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.