YESTERDAY I HAD TO GO downtown for a training session for my new job. I was not happy about it. Not only did I not want to give up my Saturday, especially the sleeping in part, I am not fond of driving in the city.
In fact, I can count on on hand the times I've driven into the city by myself. I usually let others drive. Part of the reason is that I'm so "directionally challenged." The other part is, Pittsburgh streets are just weird. And city driving in particular is challenging because there are all these other cars and all these choices of ways to go....
I actually got exactly to the right building I needed to (on the first try!!), using directions I got from Google maps. (Sidebar: did you know that they're doing this new thing now where they often include 360 degree photos of each intersection you turn at? It's VERY helpful.) The problem was, I couldn't find a way to get to a parking lot in the back of the building. So as I tried to make my way around to it, I found myself on a road I did NOT want to take, which lead me further and further from my destination. Eventually I stopped at a CVS and asked the girl at the counter for directions on how to get back the road I wanted.
She gave me very helpful directions (which I admire, because I usually flounder when people ask me). Unfortunately, there was construction on part of that road, so I had to go around. Eventually, I did find my way back to the Y building. I then made a second attempt to get to the parking lot.
In my opinion, there are far to many one way streets in the city. I don't understand the need for them. Anyway, the OW streets led me to another parking lot close by. I pulled in, just relieved to be at my destination. I just wanted to get there--I was already late, thanks to my detour. It was then that I noticed a sign saying "Unauthorized Vehicles will be towed at the Owner's Expense."
All through my training, I kept praying that my car wouldn't be towed. When we broke for lunch, I hurried down to try to re-park it properly (and make sure it was still there!!). It was there, but I still couldn't figure out how to get into the other lot. @#$& one way streets! Finally I saw a guy sitting in his car with the window down in the lot I was trying to get into. So I asked him, and he explained exactly what I needed to do to get in. I doubt I would have figured it out on my own.
After the conference, I met up with my friends Wendy and E at Whole Foods for a little organic shopping. But first, E had to talk me through the city. I had no idea how to get from where I was to WF.
All day, I had to rely on the kindness of others. I had to take a breath and ask for help. I had to admit that I was lost and ignorant. And you know what? People came through for me. I don't actually enjoy being at the mercy of others. I generally prefer to be self sufficient, if possible. I think a lot of people are like that. I often offer to help carry things, only to be told that whoever it is has "got it." I do the same thing.
I don't know what it is that keeps me from wanting to ask for help. But whatever it is, maybe it's the same thing that keeps us all from being a community. Because we want to be autonomous and self-reliant. We don't want to be beholden to anyone else--yet isn't that how we were meant to be? Connected to each other, leaning on those who have different gifts and abilities?
I am grateful for this humbling reminder that I am not meant to go it alone. I need the help of others. I feel compelled to say Thank You. Just to put it out there, for everyone who helped me out yesterday. And not to sound too cheesy, but actually, the biggest thank you goes to God.