From a very young age I was taught to never depend or expect anyone to take care of me, and over the years that mentality warped to include never asking for help.
I didn’t ask for it when I was trying to figure out how to pay for college. It never occurred to me to ask anyone how to plan a wedding. I was one week away from being homeless before a friend stepped in and offered her couch.
But in that same token, I moved out at 18-years-old and didn’t ask for one damn penny. Ever since my babysitting days, every dime I made went to savings. It was prideful to know I furnished my first apartment and not a damn soul had a string attached to me because all my bills, food and needs were paid for by me.
This is also how chips on shoulders are formed. My drive to push through college while working and doing three internships was driven by fear, not confidence (even though that’s what everyone looking from the outside in saw).
I was terrified of becoming a nobody waitress.
Where did that come from? I got a double dose from both parents.
I think it derived from my Dad’s old school upbringing of keep your nose down and work your ass off mentality, which is what gave me my great work ethic.
My Mom had three kids under five by the time she was 28-years-old and knew how dependent she was on my Dad’s paycheck. She wanted her daughter to get the education she never got and be self-sufficient, which is why I made sure I finished college.
Even when I had to take a 16-month hiatus because of the military life, my mom’s voice in the back of my head reassured me I’d get back to college and finish.
I would be educated.
I’m self-sufficient and don’t need anyone to take care of me because I have proven time and time again, all I need is a strong me to get me through anything.
There’s kickback from certain friends and family who confuse need with love. I’m married and I love my husband, and yes I do need him to be my husband.
But, I don’t need him to provide the bacon so I can fry it up. The ideal life for me doesn’t include a husband who works and does all the providing while I pick up a hobby in hopes it makes me side-money, or pop out babies or both!
Does that make sense?
I need him to be the best husband he can be, just like he needs me to be the best wife I can be. We’re co-partners in a long-term relationship who need to work together to stick together.
Know what I’m saying, now? We’re equal shares.
There are goals I’ve been working to achieve and won’t rest until I get ’em. I’m lucky the Hubs is supportive and secretly hoping his wife makes it “big” so he can officially say he robbed the grave, futuristically.
When did my self-sufficiency bite me in the ass? The moment it got confused with asking for help.
There’s a damn difference between “being taken care of” and asking for help. A huge damn difference.
It took me a long time (almost 29 years) to really understand the difference. There’s power in being independent, and there’s power in reaching out to others when you need a good laugh, talk through a hard situation, for comfort or reassurance, or even literally help in making connections to peruse an idea that’s lit a fire under your ass that you’ve only realized it a month ago.
The last bit might have been the moment I had that opened my eyes to the difference between taking care of and help. And it might have only happened yesterday afternoon…full disclosure, never said I had all of the answers.
Yesterday was the first time I asked for help, and it was the best decision I made for myself. It’s going to lead to additional opportunities to help me reach my overall goal. The Beatles knew it, even if “I get by with a little help from my friends,” probably meant drugs. The philosophy is the same. 😉
RamblinRandol is about finding yourself and learning to love yourself again. Life is real and raw, there’s no room for perfection here. If you’d like to join the Hot Mess Express tribe where we discuss the daily struggle and bring real life to light, come hang out in my new Facebook group, here.
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