Last weekend presented me with one of my greatest challenges: Traveling to a different city with absolutely nothing. Well…almost nothing.
I had family driving down from North Dakota, but they arrived earlier than I expected and when they were a few hours away, I was in Austin meeting with the great and fabulous people at Open Arms who would be sewing the shirts for Blessed Designs. Though I didn’t have anything with me, my mother convinced me to just drive straight to Arlington instead of going back home. That’s when the fun began. I didn’t have any extra money and I’d need clothing and underwear and beauty products for the next 3 days. Plus, I had a “white party” to attend as well as needing something presentable for a brunch with friends as soon as I got back into town. Doing this while still being ethical was important to me and I knew this was going to take some creative thinking on my part, but it also took some humbling.
How’d I make it? Well, I’m glad you asked.
First off, I let my mom lend me money. It was tough to accept, but I had to bite the bullet and do it. That way I could at least purchase underwear, something to sleep in and some toiletries that I couldn’t borrow.
I had samples from the manufacturer in the trunk and some fabric I had picked up at a thrift store. My mom had brought a shirt she had found in a thrift store that she had never mailed. Plus I had the clothes I was wearing. I used these in varying combinations to create outfits for the weekend. I also picked up a man’s shirt and white belt from a Goodwill, just in case, for the party. I generally wash clothes from thrift stores prior to wearing them so not having the time or opportunity made me itch a little, but hey, tough times call for tough measures.
Next, I borrowed. I’m blessed to have such a giving family that was willing let me borrow stuff for the party. My sister’s sister-in-law graciously let me raid her closet to borrow a dress and some shoes that would make me presentable for the party. The rough part was dealing with someone else’s style. I ended up with a body hugging dress that I normally would never have worn. I generally like a little extra breathing room. So having to suck it up and deal with all my body issues was another fun treat.
I’m used to being the giver and being in a position of having to accept help was difficult. But ultimately it took a change in mindset and me choosing how to perceive the situation. Which is probably exactly why God put me in it (just love that sense of humor of his). I had to choose to see that I wasn’t a charity case, and though I don’t keep score, I think I’ve given and sacrificed plenty that I had to let go of feeling bad about having to be on the receiving end. Accepting help is something I’ve always struggled with. Asking for it almost never happens. I’m great at delegating responsibility, but saying that I need actual help for some reason fills me with dread. I’m sure Freud, Jung, and Adler could have a field day and still be left clueless.
While this seemed like a quick spontaneous trip it forced me to deal with some real issues. This is probably about as close as I’ll get to “roughing it”, but it was something I needed to experience to remind me what’s really important in life.
What situations have you experienced that forced you to step out of your comfort zones?