My car was recently out of commission. I needed brake pads, rotors and calipers- I think, I'm not really sure what that all means, except my car was smelling and loud as hell when I drove it. Apparently, my calipers (or was it my rotors?) locked and caused my car to feel like I was driving with the emergency brake on. I was quoted a price for the parts and service and scheduled an appointment for this past Monday. The cost caught me a bit off guard and I wasn't prepared to pay when I first got the diagnosis. So for about a month, my car sat in my building's parking lot, un-driven. For what had been at times a very inconvenient month, I schlepped through the city on bus, train or on the passenger side of whoever was willing to drive me wherever. The rest of the time I spent in the house catching up on my DVR recordings (I had 'Tonight Show' episodes that dated back to the end of summer), cooking, eating and reading. I had not been to the gym; I didn't just tool around town. When I grocery shopped, it's my mom who usually took me. Or my good girlfriend and neighbor would give me a lift on her way to work, and I rode the bus back when done.
Besides my car being out of commission, my budget has been hard to resuscitate as well. Funds are low. Through it all, I didn't complain, but rather exercised truth-telling and humility. Asking for a ride to or from my mom's house is not always easy. Informing your beloved book club that, although you would love to, you're unable to meet the group at Fig & Olive for the next meeting, but instead could host a brunch potluck at your place, is not fun. It took me several days to muster the energy and courage to do so. Yes, taking the bus and train everywhere, even on the weekends (I'm a public transportation commuter for work during the week) can give you that New York feel. I think of all my New York friends who hop on and off subway trains to go to parties, the movies, meet friends for dinner, etc. and I think, 'You're being a baby.' But I'm a South Side Chicagoan, where everything is spread out and not walking distance. Plus, I am spoiled by organic, natural and specialty foods and products. I find myself having a hard time buying my meats, cheeses and poultry anywhere other than Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I read labels obsessively sometimes, making it hard for me to just shop at any grocer in the neighborhood. What the fuck is high-fructose corn syrup anyway?!
All of this put me in the position to have to ask for help and share my truth. It tested my friendships and relationships with others. I had to humble myself and say 'I need help'. I hated it, but loved it at the same time. Although I hated doing it, I love that people do care enough to help. And it releases me from the unattainable goal of being a superwoman. I stood blindfolded so to speak with courage, as I awaited someone's answer. Yes or No- it seems simple enough, yet it was a real challenge. But challenges are meant to be met, right?