Sunday, November 28, 2010

Suck on That, Universe.

I am accomplished at many things.

Spelling. Reading. Writing. Pop culture trivia. Defusing difficult situations. Shooting freethrows. Algebraic equations. Picking things up with my finger-like toes.

Granted, some of those skills are more important and/or useful than others, but still...

I am not good, however, at asking for help. I feel like the Universe reminds me of this quite often. More so than I deem necessary, at least.

All my life, in whatever activity, I refused to ask for help. Learning to ride a bike? My dad sat on the curb, watching me, skinned knee after skinned knee. He was more of the emergency medical tech than teacher since I told him repeatedly, "I! Can! Do! It! My! Self!" Learning to swim? I drove my camp swim instructor insane because I refused to listen. Drive a stickshift? After many a go-round with many a teacher, it came down to me, the owner's manual, and an empty driveway. Whatever problem, big or small, that came my way, I eventually figured out on my own, in my own way, at my own pace.

All my life, stubbornness, pride, and an extreme aversion to humilation public attention kept help at bay. Asking for help = not being able to help myself. Not being able to help myself = weakness. And that, dear friends (just in case you haven't been payin' close attention) = irrefutable failure. It's not for lack of trying on other people's part. As I've said a zillion times before, I am blessed with dozens of friends and co-workers who'd do anything for me. And I always meet their offers with a polite nod and a reassurance that I'd let them know whatever they can do. What's really effed up? I love to help others. LOVE it. NEED it. Get NO GREATER HIGH than from helping others. But I'd rather pull out my own fingernails than ask someone to help me.

Don't mistake today's post as a revelation. ANYBODY whose been around me for, say, 20 minutes or so can name 10 different times that I should have asked for help but didn't. This is something I've known my entire life. It is something I have struggled with my entire life. But today, I was honest. I said what I needed. I told someone how to best help me. And they swore they would, and I believe them. In no way, does their help solve my problem. Nobody, not even me, has a solution to the task at hand. But, for once, it didn't matter.

And this is what I think I've been confused about my entire existence. Asking for help does not equal shoving my burden onto another person. It doesn't necessarily mean that someone else will solve the problem I was unable to decode (which would automatically make them more successful than me). It also doesn't make me weak. It makes me human. It may seem pretty simple to you, but it was a little bit stunning to me.

So today, the running total stands as thus:
Universe -- 1,842,756,003. Human -- 1.

Suck on that, Universe. I'm on the board.

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