Monday, July 14, 2014

One Zumba dance step at a time...

Since I am still working on my culture posts, I am once again going to write about my life. Today's post will focus on what it means to accept help and how it affects our (perceived) independence.

Since setting up a story-telling format is the easiest way to present personal anecdotes without confusing the content of the blog, I once again present a case study:

A Case Study, or Why I'm Taking Zumba Classes
I like to think that I'm a helpful person. If someone I know is going through a rough patch, I will take them out for coffee and listen to what is going on in their life. If a friend of mine is moving to a new housing residence, I will clear my weekend to help them move boxes. If a colleague is struggling with how to use the copier at the office, I'll take the time to help fix the paper jam.

Accepting help, on the other hand, is hard for me. Don't ask me why, because I'm not entirely sure myself. I think I have some form of independence complex. Having people help me, in my mind, undermines my independence over being in control of my life (which, let's be honest, no one is in complete control of his or her life). To prove my point, here's an example:
Me: [trying to carry a large bin of magazines up to second floor at work]
Colleague: Can I help you with that Olivia? It looks heavy.
Me: Nope. I'm good. I can handle it [meanwhile I'm wearing heels, which doesn't make carrying said bin any easier].
Colleague:  Are you sure? I'm happy to help!
Me: Thanks, but I've got it covered [even though I could have used the help, I continued about my way].
And this doesn't just pertain to random workplace encounters. I won't give additional examples because I don't want to bore you, but it is something I also struggle with in regard to the big things.
Enter January 2014. Too bad I didn't blog at the beginning of this calendar year, because a post in July about New Year Resolutions sounds silly (I swear I'm going somewhere with this). I made one of my resolutions of 2014 to learn something new in a category I am terrible at. See: Zumba lessons. It's in the "dance" category, and yes, I am terrible at it. I have no coordination whatsoever. But hey! 7 months later and I'm still attending Zumba lessons. Yes, I'm still terrible, but less terrible than 7 months ago I think. At least I have stopped accidentally hitting people with my horribly inarticulate limbs (just kidding, I've yet to accidentally hit anyone, but I've come very close). It's been a fun adventure, and I've actually enjoyed attending the lessons as time has progressed.
So, what's my point in rambling about Zumba lessons? I also made the resolution of being more gracious in accepting help from others, especially when I don't think I need it. It's been challenging at times, just like Zumba, but I am making progress. More importantly, I'm still conscious of it being a New Year's Resolution. You know what the research states: most people give up on their resolutions 4 weeks into the year (and because I'm not perfect, my resolution of cutting back on my coffee intake failed miserably. I have veins of caffeine, my friends).
I have to consciously remind myself of my resolutions, both small (Zumba lessons) and large (accepting help graciously). One Zumba dance step at a time, I'll be better at accepting help from others... and hopefully at Zumba too.
What do you struggle with as a person? What helps remind you of your strengths and shortcomings as an individual? Take some time to reflect on your 2014 resolutions now that we're halfway through the year. If you feel motivated, feel free to even share your resolutions with me via the comments, Twitter (@CertainlyCandid), or the contact form.

Have a great Zumba-and-coffee-filled Monday,


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