Just Ask.

question mark

I am travelling for my job this week, and while I enjoy the trips, and the opportunity to see new places, eating when I am away from home can be a challenge. Besides being tempted to snack constantly in the car on the way from and back home, and the necessity to eat less freshly prepared food as I would have at home, I had a new challenge this trip. I have recently adopted eating a mostly vegan way of life, and that has been an interesting transition.

I did the basics, right? I looked up on the internet the places that are vegan, or at least, vegetarian friendly, and pretty local to where I am staying. Sounds simple, but the options, although there were a few, were limited for an area that appears to be a larger city than where I live. So, I knew that if I didn’t want to go far from my hotel, and also not be so limited in my choices, I would need to go to a place local to the hotel, and ask for what I wanted, and needed.

ASK FOR WHAT I WANT. What a concept.

I am not making light of this, believe me. I know how difficult we can make it, particularly myself, in this case, to ask for what I want. I recall a time when I was a college student, and was going through the lunch line. I had asked for a cheeseburger, and I was given a hamburger. Although my friend who was with me insisted that I go back and get what I asked for, I didn’t want to bother anyone. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable, to stand up and ask for what I really wanted.

That theme has continued throughout my life, in many different scenarios. It was easy in situations when I got what I wanted to begin with; then I never had to speak up. But in those in which I had to specifically ask for what I wanted, or needed, I would often, instead of that, go along with whatever was offered to me. I would be happy with that, but not completely satisfied.

The place where it got most tricky for me though, is that then I would blame the other person, for one reason or another, for not giving me what I wanted. Either I thought that they could literally read my mind; or that they must have been able to tell from the “signals” I was giving them what I really wanted. I always found a way to make it about the other person, rather than myself and what I needed to do differently.

Today, I know deeply what I can do differently, and what I want to do differently. I know that I want to not only not blame other people for me not getting what I want. Bigger than that, is that I want to ASK for what I want, with a feeling of self assuredness and humility. Will I always get what I want as a result of that? Who knows. What I do know, though, is that having my voice, and using it in a way that is loving and respectful, to myself and others, is the only way to be my true self in the world.

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3 thoughts on “Just Ask.

  1. I can relate very much to your former perspective and not wanting to trouble anyone or cause problems by asking for what I really wanted or needed. My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last summer. When my family goes out to eat, we have to know what the carbohydrate count is for her food in order to make sure she gives herself the appropriate amount of insulin. It was difficult to combat the feelings of not wanting to come across as picky or high maintenance when we ate out. We have to advocate for what out daughter needs to be healthy, so what she needs wins out every time to the discomfort of asking for what we want and need. Even though it can be uncomfortable at first, it’s empowering to know that we can ask for what we need. It’s interesting the different paths that we come to in discovering that our needs matter—that out voice matters.

  2. You are so normal! 🙂 Both Mrs DM and I battle those same people pleasing tendencies to suck it in and not ask (like your hamburger/ cheese burger story) but are slowly learning to speak up. At the same time,I strongly dislike (hate) being with someone who INSISTS over the smallest details to have their every whim catered to. I have someone in my life currently who is like that and they are an embarrassment to be with in public. So somewhere (for me) there is a middle ground. I would rather be someone who is learning how to speak up (and do it with grace and humility) than be @ the other end of the spectrum and leave a trail of pissed off people where ever I go 🙂

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