A Lesson in Humility: Part I: Gas vs Rent
I had to go back to the faithful insta g (thanks for that term, Roman DeShong) to figure out when exactly this happened. Turns out it was Friday May 1st, 2015 (Amethyst had been open for 3 months) when I posted this photo:
Rewind to the evening before. I had gotten home and most likely gone to bed early (I can’t be absolutely sure, but there’s little doubt in my mind about the accuracy of that statement) so when Stuart, my then-boyfriend now-fiancé, arrived home at 2am I was fast asleep. (Stuart manages a bar in downtown Denver, thus the late nights, he doesn’t just go out on benders)
The morning of the photo I woke up at 5-5:30am, put on clothes, potentially did something with my hair (though likely didn’t), grabbed my keys/wallet/phone and walked out the door. I sat down in my car, put the key in the ignition, turned the key, and…
In my vague recollection of this moment my car actually rolled backwards, but as I know negative things about cars I’m not sure if that’s my emotional memory or if that can truly happen. At first I panicked. I thought my car was destroyed and I was SOL. My mind ran through all of my options. 1. Buy a new car (nope, that's certainly not an option) 2. Walk everywhere (okay, getting better) 3. Admit I'm struggling and ask for help (hah...hahahahaha) Then I remembered the day before, and my original internal struggle of:
‘Do i put gas in the car or pay rent?’
Now, the normal thing to do would have been to fill the gas tank (which takes all of $30 for my 2009 Honda Element’s 13 gallon tank) and find the money to write Stuart a check for $470 rather than $500, telling him I’d pay him the rest as soon as I could. The even MORE normal thing would have been to tell Stuart that money was really tight and that rent would be a week late. However, that morning, with an empty tank of gas, an empty bank account, and no time to walk the 40 minutes to work and still be open by 7am, I had to wake my partner on 4 hours of sleep and ask him to drive me to work because, as a grown woman, I didn’t put gas in my car.
I’ve never been more embarrassed about anything, and those of you that know me are fully aware of my propensity for embarrassing moments.
This probably seems small and petty, even as I read it I feel absurd for the amount of emotion that swells up in my chest. I'm not the same person that I was then, just over a year ago. However, I understand that I spent 25 years becoming that person. It may not seem like that long, but I promise I packed a lot into that 25 years. A lot of what I used to call 'independence' and I now call 'emotional detachment'. What I used to call 'strength' and I now call 'loneliness'. What I used to call 'coping mechanisms' and I now call 'hiding'. What I used to call 'love' I still call 'love', I'm just better at feeling it, and I promise I've had no lack of love in my life.
At another point in my life, this 'no gas' moment would have been funny. I would have laughed at myself, apologized profusely, and had dinner waiting for Stuart at home as a ‘thank you’. On this day, however, it was a huge turning point for me. My own pride had finally done me in, and caused the exact situation I was afraid of. Asking for help has never been my strong suit, but after walking home from work that day (after working open-close alone) I promised myself I’d be better.
So far I’ve yet to break that promise. Not that I’ve started asking for things whenever I need them, but I’ve certainly been better. People WANT to help, so let them help. There’s no reason to go it on your own, and, trust me, it’s way less fun.