I started my Fourth of July celebration by meeting up with friends for drinks and dumplings at Umami last night. The four of us talked endlessly, often over each other, laughing and not laughing for hours. We got more than one hint that they were shutting down, and had we not been told, I know we would have stayed outside, happily sweating for hours more.
Our talk turned serious, often, and I shared two things I’ve really learned to be true, at least for myself, over these past two years:
We all need to really ask for what we want.
I don’t mean this in a ohmygoodnessIneedthatpurse way, but in a “do you need more quiet time?” Do you need more space to create? Do you need more help? As women, and especially as Midwesterners, we often spend so much time apologizing, when we might just mean excuse me, or are becoming aware of the space we want to claim. What if we just asked for what we want? Which leads me to numero dos:
We all just want to be hugged and told that a. things suck or b. everything will be OK.
In my two-year struggle with infertility, I spent a year telling almost no one what was going on. I only told my dad and step-mom after a year and a half because they asked if we were planning on more children. I suffered silently and didn’t need to. Once I started to open up, it didn’t make it easier, but it made it seem not-so-hard. I could do this. I could make it through the day without tears forcing their way down my cheeks. But during my slow immersion in sharing my thoughts and feelings, I didn’t ask for what I wanted: I just wanted my mom and dad to hug me and tell me that they were sorry I was hurting. I didn’t ask for what I wanted. I’m a grown up. I have a voice. I was just afraid to use it.
So I ask you, what do you want? Ask for it. It will be OK.