August / Kate
Updated: May 5, 2020
Name: Kate Davis
Lives in: Belpre, OH
Earning B.A. in Psychology at Ohio Valley University
Drinks her coffee: Cold and usually dark
Last read: Feel the Way You Want to Feel...No Matter What! by Aldo R. Pucci
Responsible for: Rescuing accident/fire victims and providing immediate emergency care / Working with online clients to build outfits and develop style
SIB: What’s it like being a woman in a mostly male environment?
KD: You are smaller, so you have to keep your strength up, but [my male coworkers] realize that [females in fire] are good at our jobs. If we need to be loud and bossy we can, and I usually am. [laughs] And there's a unique opportunity - someone my size can go into places and vehicles that these guys couldn't get into.
SIB: Have you gotten any strange reactions to your career choice as an EMT?
KD: A lot of people were not impressed. It's a very brutal job. You see things that you never forget. You have to do things that are horrible. But at the same time, total strangers let you in their home. They let you feed their dog; they let you take care of their kid, and they don't think twice about it. That is such an honor to be a part of somebody's family, even if it's a terrible situation.
SIB: Most twenty-something women struggle with believing they have to find that one job that they’re good at and makes them happy. What’s your take on that?
KD: I think you have to find what you love now, and that could totally change in ten years. The last thing I may want to do is fight fire or be in psych. I don't know what life is going to bring. But I do know that God is good and I don't have to worry. If what you love to do now is making a difference in your way, that's really all you need.
SIB: You mentioned you don’t have a lot of local friends. How do you maintain long-distance friendships?
KD: Social media is a really great thing, but it does take effort. One of my really good friends is in China right now, so she makes a point to reach out. We talk almost every day.
SIB: What’s a negative misconception about long-term romantic relationships [Kate's been with her boyfriend Ben for two years]?
KD: People think that long-term relationships inevitably become stale, and I don't think that's true at all. It will if you don't put effort into it. And just because you have different interests doesn't mean that you aren't still a [good fit].
SIB: At one point, your hair started falling out because you were under so much stress. Now, how do you keep anxiety flare-ups in check?
KD: I'm a yes man, so setting healthy boundaries [helps] me. Ben has helped me a lot. My therapist is great. I think anybody who goes to school to be a therapist has to have a therapist too, because I think you need to understand both sides. And yoga is a gift from God.
SIB: You use BetterHelp, an online counseling platform. How does this form of counseling differ from traditional therapy?
KD: I do better, especially when I'm working through something, not being face to face.
My therapist is awesome. I get a chance to call her every week. I think it's a great platform. That's the kind of therapy I want to do.
SIB: Many people deal with mental health issues, but not many understand the more severe forms, such as PTSD. Based on your experience and education, what’s the best way to care for someone who’s struggling in that way?
KD: Being present, being willing to listen, and doing check-ins, especially because anxiety comes out in weird ways. It's not just nail biting. A lot of people with PTSD, it's not so much the flashbacks as it is that they tend to walk around in a fog. It's very important to help people connect, especially kinesthetically. I'm a big believer in hugging people and reminding them, "It smells really good outside tonight, doesn't it?" [And remember], you have to be careful to protect yourself and your emotions while helping others.
SIB: You’re always trying new experience! What’s the best one you've had in the past couple of years?
KD: Skydiving was awesome. The only thing that's scary is the first step, and after that you've already committed, so you just enjoy the ride. [laughs] Probably one of the most fun things I ever did was white water rafting with my best friend in Costa Rica. We did about seventeen miles and it was absolutely gorgeous.
SIB: Whenever you add something new in your life, how do you balance that with your existing commitments?
KD: I'm past willing to work ninety hours a week. I've done that. I'm not doing it again unless I have to. Sometimes you have to be willing to bite the bullet and to grind, but we're not supposed to be miserable our whole lives. So sometimes you have to be willing to cut stuff out. But as long as you remember the important stuff, your [faith] and your loved ones, I don't really think it matters what you cut out.
SIB: You’re involved in varied adventurous physical activities [Kate tries everything from from yoga to MMA]. What advice would you give to someone who wants to try something new but is nervous?
KD: What's the worst that can happen? You get kicked in the face, you're going to be fine. And it is so much fun to try something different.
SIB: How do you make realistic fitness goals to prevent frustration?
KD: Instead of thinking, "I want to be this size," think, "What do I want my body to be able to do?" The Savage Race [Kate and Ben tackled it earlier this year] was a [perfect example] because it was all about, "I want to be able to jump into this ice bath and make it through, or climb this rope." Instead of focusing on results, you focus on what your body can accomplish. It's a lot more fun and rewarding.
SIB: Women are often very critical of their bodies. How can we view ourselves more lovingly?
KD: You have to [ask yourself], “What can I do that I'm proud of, physically or health wise?” Remember what you CAN do. You have to be willing to accept, this is who I am. Everybody has something. They think they're overweight or they have stretch marks, but that shouldn't stop you from doing and being who and what you want.
SIB: As a stylist, what trend do you absolutely hate?
KD: You can wear anything with confidence and make it look really good. But I don't love denim on denim.
SIB: Styling someone requires concrete knowledge of fabrics, color stories, and body types. What are intangible skills needed to style successfully?
KD: Everybody has a unique personality that is expressed through clothes. Your job is to advocate for that. So you know, if you have someone [who's] like, "I like Kat Von D’s style, but I feel uncomfortable wearing leather pants,” then your job is to be like, “Well, could we start with a leather jacket?”
SIB: How has modeling impacted your own self-esteem?
KD: It's actually very humbling and it's HARD. People have no idea how hard it is to hold a position for five minutes. [laughs] Especially when I did bikini modeling, I was very nervous. I'm really glad that Josh [Stephens of Josh Stephens Photography] got me through it. But it's also really fun. I work with [Josh] almost exclusively. [He's] great, and he doesn't care about body type. Before that, I was trying to get in with people and they were like, "You're too short." "You're too muscle-y." I'm a normal size person. As a stylist, I've tried really hard to make sure that my models are diverse and inclusive.
SIB: What’s something you do just for you?
KD: Yoga. And music of any sort.
SIB: What do you love about yourself?
KD: I think I'm extremely empathetic - thankfully for my intended profession. And I'm not afraid to live differently. I was for a really long time.
SIB: How have you learned to stand up for yourself?
KD: My job made me very confident because you have absolutely no choice. You cannot walk into a four car pile up and be like, “Could you please move?” Also Ben has reminded me that you don't accomplish anything by constantly running yourself thin. I'm really thankful for him doing that.
SIB: What does balance mean to you?
KD: I think balance is paying equal attention to your mind, body, and spirit. And then also learning something new, whether it’s education or listening to podcasts. Humans are not created to be sedentary people. I think that's mental as well. So be willing to try new things. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? It can suck. Okay. [laughs]
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