My entire life I have had strong female role models. Well just strong role models in general. So much so that when my cars clutch goes to the floor at midnight on the way home, I drive it to the mechanic shop like a rally car driver with no clutch, park it out front and then start the hour and a half walk home because it doesn’t occur to me to call my house mate and ask for help getting home because it is my problem, not theirs. So much so that I will still be attempting to haul my own bags down the street 400m and up the stairs for an hour after just being released from the hospital after 5 days with pneumonia. So much so that I would crawl my way home after getting hit by a car and walk an hour and a half to get to the hospital for an x ray to make sure my arm isn’t broken. The thing is, I never, ever ask for help. Like EVER. In some ways I have been taught that it is like admitting defeat that you simply cannot do things yourself. It is an act that has made me an incredibly strong and independent person, but in many ways it has also made me quite inaccessible to others as my walls are too impermeable.
So my good friend laid me out a challenge for the month of September that she calls “Servitude September”. She feels that “acts of service is one of the ways that people show love. The theory is that you do things for people all the time, and it makes you feel good. By allowing people to help you, it will create a space for people to start showing you love” and thus will help me become more open to others.
The challenge set is as such:
You must ask someone for at least one favour a day building up to five a day by the end of September. I must record what I asked for and how I felt about asking for it. I must ask a mix of genders for different things in equal amounts, so half men and half women for such favour. These things that I ask for must be things that I can do by myself without help from anyone else. This is the most important of the rules. It has to be something I can do for myself. If not it defeats the purpose of the whole idea.
To be honest, I am terrified. The idea of asking people for help makes me more vulnerable, regardless the size of the favour. I fear that people will see me as being less capable. I feel like I will owe people and be in their debt. That it in many ways will strip down the strong and independent woman that I am. I am also terrified of the doors it may open up with regards to allowing other people in and letting them to not only help me, but to love me. I guess we just have to wait and see what happens. But I accepted the challenge. My friend in London is holding me to account on a daily basis and is super excited to watch me squirm while I do it. And as such, let Servitude September and all of its helpfulness begin…. with a bit of luck, it might just change my life!