You're No Damsel in Distress
BY: LANISHA PORTER
Proud moment! I just completed my very first window treatment on my own. I decided on an outside mount fashioning white faux wood blinds. The project would call for me to drill into a wood base that lines the window. With just mediocre (and by mediocre I mean very “beginner”) skill handling a power drill, and loading up on YouTube “How-To” videos, I set out hopeful to watch my project unfold before my eyes.
Quickly, I learned this: you can’t drill into wood without a pilot hole. This was a piece of information I would have otherwise gone my entire life without knowing. Veiled into my own world of ignorance, having never hung curtains, there’d be no need for me to uncover this information. But after a few moments surfing the web, it was confirmed for me that creating a pilot hole—or clearance hole—driven by a drill bit would prime the wood for the screw. I never even knew the concept of “pilot hole” existed. But within moments of study, I was thrust into a new world of jargon introducing information detailing screw diameters, keyless chucks, drill bit sizes, and enough other intimidating information to make me wish for a husband.
Perhaps a husband could just absorb the tasks that seemed too burdening to concern myself with.
At 26, it felt like I should know how to perform this household task; but I subconsciously digested the idea that there were certain skills okay to put off developing, in expectation for a husband doing it for me. In a way of sorts, I was reliant on someone I’d never even met.
In my mind, with a husband, I could simply bypass needing to download all this new information (which would be making imposition to my already swamped brain). Perhaps a husband could just absorb the tasks that seemed too burdening to concern myself with. Because, isn’t that a byproduct of having a man around—being able to shamelessly delegate “Honey-please-do” assignments?! (And him being required to fulfill those tasks if he wants the big piece of chicken at dinner).
But with no husband in tow, I had to explore other options. I could either shell out the money to hire someone—(who quoted me a rate of $50); I could rely on the goodwill of someone to do it for free...but at their convenience; orrrr... I could buckle down and teach myself how to do it.
...Easily, I selected the latter option.
Bitten with defeat, I went to bed with my project still pending a hopeful unfold and my room not yet cohesive...much to my dismay. But when I woke up the next morning I decided it was time for me to equip myself with a new skill—detached from the idea/expectation of a husband.
In fact, these affirmations squat in a tidy corner of my mind most days. But it hits differently—more believably—when you actually overcome a challenge. Truth is, I’m functional wherever I make myself functional.
So off to Home Depot I went with my plan set in place. My plan was this: I’d petition the employees or a fellow shopper who cared to offer their help—be it out of sympathy or genuine goodwill. I wasn’t too proud to be at the mercy of either or. Luckily, a short time after I arrived in store I was tutored by Nathan, a generous sales associate who empowered me with the guidance and answers I needed to effectively accomplish my window treatment project. After blitzing him with question after question, $15 dollars later I had all I needed to hang my blinds properly and securely. What I needed most was a drill bit for a size 8 screw. An easy $3 solve.
When I got home, ready to put my newly acquired tools and toolbox to the test, I arrived with both fear and excitement. The tiny fear was “what if I’m actually not functional in some capacities without a man?” And my accompanying excitement was “What if I *can figure this out without a man?” upending the subconscious thought that I’m "incomplete" without one.
30 minutes later, my excitement swallowed up the kernel of fear that was riding me. Not only did I successfully hang the blinds putting the valence, brackets, and screws in the right place, but I did it all with excellence—despite my hovering doubt in my abilities. I did it with a level of attention to detail that didn’t signal “beginner.” I completed a task that just the day before I was terrified to approach. I even became more comfortable using the power drill able to mindlessly switch between the functions. Best yet, I saved myself $50 bucks!
The joy, affirmation, and lesson in this experience was simply this: Truly, I’m no damsel in distress. I’m smart, I’m capable, and I’m stronger than I even suspect of myself at times. And sure, these are all things I’m already aware of. In fact, these affirmations squat in a tidy corner of my mind most days. But it hits differently—more believably—when you actually overcome a challenge. Truth is, I’m functional wherever I make myself functional. My skillset begins where I’m willing to develop it. Alike, my skillset stops wherever I fail to develop it. Having a man has nothing to do with it. When the ancient content of the worlds psyche begins to pierce through your beliefs possibly making you believe you’re not apt to do something, I want to challenge you to shoot down that pattern of thought. This isn’t a post to disparage companionship or assistance from a man (because where would I be without Nathan?!) This is simply a reminder that even if you have only yourself, that's still a great start.
Indeed, you are only but a matter-of-studying away from who it is you wish to become.
Thanks for reading!❤️
Leave a Reply.
Welcome to my views from this horizon!