Please welcome back The Suniverse today. I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and enjoying your holiday safely.
My near-maniacal need to take care of things BY MYSELF is an attribute I always found quite endearing, and one which others find endearing as well. If by endearing you mean something that makes people want to stab you with really, really sharp toothpicks. I will generate this response in people who watch me flail around, trying to do something that I really, really can’t do, but refusing to ask for help even as I hurtle past the point of rational action and into that dark territory where hacking at a jelly jar with a really big knife seems like a perfectly acceptable method of removing the lid. I will do this because I do not like to ask for help.
Because I am very much a person who feels that asking for help makes me a loser.
It doesn’t make you a loser if you ask for help.
Yeah, I don’t completely get it, either.
Part of it is being independent, of being free. Of listening to Kelly Clarkson singing, “Whatever happened to Miss Independence?” and thinking, “Hell, yeah, Kelly, sing the shit out of that song – whatever DID happen to Miss Independence? Stand up, you lazy girl!”
Part of it is that thrill of self-reliance, of completing something on your own, of needing no one else.
And part of it is making sure that I know, deep down, that I can handle anything.
The thing is, I LIKE being independent. I really do. I like being able to think for myself and do for myself [I mean, not stuff like cleaning or killing bugs or figuring out how to change out the propane tank – what am I married for if I’m doing all of that?] and make decisions and say that we’ll be eating chicken for dinner AGAIN tonight because I said so.
Except when I can’t.
The times I can’t, the times I am completely at a loss to be that independent woman really, really terrify me.
I’m a complete mess.
I was not raised to be that woman who clings, who asks permission, who needs someone to guide her. I mean, I was raised to be that woman, but I threw off those shackles pretty quickly and thoroughly.
What steals my independence now, what makes it so hard sometimes to be who I truly am, is anxiety and its bastard cousin panic.
Those two have screwed me up and down and all around.
And I hate them for it.
I hate them for stealing my abilities and for crippling me and making me so uncertain and insecure that I have found myself standing in a department store for 40 minutes, looking at sale rack of clothing, totally and completely unable to decide if I should get the black $7 pair of leggings or the gray $7 pair of leggings.
I’ve come back from that. I’ve moved forward and I’ve been freed. But it was a long, hard journey and one that is not completely over.
And so I tend to hang on to that banner of independence and do-it-for-yourself-ness even when I know, rationally, I shouldn’t. Why not ask the husband if he can pick up a loaf of bread on the way home? BECAUSE I CAN GO TO THE STORE MYSELF, NOW, THANK YOU. That’s why. Because I can.
But just because I can, doesn’t mean I always have to. That’s the part of independence I need to work on – the part that says it’s o.k. to be independent as part of a team that works together. It’s o.k. to ask for help. It’s o.k. to sometimes NOT be the responsible one.
And maybe just sit around and jam out to Kelly Clarkson and eat jelly on my bread.