The older I get, the more nuanced is my understanding of the word, independent. I find it reassuring and reaffirming to rely on people. How about you?
Beautiful artwork by Geoff McFetridge
I don’t know–I’m really torn by this. On the one hand, I do love that I have people I can count on to help me move, feed the cat when I’m traveling, give me a ride when my car is in for service, etc. But on the other hand, I really wish I COULD do it all by myself. I suppose that it really stems from the fact that I don’t like to ask people for favors (yet, oddly, I don’t mind helping out others). That’s partly the way I grew up. Consequently, I am uncomfortable asking and wind up doing things by myself when it would be so much easier with some help. And frankly, that does NOT make me independent, but rather dependent on feeling a certain way.
Good question, Wendy!
I spent years not being able to ask for help. But along the way I realized that people actually like to help. They feel more connected, and so do I.
For me it has become essential. I feel good when I let people help me, and I feel good when I help people. My neighborhood has started to gain more long-term residents (it’s in a college area) and getting to know them has been great, I’m really enjoying the sense of community. Many of us cat-sit for each other, a neighbor let me rummage through her jewelery collection when I needed a necklace for a formal event, there’s a cat who HAS a forever home in the neighborhood but will follow many of us right into our homes. I can be an introvert but these interactions make me feel really connected.
Hi Wendy – I just had another one of those helpful neighbor experiences I am so greatful for. I left town Tuesday morning and later in the day one of my neighbors called to say the local gas company needed access to my yard to repair a leek between my meter and the main gas line. My neighbor handled letting them in the yard and then in the house later to check all my gas appliances worked correctly. If not for my neighbor, my gas meter would have been shut off and I would not have had hot water or a working stove when I came home late last night. I was really grateful I could take a hot shower after a long day of traveling.
Your neighbor experiences are a great inspiration as I head into the weekend. Thanks for sharing!
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