Sometimes, I need help. But I don’t like to admit it. And if there is anything that I hate, it is feeling indebted to those around me – or, worst of all, a burden. I value independence and cleverness and resourcefulness. I like being in everyone’s good graces, and will do anything to make sure that I’m not asking anyone to go out of their way for me.
I am extra sensitive in this area because one time, several years ago, I took some friends up on something that they originally offered. But something went wrong in the process, and I wound up being an inconvenience. And rather than responding from a place of grace, they took a rather shame-based approach – pointing out each mistake on my part, blaming me for the disturbance, and even requesting me to write an essay about what I had learned from the experience. They called it an “exercise.”
I still have those email exchanges, saved in a folder called “Hard Words,” to remind me to try to be gracious with those around me. Words like that last for a long, long time. (Incidentally, I also have a substantially larger folder called “Good Words,” so don’t cry for me, Argentina.)
Tomorrow night, I am heading to Seattle for a very, very quick trip. Trips like this, where I want to pack in as much as I can without skimping on the people who are important to me, can be really stressful. I want everyone to be happy. I don’t want to spend 48-hours inconveniencing the people that I love. I don’t want to leave, and arrive back in Nashville to an email that says, “Thanks for coming – YOU SUCK.”
But I should know this by now: my Seattle family welcomes me with open arms. While many of my relationships have changed due to distance, it is silly for me to assume that my closest friends wouldn’t go out of their way to give me rides and host me and help me out; they would give me a kidney if I needed it. Why is my natural assumption that I’m all alone in this world?
I’m not. And I am grateful.
Seattle, I can’t wait to see you for a second.