I’m laying in my bed, the only light emanating from my phone screen and an occasional flash of lightning, listening to the thunder rumble in the distance, contemplating humility.
As one does.
I’ve been planning a blog on balance for a while. Clearly something I need to work on since I haven’t been able to balance time well enough to even write the dang thing. But as I drove home from my apartment tonight, I was thinking about all the blessings I have in my life.
The past several nights, except when I was out of town at a writing conference (autocorrect changed that to “wiring conference” even with writing spelled correctly. I could learn to wire things. It would be handy with my house.), I have had friends over helping me pack up my apartment.
How does one person have so much STUFF??? Seven years in that place. The closet in my bedroom is like Hermione’s beaded bag or a wizard tent. I have no idea how I fit so much in there! I have filled over a dozen bags for Goodwill, and I’m sure more will be filled yet.
It’s completely overwhelming.
I hate asking for help. HATE IT. I feel like I should be able to do it all. And well. (I am Batman.) But this was something I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish on my own. No way, no how. So I reached out. I allowed my friends in.
When you invite people over, you can hide the things you don’t want them to see. You wipe things down, vacuum the areas they’ll be in, shove things in closets guests shouldn’t open, throw junk into the other room and shut the door.
Having friends help me pack is the opposite. They have to look inside everything to be useful.
It’s humbling to have your friends see how much you hoard things.
It’s humbling to show them the parts of life that aren’t so organized.
It’s humbling to let them see how truly disgusting and ridiculous you are, and hope they don’t think less of you.
Humility is a good quality to have, and a rare one. We encounter the need for it every time we send our writing to another reader, especially one who will rip it to shreds.
It’s humbling to share your writing, a piece of your soul, with someone else.
It’s humbling to ask them to critique it, to give an opinion, to point out areas for improvement.
It’s humbling to let someone else see how you struggle with commas or homonyms or any other skill “real” writers should have mastered.
Without help from my friends, my apartment would probably still be unpacked, and I would be panicking even more.
Without help from writing friends, I wouldn’t be in the spot I am now, celebrating the success I have achieved.
It’s hard to ask for help. Humbling.
But so worth it.