Asking for help isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a (self-sufficient) first born, or because of my people-pleaser nature, or the fact that I haven’t had to ask for help very many times in my life. As I sit here trying to think of example where I’ve had to ask for help, I can only think of one instance and it was twenty years ago.

I had moved to the big bad city of Vancouver and scored a great job at a dream firm. I arrived in the city with some savings, but after paying a first month’s deposit and rent, etc., I was coming up short for some grocery money. My first pay cheque was a few days away and so I asked my Mom to transfer me some money. That $100 was one of the hardest things that I’d ever asked for and I was so thankful to see it in my bank account.

Not only do I fail at asking for help, I fail at accepting help when it is offered to me. I’m fine! Please don’t inconvenience yourself! It will all work out! It does, of course, but one example of my gift of stubbornness happened eight summers ago when I had Lasik eye surgery done back in my old home of Vancouver.

I stayed with my Dad, and he offered to take the day off of work to drive me to and from my appointment.

I’m fine! Please don’t inconvenience yourself! It will all work out!

He went to work and I made my way downtown to the clinic. I watched the video, they performed the surgery, and I was guided to the recovery room to rest/have a nap. When it was time to go, they pointed me and my watery vision towards the closest SkyTrain station. I rode the train while resting my head against the window and keeping my eyes closed tight. I had to switch trains and while making my way down the escalator, a jerkface ran by me, gave me a shoulder check, and told me that I was moving too slowly.

I just had SURGERY!

He didn’t care and if I had been able to, you know, see, I would have tracked him down and schooled him. Instead, I found my train and finally made it to my Dad’s, where I promptly crawled under the covers and went to sleep.

(When I woke up, I walked up the mall two blocks away to (buy some new clothes, and) get groceries for dinner. I’m ridiculous, I know.)

All of the above to say that I am an eternal optimist, I can get it all done, and it will all work out. I’ve been very blessed in my life in that things always seem to fall into place. HOWEVER. This past week has been one where I’ve doubted my usual state of affairs and have had a bit of an existential crisis. I’ve coped by talking to good friends, by not dwelling on the negative, and by simply keeping busy with family and skiing and school excursions. Matthew encouraged me by telling me that after sharing my situation, his coworker replied “But it’s Angella. Everything always works out for Angella.”

It does, but this time I’ve taken the initiative instead of waiting for something(s) to fall into my lap. I spent yesterday morning being quiet, and pensive, and then in the afternoon I emailed some of the amazing women whom I’m connected to via this little space. I feel good, I feel hopeful, and I know that it will be okay as it always is.

I also know that it’s okay to ask for help. I really do need to do it more often.

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  1. Hannah February 12, 2013 6:43 am edit

    Oh, I hope you are okay? You know I am also here if you need my help. If it’s the kind of help I can give from across a vast ocean, that is. I’ll be praying, regardless. Love you! x

  2. K February 12, 2013 8:13 am edit

    I totally hear you on asking for help (especially when it’s money related) and your reasons. When I was in college I had to ask my parents to loan me money because after paying my rent, car payment, books, etc, I was still coming up a bit short one month and my pay check was a few days away. My mom gave me some cash and I accepted it but I cried the whole way home, feeling inadequate (for no good reason). I paid her back with my next check because I felt so awful about it. I think you and I are similar with the eternal optimism and things mostly falling into place.
    I hope whatever issues you have going on now work themselves out whether or not you need help along the way! I’m praying for you.

  3. Rhi February 12, 2013 2:53 pm edit

    It’s more than okay to ask for help! It’s super hard for me, too. Between fear of rejection and fear of that person thinking I’m not capable of doing it all, I just can’t seem to do it.


  4. ChrisB February 12, 2013 7:55 pm edit

    anything I can do? Do you need a place in the sun for a few days? Don’t hesitate ask!!! I mean it!

  5. ememby February 14, 2013 11:44 am edit

    I know what you mean – I was trying to think of the times I’ve asked for help and they aren’t many, usually because I know I can just do it myself. And when I do ask for help, it feels self-indulgent, like I’m getting something too much. Yet I have no trouble helping others and never once think they are taking advantage of me when they do ask for help. I hope all is well. Just ask… it gives people the wonderful opportunity to do something for someone they care about and that does feel great.

  6. Jen Wilson February 14, 2013 2:06 pm edit

    I suck at it, too. I’m also an overly-independent first-born.

  7. Ashley S February 14, 2013 10:53 pm edit

    I have an awful time asking for help – I’m not sure what I’m afraid of but I’m afraid, yet I want nothing more than to help any/everyone else. I heard one time that the hardest thing we’ll ever have to do is humble ourselves and ask for help – I think it’s true.

    ps. Lasik Eye surgery is something I want soooo bad but I’m soooo scared off.

  8. ChrisB February 15, 2013 5:03 pm edit

    there is no better way to live than to live healthy!

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