A month or so ago I went out to lunch with one of the bartenders I work with. Out of many of my other co-workers he and I seem to get along on a deeper level which makes it easy to talk to each other about a lot of things. At one point we got onto the topic of past relationships and how they can form us into the people we are today. How we learn from out mistakes and take the good bits as reminders for the future. How it makes me a little uncomfortable when a guy buys me a drink, even in the friendliest way. How I tend to take it personally when the fellas at my other job won’t let me carry cases of wine, not because they think I can’t, but because they’re being gentlemen. And then my friend said something that made me feel so exposed…
You don’t know how to be taken care of.
The words slapped me in the face and before I could give it a second thought I said:
You’re absolutely right.
And he was. Absolutely right.
At the ripe age of 26 I’ve got this whole-taking-care-of-myself pretty down. Sure I’m still learning things as I go along but for the most part I’ve been fairly self sufficient for a while now. I can rig a toilet with the best of them, change a tire like a pro, budget my money to a tee, and I’m even blazing the frontier of cooking, And to be quite honest, it feels amazing. I’ve felt more like my true self lately than I have in a long time.
But maybe, just maybe, I’ve become a little too good at it. I’ve always had this idea of being in a relationship that’s very much like a team. He and I making up for each others short comings, picking each other up when the other is down, taking care of each other. Being single for the last 3 years it seems as though I’ve just filled all those holes in myself. And maybe, just maybe that keeps someone from coming along to do it instead. Maybe part of taking care of myself is letting someone else take care of me sometimes too. Admitting that sometimes I do want/need to be taken care of. That maybe someone else will be better at it in ways than I am.
So I think it’s time that I start to change my way of thinking. I think I need to start stifling that little voice that creeps up in my head that says “don’t let them make you look weak” whenever someone lends a helping hand. Time to realize that there’s a difference between a friendly after work drink and taking hand-outs or being pitied. I have wonderful, quality friends who wouldn’t do such things and I need to recognize that more.
It’s ok to be taken care of sometimes. It’s even ok to enjoy it a little too.