Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Sarah Lorraine Robinson. I am a social worker by training and a writer by passion. Crisis counseling pays the bills and I write a blog as my side passion project. I was born in New Jersey and grew up in Wisconsin. From there, I returned to the east coast to go to grad school in NYC. My first job post-grad was as a family and child therapist on a remote island in Southeast Alaska. While I loved the work I was doing my heart belonged to the city, so I packed up and moved back to Brooklyn where I currently remain indefinitely. Friends and family have deemed me the ultimate empath- I love feelings! I am also a big fan of traveling, reading, wine, carbs, running, pop music, and teen dramas.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
Not quite, my favorite thing to tell people is that when I was little I wanted to be a nun. Oh, how time changes you. But in all seriousness I always thought I was going to be the first female president, unfortunately this could still be my reality, although I don’t think I’d make a run for office at this current juncture in my life. Then came college when I really had now clue what I wanted to be and it was down to the wire. I literally switched my major 7 times before landing on a Public Admin/ Poli. Sci. major. Honestly, when your only goal is to help others, the options are pretty wide open. However, post undergrad I found myself interested in jobs that require a Licensed Masters in Social Work. I researched what social workers did and realized it was the work I was always meant to do. I started blogging during undergrad as a way to work through my binge eating disorder. Maybe it was the energy of Manhattan or watching reruns of Sex and the City, but grad school is when I decided to really make the blog into something bigger and have it as a committed project. It was a journey to get to this place, but it has been totally worth it.
What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I am scared… all the time. Yet, I rarely let it show. Fake it till you make it?
What would you say to 16 year old you?
I’m sorry you feel that way about yourself. I know it can feel really hard sometimes, but gosh, you are so much braver than you give yourself credit for. You are a beautiful person, with a beautiful soul and I wish you could know that. One day you will. (Read more here)
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
The biggest doubter I have ever had was myself. I used to spend hours in high school thinking about how I would not amount to anything. Words like dumb, no-good, and unworthy were my core beliefs which made me feel vulnerable. I had a lot of support outside of myself, it was just hard to hear over my own inner voice. Eventually though, with therapy and hard work I quieted that voice down. She makes an appearance from time to time, but I accept and forgive that part of me.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Honor yourself wholly- the good, the bad, the ugly. Embrace your being because every part of yourself is glorious in its own way and makes you, you. And un-follow people on instagram that make you feel bad about yourself.
Have you always had confidence in yourself?
Absolutely not. At a very young age I struggled with low self-worth and often tried to hide as much of myself away as possible. It took me a long time (and therapy) to realize that I have all this power inside of myself.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love that I am a good friend. I take a lot of pride in showing up for the people I care about.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
The time I got over my eating disorder. I likely could have been diagnosed with this at a young age, but didn’t start seeing a counselor regularly until I started grad school. Having a therapist while in social work school is highly recommended for all students. After my diagnosis I began to work on it and with therapy started getting a lot better. At this time I had also applied to the Peace Corps. which had been a lifelong dream of mine since I was a child. A month before I was supposed to leave for my assignment I was informed I couldn’t go because I had not been out of therapy long enough. I was devastated. I felt loss… and like all my dreams were just taken away because of this disorder. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Not only did I beat my disorder with further support, I also got a life changing opportunity. After I grieved the loss of that dream, I went on to work on a small island in Alaska and got some of the best experience right out of grad school that I could have asked for. It was a good reminder to me that sometimes you don’t get what you want because it wasn’t meant for you to have.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Change is inevitable, even when you don’t believe it is possible.
What motivates you most?
My past is my biggest motivation. I always see those quotes online that say “be the person you needed when you were younger”. This is often the mantra I recite to myself. It drives me in my work and passions. I want people to know they aren’t alone because when I was younger I felt so alone. However, as an adult I realized all I needed to do was be brave and honest and speak up. I would’ve known there are so many other people that feel the same way I do.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
This is something that took me a long time to learn and achieve. I used to overwork myself all the time, partly due to necessity. College is expensive. In undergrad I was often working 2-3 jobs, going to school, blogging, and trying to maintain a social life. The more I grow, the more I realize that it is important to advocate for myself and listen to what my needs are. Right now, I feel privileged to work a job that can cover my costs and affords me time outside of work for other things. Setting those boundaries for yourself, when possible, is the key to balance.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
Tough conversations with myself daily. Reflection is the simplest form of self-compassion. I enjoy looking back on the day and finding out what I can learn from it.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
A lot of people in my life I have regarded as my mentor in way or another. I am constantly looking to learn from the people around me. We all have so much to offer each other in the way of education. The one thing I learned from all the people in my life is that we are all just humans trying to do the best we can. It’s a lesson I take with me everywhere.
What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I had to ask around in order to answer this one. My blog is pretty much an open book about my life, so there tends not to be a lot of surprises for people. After some feedback, I found that I am fearless when it comes to a dare is one of my favorite surprises for people. I was once dared to rap eminem lyrics in the middle of a group of people I didn’t know while they were having a gathering in the same space as me. They were so confused, but they also got some free entertainment, so they are welcome. So long as there is no harm caused to anyone/thing, I’ll do it!
If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
That is a tough question because I love the work that I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else. No matter what else I would be doing, I know it would involve helping others.
Who is your biggest role model? Why?
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many people that I am learning from all the time, and those people all fall under the role model category. However, if I had to pick one I would say that Lizzo is currently my biggest role model. She stands for everything I hope to in my writing. Lizzo is so honest in her work and I want that to be the standard in which we live. Plus, I can’t help but feel like a queen when I listen to her music.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. My blog is mostly about my daily life and just the typical things that happen in the mundane and how that interacts with my emotions. Any moment in life can be a story to tell.
What are your biggest passions?
Writing. Listening. Allyship. & Advocacy.
Sarah Lorraine Robinson
Sarah is a fat babe with a passion for helping others. She is a crisis counselor and writer who hopes that through standing in her truth she will fuel a revolution of bravery and honesty that leads to more meaningful human connections.