This I Believe

Natalie - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on June 21, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe asking for help when help is needed is a sign of wisdom, not weakness. I have not always held this belief. In fact, it took many years to develop. But, it is one the most valuable beliefs I have come to hold.

I think back to my early years as a young girl; I was always independent. The youngest of four, I never wanted anyone’s help. Sitting on the floor, trying to put a puzzle together, an older sibling would approach and try to give me “hints.” I’d always respond with a harsh, “I can do it myself.” That was a very popular saying of mine. I used it often, from struggling to pour my own breakfast cereal to lengthy bouts of tying my shoes.

My saying developed into my motto for life. I took great pride in my achievements and even more so in the fact I had accomplished something difficult on my own. As a young adult, my pride drove me to work two jobs in order to support myself while I attended college, lived in my own apartment and drove a brand new car. I thought I was something else. However, I soon found myself completely exhausted and burned out. I wasn’t a happy person; I wasn’t someone to be envied. I was stressed out and miserable. Knowing I couldn’t sustain this way of life, I realized I needed to ask for help.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with loving family and friends who are more than willing to lend a hand. My cousin, and best friend, opened her home to me so I could start fresh and not worry about rent. My sister loaned me her old car when I sold mine to get out of my monthly payments. I was then able to save enough money to buy a used car in cash. I was expecting criticism and reluctance, but instead I was met with support and eagerness.

Now, as a married, full-time student, working part-time, I’ve realized it is impossible for me to keep my house clean, my husband happy, my grades up and my clients satisfied with an “I can do it myself” attitude. There are evenings I just don’t have the time or the energy to do it all. Those are the evenings I am most grateful for my husband. I know I can ask him to empty the dishwasher or make his famous calzones for dinner and he will because he wants to help, he wants to feel needed. Having learned from my mistakes, I am no longer hesitant to ask to for help when life demands more than I can I give. I believe it’s wisdom, not weakness that leads me to ask for help.