Over this past year, I’ve gotten better at asking for help. When I was leaving Japan, there were a lot of things I couldn’t do on my own. I needed help paying taxes. I needed help throwing away garbage when I moved. (Seriously, this is much harder than it sounds.) I had to have someone come with me to tell the city I would no longer be living there. I had someone else call to shut off all my utilities. I needed a place to stay for a few days before I left the country. I needed help canceling my phone contract.
I didn’t have the language. I needed people to come along side me and they did. It wasn’t just one person. It was many different people who were willing to help.
What stood out to me is almost everybody kept telling me it was easy. They were happy to help and it wasn’t a big deal. For me though, it was a big deal. It was only easy if you had the language ability and knew where to go. What took only minutes for some, would have taken me many frustrated hours. I am deeply thankful for the number of people who helped me move.
Coming back to Minnesota, I again have had to be dependent on others. I have needed help adjusting and recovering from the last several years. I am naturally more independent, so at times it is humbling, but I have always received the help I needed.
It wasn’t the grand gestures or anyone who came in to fix everything. It was many people helping in the ways they were able. I was surrounded by people who were willing to help in small ways, and that added up in very big ways for me. I think, going forward, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this.