I don’t like asking for help. I like to do things myself and I like to figure out how to get them done on my own.
Yesterday, I walked home from the post office, carrying a 13-pound box. The post office is just under a mile away, and 13 pounds isn’t that heavy, but I hadn’t eaten, was out of water, and it was 80 degrees and I hate being hot, so I was getting a little grumpy. I made it home, rummaged through my bag for my keys, and just as I was about to unlock the door, I dropped the keys. I watched them fall in, what felt like, slow-motion. “There’s no way they’re going to fall down that little opening,” I thought.
But, of course, they did. I sat down on my porch steps, feeling defeated. I usually don’t allow myself time to wallow, but in that moment, I felt so alone. My friends were all at work, my family lives on the other side of the country, and I was locked out of my apartment.
There’s a small crawl space underneath our front stairs, so I figured that once I was able to get back inside, I would just find my screwdriver (because I am a capable woman who owns a screwdriver!) and open the crawl space right up. But I didn’t have the right screw tip. So I asked for help.
I borrowed a screw tip that I thought would work from a friend (thanks Tim!), only to discover that it was too big. I visited Home Depot, which was fine by me because I really love going to Home Depot, and bought two different size tips, just in case.
Once I got the hole opened, I realized that all I wanted in that moment was for someone to help me. I was about to be ankle deep in dried leaves and spiders, and I had to take care of it myself, just like I thought I wanted.
My next steps were a wardrobe change and a brainstorm on how to retrieve my keys without actually entering the Cave of Spiders. I found a mop and a hanger and started with that.And it worked! It couldn’t have worked better, in fact. The keys hooked onto the hanger perfectly, and good thing, too, because I had accidentally locked myself out again. Like I said, ya can’t make this stuff up.In the end, it turned out that I had everything that I needed all along. And I’m not being poetic—I actually ended up finding a tool kit in my pantry with the exact size screw tip that I needed all along.
But I did learn that sometimes, even if you can do something yourself, or even if you have to do something yourself, it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to be needy.