me freedom to snatch other passions. Forgiveness is as carefree as breathing. People in my life bask in an endless glow – I angle for the positive qualities or potential. This part of me earns the laid-back badge, the person who can get along with about anyone, can do just about any activity, and can adapt to changing circumstances.
In comes the control freak. When the outcome of a situation rests on my shoulders, I deploy troops under every service branch. Most commonly this applies to work, though, touches of my personal life receive the helicopter commander oversight. A move happening? Endless texts to ensure timeliness. Deadline approaching? Outwardly communicative to validate the right resources, the right plan, the right tools… If a task waits on anyone, I squawk on their shoulder until I see progress.
The control freak persona is incredibly useful, but too much time spent scheming brings mental fatigue. She may be Sasha Fierce, but she’s an exhausting personality you eventually up your hand to to say “enough”.
I savor streaks where my laid-back persona (Sasha Sleep?) can stretch her legs. She embodies a naïve certitude of everything working out and a Barcelona-like easiness that brushes over chores. Confidence and optimism mate to birth an undying generosity of time and happiness.
The Fall-Out and Benefits of Walking a Tightrope
The angle at which I exhibit my laid-back side, the oblique comfort and relaxed attitude, does impact formality and decorum. But I haven’t worried for longer than a minute, because my lawn chair is perma-reclined.
Sasha Fierce-Sleep is best illustrated in board meetings I’ve facilitated. You plan a detailed agenda, time durations, topics, etc. (extra) but you allow space for wandering discussion (vanilla).
Even when poking fun, I am proud to order myself with extra vanilla. Sure there’s a lot that can be added for great flavor. But infusions of mega-vanilla make for the best candle scent.