Thursday, August 11, 2011


When I was little, I never wanted to ask for help. "I know!" and "I can do it!" were my two favorite phrases. Asking for help was showing weakness - you weren't smart enough if you asked for help on your homework; you weren't strong enough if you asked for help with something stuck or heavy. "Can't" wasn't in my vocabulary. I figured out how to be independent early on, do everything for myself, my way. I did things on my own, I never asked for help. I was too ashamed. Even when I should have been asking for help. I thought I knew it all.

When I was in 8th grade, I was in the pre-algebra class. I felt so smart - being there with all the other smart kids and my crush. I wanted to impress him, to do well. But class was hard and him being there distracted me. I would zone out in class. I wouldn't go to extra help.. I didn't like my teacher and was afraid of being made fun of for needing help. My parents weren't good at math so I couldn't ask them. And then, eventually, I go tmoved to a lower math class because I got a "D" in the first marking period; my first "D" ever. All because I wouldn't ask for help.That probably should have made me feel more ashamed. But at least I wasn't struggling anymore. I didn't need anyone's help. I am an only child. I don't have many friends. And I can do it myself. I can do it all... or so I thought.

When I was 21, I was even more naive then when I was in 8th grade. Again, I let a guy I liked distract me and I wouldn't get help until it was too late. I let this guy take advantage of me, abuse me, manipulate me. And I was afraid to ask for help because I wouldn't seem as strong and independent as I tried to be. And then finally, one day, I couldn't hold it back any longer: I had to ask for help. To humble myself, to prove that I needed someone else, and I couldn't do it on my own anymore. And I learned a valuable lesson; sometimes, it's ok to ask for help. We are human, not superheroes. We think we are invincible and can do everything on our own. But we can't always. Sometimes, we need to ask for help.

And when I did, no one laughed. No one doubted me. But they were ashamed that I had waited so long to ask for help when they had just wanted to give it all along. They were always there to help - even though I had never asked before. So now I know that I don't have to be embarrassed or afraid, because someone will always be there to help me. All I have to do is just be brave enough to ask.

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