August 1, 2013

LLF DAY 5: Breaking Miguel

OK so I know I promised to keep everyone updated on the retreat. Unfortunately on the second day, I took a tumble down the stairs and have been needing crutches to get around. Navigating with them has been difficult since my room is on the 3rd floor and the meeting rooms are in another building in the second floor down and the cafeteria is just impossible to reach in my condition.

Anyway, it's been taking me about half an hour to 45 min to get to and from this meeting space. Because I'm so out of shape, it's been really hard to make a straight shot to my room. I have to take little breaks which add to the travel time.

So today when I got to my room, I was so frustrated at having to use these damn crutches and because I came all this way (and we paid sooo much money) and it wasn't the experience I'd planned to have. To top it all off, I haven't been able to shower since Tuesday morning. I smelled. 

Now you have to let me rant about this for a moment. Being a big fat guy, one of my big things is that I don't want to be the fat, sweaty, smelly guy. In addition, there's also that horrible thing that Mexicans smell bad. So in my real life, I try to go to great lengths not to even come close to those stereotypes.

But there I was a big fat brown boy literally crawling up the stairs to the third floor, sweaty, stinky and trying not to have a fucking lose my shit moment right there in the hallway.

I got into my room, somehow made it to my bed and ... well, I just cried. I lost my shit. I was living the thing I hate -- having to depend on others. I don't like it because people always let you down, right? They may not mean to do it but it almost always happens. I try my best not to be in a position where I have to do that. I have to be independent even it it means working three shifts in a row or crawling up the stairs.

But this isn't one of those I-don't-need-your-charity-or-your-money-because-you-just-want-to-have-power-over-me type of situations No, this is different because I have to depend on others. I need them to bring me food. I need them to help carry my bag. I need them to somehow get crutches for me so I can try to participate in this retreat.

After a nasty cry, I pulled myself together in time for one of my YA/Genre cohort members, dave ring, to bring me lunch. He wasn't the first. People have been doing that for almost every meal. The last few days made me realize I need to give people the chance to help. Ordinarily, I'd be the first one to offer because ... well, that's what you're supposed to do, right?

Don't get me wrong, I haven't been lone wolfing it all this time. I've been asking people to fill my water bottle, pull a chair out for me, hold the door and they've been happy to do it. But they don't know how freakin' difficult it's been for me to ask. I'm a stubborn old bitch.

But today, the breakdown cleansed me. And even though, I haven't been able to be the social butterfly I'd imagined myself being at this retreat, I'm thankful for the quality relationships that are developing because I've been able to lower my guard, let people see me be vulnerable, and trust that they want to help -- without wanting something in return.

Oh and I was able to do that shower in the bathroom sink thing. Your Miguel is clean -- spiritually, mentally, and physically.

YA/Genre cohort