Saturday, April 9, 2011

Miss Independent

Usually, I pride myself in being independent.

If there is something I have my heart set on doing, I do it, even if I can't find anyone to join me. If there is something that needs to be done, I do it, even if I have to do it alone. Even if it sucks.

I'd like to say it builds character.

I travel alone, I have gone to concerts alone, I volunteer alone, and being single have learned to do many things on my own that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Shoot, I even moved to a foreign country alone. 

And, I buy dog food alone.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound like a big deal. But believe me, it kind of is.

I am 5'2", and the bag of dog food I buy stands at about 4'...and weighs 44 pounds. Over the years I have learned to maneuver the huge bag of dog food from the floor of the store up and over the side of my shopping cart, up and out of the cart into my trunk, and up and out of my trunk, through my front door, out my back door, and up and into my dog food bin. In all my stuggles, I have only ripped open the bag on the corner of the cart and spilled 44 pounds of dog food all over the store floor one time.

Yeah, that was a good day. 

Anyways, through my dog food struggles over the years, I have noticed many people watch me in sympathy, some of them maybe even tempted to help me, but none ever have. Not one person has ever asked if they could help me lift the bag that is half my size.

That is why yesterday, when I went to the store to get dog food, I knew I was in trouble. Having had surgery 2 weeks ago, 44 pounds is way beyond my weight limit. But thinking of those dozens of times over the years that no one has offered to help, I was hesitant to ask. I didn't want to be a nuisance. So, Miss Independent came out, and I didn't ask for help.

Don't worry, I didn't break doctor's orders. Instead I bought two 8 pound bags of fancy dog food (which together cost the same amount as the 44 pound bag) that I figure will last atleast a few weeks, when maybe I will be able to lift the monster sized bag again. My dog may be happy about me spending a lot more money for the good stuff, but me, not so much.

It makes me wonder, if we lived in a "community" based society, the kind that is a common theme in so much Christian literature nowadays, how things would be different.

Would I be scared to ask a stranger for a little help? Would I even need to ask? Would they even be called strangers?

And maybe, just maybe, if I didn't need to be so independent, I wouldn't be, and that would be okay.

It leaves me thinking...

Maybe rather than building character, independence builds walls.

7 comments:

Cathrine said...

Oh how I agree so much. I was just saying the other day how all of this access to figure out things on my own and do things on my own doesn't make me feel attached to anything or available to anything, it leaves me feeling detached. Bah.

Melissa Irwin said...

I can really relate to this...so much so that our similarities are yet again even more than I realized.

I'll encourage you that while many people don't "offer", some of those same people would be honored to help. Humbling yourself to acknowledge you need help, and being willing to ask for it saves time, money and pain....all of which building walls requires more of. :-)

LINDA said...

Becca, welcome to the single world that your mother has lived in for years; I most certainly can relate. Then the criticism of being too independent comes. Can't win for losing, so as a single you learn to depend completely on the Lord because the world around really doesn't understand the struggles of the single woman. I just got criticized this last week for the same thing of being too independent, but when I turned around and asked for help.... hmmmm once again I discovered that my whole dependence is on my Lord. In many ways Becca, we are privileged because we know HOW to fully depend on Jesus.

Sarah said...

I have lot's of "I did...by myself" pride points in my life. I put myself through college, I got a job, I bought a house.

But this isn't something to praise, I do it myself because I don't like asking for help. I have also wrestled the huge bag of dog food into my cart by myself. But people have offered to help...

"Oh no, thanks, I got it."

My "independence" has led me into situations where I, clearly, could not do it myself (ahem, carrying the oven/couch/washing machine down the stairs). Inevitably I end up in tears turning the air blue and making the nearby sailors blush. "Why doesn't anybody help me?!?"

**because you don't ask**
It's hard reaching out to people no matter which direction you're reaching from, but I can only control me.

Agh, dangit, I got on a soap box.

I shoulda just wrote,
"I feel ya, girl."

Lala said...

I guess I'm lucky being nearly a foot taller--those bags are nothing for me! ok, I'm done rubbing it in. Ever read Too Small to Ignore? I wish we had that kind of community. . .that book makes me wish I didn't grow up in all-about-me California

Rebecca said...

@Cat- We are totally on the same wave length :)

@Melissa- you are right, I am sure if I asked there are people who would be happy to help...it's that darn pride thing that gets in the way...

@Linda- Mom, I know you have done many things you should've never had to do on your own. I guess you are the one who taught me to do what I gotta do.

@Sarah- The carrying the oven down the stairs thing reminded me of a time I was trying to get a heavy furniture into the back of a truck by myself- which was humanly impossible :) Of course I didn't want to call anyone, and eventually a stanger pulled over and helped. I guess there is some good community out there if you are open to it :)

@Lala- yes, that is a wonderful book. Oh, and I grew up in all-about-me california too :)

Lala said...

I'm sorry you had to go through that. I call it the Hell-hole of hedonism. my newest alliteration. I live in Orange county, BLEGH!