Friday, 17 April 2015

Independence

It's a funny old thing, independence, don't you think?



Over the years, I've been told off on multiple occasions for bottling things up, not letting people in, keeping things to myself.Not long ago, Mama CupandSaucer sent me a text telling me It's okay to let people look after you Alice. As long as you don't take advantage- which I know you won't- then it's okay to accept offers of help.

I'm ferociously independent. I have no problem with taking myself out for lunch, or coffee, or flying alone. I have problems with people trying to do things for me. I'm small, and sometimes that makes people think I'm dainty, and need looking after- and I like to prove that I don't, by standing on kickstools in five inch heels to put posters up, or balancing precariously on the edges of things so I'm able to reach something before some tall person reaches it for me. I brush it off when I walk into things, or fall over, or get hit in the face with a ball, because I can't bear to admit that I need help.

In fact, when I was interviewed for my current job, they asked me, "What would you say your biggest weakness is?". I thought I'd already messed up the interview by this point, so decided I had nothing to lose by being totally honest. "I won't always ask for help when I need it". I gave good examples, and managed to turn it around- and clearly, it didn't damage my prospects, as they gave me the job- but even now, my boss will sometimes say to me, "Why on earth didn't you say something?!" when I fill up during a one-to-one, or threaten him with the Nerf gun he bought me because I'm so stressed. I remind him that I told him on Day 0 that I don't ask for help, and he sighs, shakes his head, and reminds me that that's what he's here for. His job is to make sure I can do my job.

The problem is though- once I let someone in, and accept their help, I become scared of relying on them. I'm scared that I'll lean on someone too hard, and they'll step away, letting me crash to the floor. It's happened before, and it will happen again. When people ask me why I won't let them in- in the past, ex boyfriends have got very upset over it- I remind them that everyone leaves. And sooner or later, they up sticks (or, in some cases, I do), and they prove me right.

A is away at the moment, and I miss him. I miss him more than I should. I'm scared that I'm too reliant on him- but at the same time, I know that he and I rely on each other. We support each other because we get each other. And that's not me losing my independence. In the early stages of our relationship, A used to laugh at the fact that I'd have to schedule him in a couple of weeks in advance because I was so busy. Now, he's my three-legged-race partner. We look out for each other, knowing that if one of us trips, the other is there to catch them.

I'm independent. But suddenly, I've realised that being independent doesn't mean I'm not allowed to depend on someone else sometimes too.

6 comments:

  1. I hear you Alice... I don't like letting people in either and the only person I completely trust is my partner.
    And now I'm humming Independent Women..!!

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  2. This is really beautiful, Alice. And I completely get that - the fear of being vulnerable. It leaves us so much more open to being hurt.

    A word I've been thinking about quite a lot it 'interdependent' and I think that's the way I'd like to live. Being okay on my own - but also allowing myself to need other people, and being open to being needed back. Being totally independent seems very lonely.

    ~Melissa

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  3. I hear where you're coming from, for me it's also part of me being and only kid, i'm perfectly happy to entertain myself for hours, keeping myself to myself, but because of it, I totally suck at asking for help. That and feeling that asking for help, or not being able to do something is a sign of weakness. I'm working on that!

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  4. I totally understand you as I'm exactly the same - but I'm trying to gradually let more people in.

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  5. I completely understand how you feel about being independent, I have been exactly the same in the past and it's taken me a long time to get better at asking for help or even telling people what I need. Keep working on it and it will feel a bit easier to accept help when you need it x

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  6. I understand this too, I was shoved dramatically into independence during my Masters and even more during my PhD. I lived alone for 3 years which meant I ended up sitting on a lot of my problems. But I learnt to let Mr W in and I've started to be honest to my boss when things are too much now- it does make things easier :) Just keep working on it x

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