But Now Those Days Are Gone ...
And I'm not so self assured ...
“… now I find I've changed my mind, and opened up the doors.”
I have a hard time asking for help. I often dance around the point, making desperate asks seem unimportant because I just can't commit to the honest fact that I'm drowning most of the time.
I micromanage, too. I’ve been told that I’m no good with trust, preferring to do as much as I can by myself because I’d rather be disappointed with myself than someone else. Additionally, I know I’ll never stab myself in the back. I may self-sabotage, sure, but never out of malice. I have too often been a “what did I (not) do now?” guy.
In an attempt to grow as a person (in 2016) I took this advice, delegated the hell out of something terribly important, and got bit in the ass so badly and so many times that I’m still not sure of every person involved. I know the main three folks, and I get lost in revenge fantasies far more often than I’m comfortable with.
I don’t like putting people on the spot, either. Saying no is difficult for me, so I don’t like putting anyone else in that position, even if, in fact, they’d be happy to help out - as I am nearly 99% of the time.*
I understated the dire need of help during this last round of fundraising for the podcast network because I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with the ask. Even when the available fundraising window was suddenly cut in half, I just put on a happy tone and presented the whole thing with more whimsy than seriousness. Seriousness, it turns out, was very much needed.
Just in case … https://www.gofundme.com/f/annual-network-begathon
So, I’m trying - in my dottage - to grow as a person.
Today I asked for help four times, to four different people, for four different reasons.
I asked someone I know and love if they’d be interested in helping with a new podcast project. Sort of … I started the process, details to follow.
I asked a friend for help with work, even though I’d rather work sick than admit I need help because I’m fucked up.
I asked someone I barely know, but that I respect and admire, not only for advice, but if they, too, would help out with a new project I’m working on.
I asked someone for help with a technology problem that has, I hate to admit, bested me.
It feels weird.
There is also a sense of relief at just having asked. It feels like I can do it again, some more, and more often, because ASKING is hard for me. Taking no for an answer is actually pretty easy. I’m more of a “thanks for letting me ask” kind of guy than someone who gets pissy if it doesn’t pan out.
That much I’m pretty good at. Disappointment is never fun, but insofar as everyone has an unknown and finite number of minutes on this planet full of shit to do, I understand and respect the quiet dignity of saying no.
Time is precious. Don’t fuck around with other people’s time. Pretty simple. Most of the time. I’m not perfect, by any stretch, but I’m working on it.
I have about 30 more asks to make of people in the next couple of weeks. Most of the asks are very simple things, and a few are more intimidating, but having taken a few, small steps today, I feel, in this moment, that I can do it again.
It FEELS like growth.
Old dog, new tricks.
Make no mistake, poor Tiffany and Braxton get me asking for help all the time. The very little work / life balance I have is because these two glorious souls have my back more often than I deserve.
Thanks for listening. You really are the best.
* I am too old to help you move. I’m sorry. I just can’t anymore.
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