Ft. Cat Melaunie: One Life is Better Than Two
Tacoma Strong’s “Featuring:_____” (working title) is a project that chronicles honest Tacoma experiences from locals. We hope this brief, but important look into another’s life inspires us to appreciate the individuality that makes Tacoma, Tacoma.
The catalyst to transition is generally duality. Finding the strength to make a choice is, in itself, usually the most difficult decision. Several years ago I had a choice to make.
I was teaching at a small school in a small town with a small-minded administration. I grew up in this town, went to school in the town, and graduated with honors from college in this town. My teachers became my professors and, later, my colleagues. The people from this town know me and everything about me.
One year, while coaching basketball, a student (whose mother I’d dated BEFORE she was born) told a friend that I, like her mother, took part in the all-female-no-pants-dance-of-desire. (Those may have not have been her EXACT words…) Well, one student led to another, which led to another, which led to a parent…. and eventually, my principal.
Texas is an “employment-at-will” state. You can (and people do) get fired for no reason whatsoever. Employers only have to tell you the you ARE dismissed, not the reason for dismissal. In my case, My principal decided not to renew my contract based on reasons I didn’t need to know. She also moved children from my classroom, at the request of individual parents.
I had a decision. My options were to stay and work across town at a different school in the same district with the same school board and same neighbors.
Or I could leave.
I could go anywhere else in Texas or the world. I weighed my options.
I could no longer live in the duality. By my lack of forthcoming honesty, I felt like I was lying every day. I could no longer live with the dichotomy that was my life.
Two months later, after much deliberation one ridiculous garage sale and more tears than I could count, I left to start my new life in the pacific northwest.
I don’t know how I came to the decision.
Tacoma is not how I imagined it. Tacoma is so much better.
I am free. I am the same person in my apartment that I am at my job. I am not living half a lie. I get to shop local and invest in local politics. I can ride my bike to the water, take a short drive to a mountain, or hop on the train to Portland.
Tacoma is incredible. The city, the people, the neighborhoods, the shopping, the local food. The Gritty City is my home. Not because I was born here, but because I get to LIVE here.
Live free. Live honestly. Live my life. Live my dreams.
I get to live singularly as me.
By Cat Melaunie
I’m (Hannah-Clarke) writing this mini-bio for her so I can gush about how wonderful she is. She describes herself as a “pretty funny human”, but I believe she deserves more credit. Cat is one of the funniest, most vibrant people you will ever meet. She is a Writer, Event Planner, Trivia Queen, & loves dressing up in costumes. Her kind, perceptive, genuine spirit will make her your #1 pick to hang out with.