I Cannot Do This All By Myself
I have always been boldly proud of my independence.
Ever since I can remember, it has empowered me and served me in such a way that I fiercely embrace all that it stands for.
My independence makes me feel powerful. It makes me feel in control. It gives me a sense of purpose. It guides me in strength. It fuels my fire and allows for me to thrive in such a profound way.
But recently, I have learned that it can also be my weakest hour and my most crippling quality.
It all started when I met my husband. He is a man. Men want to fix things. He definitely doesn’t want to fix me, but any time I am faced with a trial or problem, he wants desperately to solve it. He tries to make me all better. He looks out for me in a way that no one ever has and it is one of the most beautiful things about our relationship.
It is also the most difficult + trying aspect of our marriage.
He wants to help. I want to do it all by myself. This clash is so persistent.
Oftentimes, he lets me because he knows how strong-willed I can be. But sometimes, he presses on, determined to force me to accept his (gasp!) help. I always resist, but on rare occasions, when I see his eyes silently begging, I do give in. At first it totally stings. But then, I usually feel relief. It’s not something that I acknowledge very often and usually, I move on quickly so as not to get too into my head about it.
But now we are building a life together. We have a little family and a business and we wear all of the hats, all of the time. We never turn it off. We press forward, fueled by gratitude, love and ambition. It’s incredible to think about where we are going together.
Doing it all by myself has been such an integral part of my identity for as long as I can remember, but my reality now no longer allows for me to insist on doing everything alone. It has forced me to accept help. It has forced me to realize that I cannot and should not do this all by myself.
I have learned that it’s not emotionally or physically healthy to bottle it in and press forward in solitude. It’s important to soften up and let the people who love me step in when I need them, regardless of who knows it first.
I think that, as a woman, it’s easy to want to just do things to protect everything and everyone around you. I am learning that it’s okay to ask for help with the dishes and to ask for help folding laundry. It’s okay to leave my son at bedtime so that I can take some time to myself. It’s okay to hire a babysitter to come and shake up our monotony so that I can work an uninterrupted few hours among good vibes in a coffee shop instead of feverishly during nap time.
My husband’s got this! My village has my back too!
Doing things by myself is still a vital and fundamental part of who I am. It will always have a place and there will always be times when it serves a distinct purpose. It will always, always empower me and I will never let go of it entirely.
But realizing when I need to bend and stretch and ask for help? That’s empowering too. It in no way signifies weakness. Instead, it represents a wisdom that I didn’t possess until now. It signifies that I am in tune with myself enough to know my limits. It means that I am growing in the best way. It embodies an expanse of my own heart and soul that can only happen with help.
And that right there, is the most empowering reality of all.