Talk. Don't Type
I've spent a good part of the weekend and now into my Monday in a state of low-level anxiety brought on by the knowledge that I need a babysitter so that I'll be able to go to work tomorrow. If parenthood is a full-time job, this is most definitely one of the more stressful parts of my job. I loathe finding babysitters.
I really hate to do it for several reasons... not the least of which is that it means I actually have to ask for help (gasp!). That is a skill I seem to have missed during basic human training.
Once I get over that and I finally decide to bite the bullet and ask someone, then comes the piece I resist even more: I have to ask, and then, they may actually turn me down. And it's not that I mind being rejected in this way. I honestly don't take it personally if my babysitter has plans when I'm calling at the last minute, I have the ego strength to handle that. No. The problem is, that I might make them feel bad for having to turn me down. And so instead of making them feel bad for, you know, having clear boundaries and turning me down, I'd rather sweat it out, and make myself sick with anxiety.
And yes, I do see the humor and absolute absurdity in this situation.
(and my babysitters are sweet gals who do genuinely seem to feel bad when they turn me down, but that's besides the point)
It's funny. So I've perfected all sorts of methods (with gratitude to modern society) for avoiding the intensity of the fleeting discomfort for my babysitters or myself in the rejection. Mostly I use texting, email, and facebook. I type anything I possibly can. That way, they just type back, we don't see each other, we don't speak to each other, no disappointment or dismay is really conveyed and there is a sense of separation from the actual interaction. It works.
That's not what I'm here to do. I'm here to literally learn how to courageously step into the intensity of intimacy over and over again. I'm here to learn to use my voice to ask for what I need, say what I think, and build connections. Texting, emails, and facebook messages just don't afford me any sense of really doing that.
I have little mantras that I live by... or, well, they bounce around in my head when I'm needing a reminder to live as the person I want to be. The one that kicked in again today was this: Talk. Don't Type. As in, pick up the phone, or walk into a personal connection with someone else. Sticky and messy and confusing and intense as it is. This is the crucible of humanity. If I want to be an amazing human, and I DO, I've got to start talking to other humans.
Tonight I switched gears after several failed attempts via messaging techniques... I called a babysitter who was a long shot. Though she turned me down, she helped me. She found me someone else. That wouldn't have happened over a text, and I'd probably still be chewing my nails trying to decide what to do.
I want to live as a full human being. I'll do my best to remember to: Talk. Don't Type.