Am I resourceful or standoffish?


I have to applaud myself for being resourceful.

My mom is coming to visit tonight so we can go to a concert tomorrow. For a while, the weather looked great and we were relieved that a winter flight from New York to Chicago would be uninterrupted. Then the news of the nor’easter rolled through.

Connecticut, where my mom lives, was supposed to get up to 18” of snow by the time she would have to dig her car out to get to the airport. On Tuesday night I called her and we tried to figure out how to get around it. While it appeared that the airport should be fine on Thursday, the roads would be another story. I realized that she most likely wouldn’t be able to commute to work on Wednesday, so if she can get to New York City by the time the storm hits, she could sit out the snow in a hotel then take public transportation to the airport the next day. We found a reasonably priced hotel room in Times Square so she could easily get there from Grand Central. On Wednesday morning, she headed to the train station via Lyft, took the train into New York, then headed to her hotel room. She sat out the storm, enjoyed some solo time in the big city, and is headed to the airport today.

If she had waited out the storm in CT, she would have most likely been snowed in, unable to get to the airport today. The trains were down shortly after she got to the city and we were all relieved she got there in time. Fingers are crossed that her flight doesn’t get cancelled, but all signs are pointing to an easy flight.

I was pretty proud of my plan. It’s important to me that she’s here, and I wanted to figure out the best way to make sure that happened. It seemed like the hardest part would be driving to the train, so we should try to eliminate that problem before the weather gets bad. Plus, this is a vacation for her and I didn’t want her worrying all night that she wouldn’t make it. So the hotel was a great solution.

One thing I’m good at is finding creative solutions for tricky problems. When I was in college, I had a hard time making ends meet and found a way to reduce my meal prices by tacking a meal plan onto my financial aid package. That way they would bill me for my meals in the upcoming quarter and I could redistribute my financial aid to help cover the meals. When I moved into a studio, I found a way to split it into more of a convertible apartment where you couldn’t see my bed unless you were looking for it. Each time I fly Southwest, I’m constantly re-booking the same flight when I can find a lower price so I can get credit towards another flight for the difference. When I was fifteen and commuting in NYC for improv classes, there was a day where the city was flooded and I couldn’t access the subway. I had to jump on a bus and hope that it was going remotely close to where I was headed. While on the bus, I realized no one spoke English, but I used my broken Spanish and nonverbal communication to get to my studio.

Whenever I’m in a pickle, I’m able to figure my way out of it. I’m not sure exactly what led to that skill. I was a puzzle kid and always excellent at fixing our technology. I also moved to a major city halfway across the country from anyone I knew at 17. Inevitably, I found myself in situations that I had to work my way out of. My parents never necessarily fought my battles for me. They valued independence and weren’t the type to call our teachers and complain about grades. At a young age, we became responsible for our own actions. When I presented the idea of going to Chicago for college to my mom, she told me I had to figure out how it would work.

While I like that I’m resourceful, at times I need to remind myself to be less independent. I pride myself on independence, but I also keep myself for accepting help. I have a hard time letting other people assist me in things that I think I could do alone. When I had knee surgery, I had a million friends asking if I needed help getting groceries and only reached out once to redeem that offer. Because of my reluctance to accept help, I found myself in Target breaking nine full length mirrors over my foot while on crutches. I thought I could do it alone and clearly I couldn’t.

My independence gets in the way of my relationships – whether it’s people I’m dating or friends with. I can be seen as standoffish because I won’t accept favors. Guys can get the wrong signal when I don’t let them do nice things for me. I need to remind myself that yes, I can do this for myself, but people want to help. We should let them.

As a Libra, I’m into the balance thing. I’m constantly trying to find the happy medium where I can be resourceful when necessary, but relax and let others do the work when they offer. Always striving for balance…

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