Still Learning

I have always been independent. I think my first full sentence was “I can do it myself”. I am stubborn when it comes to asking for help and accepting it, feel free to check with my husband if you don’t believe me.

I can do it all. I’m Super Ashley, as 4 years ago, I upgraded to SuperMum. If there is a list of 50 things, I’ve got it covered. I will stress out and be all crazy BUT I get the list done… Seems crazy right?

Cause it is.

I have no clue where this stems from. My parents, my family has always been supportive and we’re not competitive. While I am supportive, do tend to compete, even though no one else knows it. I think I feel like I have to prove something, so I do it on my own. See I can do it myself! I have always told myself that I don’t need help and lived life like that for a long time.

When I went to University, I didn’t take out student loans for 2 reasons,
1. I didn’t want to pay back loans for the next 20 years and
2. I didn’t want to ask my parents for help, I didn’t want a co-signer. I could do it all on my own.

I worked a full-time job, went to school full time and I paid for it all. Now, I did still live at home, I paid a bit of rent. I had minimal bills but I still had bills. I paid for school all by myself. No help required, no loans to pay back. I learnt a lot by doing this. The worth of a dollar and just how far it could stretch. I learnt about second-hand books. I knew that no matter how hard things got, I could figure it all out. I also discovered coffee, late night and how to run on very little sleep.  Little did I know I was preparing for Motherhood (ha!).

However, that was a positive experience, my stubbornness has held me back from experiencing things. When I turned 16, we had to do a written exam for your “Learners” license. (In Canada, we have a multistep program to get your full drivers license). Now I am TERRIBLE at written exams, still am. I’m smart, but I don’t test well.  I failed my written exam and I was heartbroken, miserable. I went back a couple more times and proceeded to fail each time. After the 3rd time, I didn’t go back for about 4 years. Yup, I am that stubborn. I kept telling myself, it’s the universe telling you that it’s not your time. You’re not meant to drive right now.  I didn’t ask for help studying because at the time I felt if I asked for help, I was failing even harder. If I could go back and smack my younger self, I might.

Then my younger sister got her driver license, that stung big time. I cracked the books and studied and went and finally passed my written. For a gift, my parents got me driving lessons. By the time I earned my full drivers license, I was 22 years old. I proceed to buy my first car by myself. I saved and bought my own car. I paid for insurance, I was doing it all on my own.

When I bought my first brand NEW car, I needed a car loan, but I got it on my own. I’m still very proud of that.

You’re probably sitting here reading this and asking yourself why is she telling us this?!

We are always learning, whether we like it or not. Here is what I have learnt, I am 30 years old and I am just now realising that it is OK TO ASK FOR HELP!!!!!!!! I don’t regret the choices I  have made. I admire that I am stubborn but learning help is OK. I do wonder if I had asked for help what adventures or experiences would I have stumbled upon? Would I have done a cross-Canada road trip? Would I be stuck in a career that I hate but have to say because I have loans to pay off? Would I have the same work ethic?

I don’t regret the choices I  have made. I admire that I am stubborn but learning help is OK. I do wonder if I had asked for help what adventures or experiences would I have stumbled upon? Would I have done a cross-Canada road trip? Would I be stuck in a career that I hate but have to say because I have loans to pay off? Would I have the same work ethic?

I am trying to teach my kids that it’s OK to ask or help. My daughter is a carbon copy of me, both in appearance but also in the stubborn department. My son will ask for help much quicker than his sister. But I won’t stop encouraging them to ask for help when needed.  I am telling my best friends that it’s OK to ask for help too! We don’t need to through life alone, struggling and pissed off. We’re all in this together.

I pride myself on being independent. I still like to say to my Mum, look what I did, me!!! All alone. But I am falling in love with the feeling of “yeah, I just couldn’t figure it out, I asked so and so for help!”. It’s a different sense of pride. I wouldn’t have been able to give birth without a freaking TEAM! I often call my Mum (2 or 3 times a week) to ask for parenting advice.

As a parent, Oh My God!, I spend the first year pushing my husband way, always saying, No I can do this myself! and I remember like it was yesterday when he held me close and hugged me tight “You’re not alone, we’re in this together. We’re a team!” I have been working very hard on accepting help.

I ask my girlfriends for help on the daily. To listen to me vent, to figure out what I should wear, for a sanity checks.

I, of course, am not going to change overnight, but baby steps. I will probably be described as stubborn at my funeral but I have made HUGE strides in asking for help. I’m proud of me!

I sometimes catch my husband doing a double take when I ask for help. I smile to myself because I know I can still surprise him.

 

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