Moving is stressful, it’s especially stressful when you’ve done it upwards of four times in the past year. It’s enormously stressful when you can’t take time off work so you’re left moving boxes after work at 11:30 at night on a Wednesday and watching drug deals go down as you pack boxes away into a storage unit. I guess I would like to say unexpected foreclosure is not ideal and neither is the process of a last minute move. Cest la vie?
The past 48 hours have not been my best (not my worst either mind you). Once again my life is packed up and pushed aside in a storage unit. My picture frames are stacked up against the cold metal walls, my dresser balanced upon my desk, boxes teetering on top of one another labeled in a hastily sass filled manner “Notebooks, desk accessories, unrequited love” & “sentimental sweatshirts & lost childhood dreams”. Moving brings out the romantic within me. What the clever labeling structure fails to reveal is that it also brings out one of my greatest short comings- that is the inability to ask for help.
Does anyone else hate asking for help (even when you really need it)? I am fiercely independent but often unable to provide the necessary resources to accompany my attitude. I want to make my own decisions, I want to solve my own problems and even when I’ve resolved to crying on my closet floor I want to be left alone to do it. If I make the decision to go forth with an idea (or am forced to move out of my apartment on short notice) I feel as if I need to tackle the whole mess on my own. It’s difficult for me to accept that sometimes I can’t.
Whether I like to admit it or not I can’t move a queen sized mattress and box springs on my own. I don’t have a truck one will fit in and I am legally too young to rent a Uhaul. I don’t know how to take apart the bookshelf I built just a few months ago and I closed my storage unit at the beginning of March #ironic. When it came to this move I needed help but rather than just asking or accepting the help offered I forced myself into the state of mental turmoil before admitting to myself that even independent people can’t do everything on their own.
My fear of asking for help has caused me more harm than good on multiple occasions-financial trouble, group projects, car repair issues, etc. I’m just one person and no one person can do everything! Moving through the night yesterday revealed just how silly my fear is. I am so afraid of inconveniencing those close to me that I isolate myself in the process. I’m afraid to say “can you help me move?” because something inside me is afraid of rejection and what that rejection may indicate about our relationship. Do people want to be friends with someone who has to move all the time? What do I have to offer in exchange for this kindness? My insecurity isn’t based off of pride (ie. “I can do it my self”) but rather off of my feelings of solitude (ie. “No one will want to help me so I HAVE to do it alone”).
At the end of the day could I have moved all by myself if I REALLY had to? It would have been incredibly difficult but of course I could have found a way. Even a tiny person can do big things if they really put their mind to it, but in this case I didn’t need to be alone. What would I really gain by making my stressful move even more stressful?! I didn’t need to feel helpless and isolated and lonely but I allowed myself to feel that way (and even to feel sorry for myself) because in some ways this sense of “I’m all by myself and no one wants to help me” is a safe place. I know that place and even though I don’t like it it’s my default.
Just because you’re used to feeling lonely don’t settle for moving a gigantic mattress all by yourself. Just because you’re used to a bad relationship don’t stay fearful of venturing out into that studio apartment and beginning your new fab single girl life all alone. Don’t skip the party to watch Netflix just because it’s what you’re used to! I’ve let my comfort zone limit me before (we all have). Once we realize our limitations we can push past them but occasionally that means asking for help. I hope you’re not as silly about it as me!
Have you always been able to ask for help or is it a constant struggle for you (like it is for me)?