By Leigh Brandt

I want to start by saying falling in public is totally okay. It happens to the best of us.

Even Ellen DeGeneres trips on things. In one of her old stand-up comedy routines, she recounts when she tripped over a pebble. In the wise words of Howie Day, “even the best fall down sometimes,” celebrities included.

 I would know, as someone who recently tripped on completely flat pavement. It would be a stretch to say that the sidewalk was the slightest bit uneven and I’m also really trying to be honest here.

Tuesday, Sept. 24, at roughly 9:07 a.m. (oddly specific, I know, but probably because it’s forever ingrained in my memory) I was casually walking down the street, very much enjoying my morning. That was until my flip flop caught the ground at the wrong angle at exactly the wrong time and I stumbled and spilled my coffee. I could feel eyes on me but I’m telling myself that it was only because they “wanted to make sure I was okay.”

My initial thought was “keep walking, just go along with it.” If I pretend it didn’t happen, then maybe everyone else will, too. But, the funny revelation I made was that no one truly cared or even paid attention. I would’ve hoped had I truly fallen on the ground that someone would have expressed some concern, but for a minor misstep, it really was no big deal.

Any shame and embarrassment I did feel was concealed behind my sunglasses and eventually dissipated. I tried to remove myself from my own body and observe the situation of myself tripping, from the eyes of an onlooker. Again, no big deal it has happened to all of us.  

Whether you’re tripping up the stairs or falling on a sidewalk, it’s totally acceptable.

So, one way to deal with such public embarrassment, or in my case more specifically, eating it on the sidewalk: brush it off, it’s not a big deal. Channel your inner Ellen Degeneres and just laugh it off. Or, in Tom Petty’s case, go “free fallin’.”

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