Wednesday BARB Up March 15, 2017.

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How do you ask for help?

It’s taken me almost fifty years to figure out how to do it; I’ve had such an “I-can-do-it” approach to every aspect of my life. And for the most part, I have been able to do what I needed to do. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had to borrow money to pay off credit card debts (twice, in my twenties). For decades, I went alone to the biopsies, until that one time I had both breasts aspirated; afterwards, I almost fainted AND I had an emotional reaction. The nurse sat patiently with me, rubbing my back while urging me to drink. It was the ultimate kindness from a stranger; were I to see her now, I would not know her, and yet, she is an important part of my history. I learned then that I ought to have someone with me when I went to the hospital, to make sure I made it home in one piece. Still that came with some tough talk from my best friends, who upon learning of how wobbly I was on the subway, gave me a lecture. Yes, I’ve asked to be put on guest lists and I’ve asked for tickets to shows from friends with access and I’ve happily raided the closets of my Fashionista friends, willing to part with this bag or that. While I was pregnant, my girlfriends rallied around me: one woman raised money to pay for a doula, another friend put a baby-naming book together and my two best girlfriends threw my baby shower. All of that though, the asking of favors wrapped in the urgency of help, came with a narrowing eye on my backbone; I dreaded being a mooch, which is what kept me from asking for help, kept me from complaining, kept me in the Sunshine State of denial. In the years since becoming a mother, however, the onus has wafted. Asking for help feels less like an inadequate quality of mine, as it did when I was child free. Now, as everything I do is on behalf of my family, I can accept help, as well as ask for help. That newfound humility without the humiliation has come in handy in the last few months, when I seem to need help with something almost every day, whether it’s asking the Super to replace lightbulbs or asking my mentor for a professional introduction. Asking for help is not a reflection of a quality lacking; rather it’s a sign of growth. And for me, being able to grow is as welcome as the help I receive.

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Gaymoji’s.

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Math brains.

Now have a laugh with Annie Lederman.

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