I got sick recently. So sick that I had to ask someone for just about everything I wanted and needed. I guess I was something like a queen bee, chilling out in my hive, having other people bring me everything. But I didn’t feel as confident as a queen bee.
There’s a scary place between wanting and having. Scarier still, perhaps, between needing and having. I lived in this place for a while, with every request I made from my sick bed. By the time I returned to the CUAV office, I was still carrying some of the vulnerability that crept into my body while I was sick.
Luckily, I got the chance to talk about it, because at CUAV, we’re talking about the Request-Making Queen Bee. So, I reflected on the Queen Bee’s three steps, to see how I’d done at making my requests. Did I communicate my request directly and respectfully? Check. I might’ve preferred for folks to read my mind, but they couldn’t, so I told them what I wanted instead. Did I accept my power, knowing I couldn’t be responsible for other people’s feelings? Check. I could barely take care of myself, so I couldn’t have taken care of other people’s feelings if I tried. And did I gather information, knowing that a person’s reaction to my request was about them, and not about whether or not I deserved to ask for what I wanted? Check. There wasn’t much room for second-guessing, when I was simply expressing my most basic needs.
All in all, my sick time gave me some valuable request-making practice. That’s all I can ask for – practice. I may not be perfect, but I’m getting better at asking all the time.