Limitations

I am still learning that I have limitations.

That’s one thing I am still in the middle of learning.

It’s impossible to know what you don’t know. You’re simply unaware of your blindspots until you crash. Or until someone else points them out to you.

In my case, the realization came in the form of a quiz, an emotional maturity quiz. The assessment rates you in different categories as either infant, child, youth, or adult. I was relieved to see my scores came out pretty high (affirmation of all the hours I spend “emotionally processing”). But my lowest score was in The Law of Limitations.

After seeing my test result, I started noticing that I sometimes find it difficult to ask for help.

Coming home from Costco the other day,

I was balancing two extremely heavy bags on either shoulder and lugging a 24-pack of sparkling water (that I had known would be a challenge to carry, but couldn’t resist because it was just so darn cheap). I had to carry all this from the taxi down my alley and up a flight of stairs to my door by myself. No biggie. The alley was short. The stairs not terribly high. I was strong enough.

But just as I reached my gate, I realized I had no way of reaching into my pocket and getting out my key. I didn’t want to set any of my bags down on the ground because it was way too dirty.

Should I buzz up to my roommate?

I opted to balance the large pack of sparkling waters on one knee with one hand while fishing in my purse for the key with my other hand. All went fairly smoothly (though my arms were beginning to burn) until I went to pull my key out of the keyhole and it refused to budge. I repeatedly yanked to no avail, arms burning and going numb, sparkling waters requiring a jerk rescue that stretched and broke through what had seemed to be incredibly thick plastic.

Knowing full well my grunts of frustration were audible to my neighbors and that the nosy ajusshi across the street was likely watching me at that very moment, I managed to restrain myself from yelling and make it up to my house all in one piece.

I collapsed inside the door to find my roommate eating lunch right inside the door. “Oh my goodness, why didn’t you ask me for help?”

Why, indeed.

I haven’t decided if it’s a pride issue, a laziness issue, or a fear of inconveniencing others. Isn’t it hard for everyone to ask for help? No? I don’t know, but I’m determined to learn the art of knowing my limitations. Gotta get those scores up.

(On a side note, that morning proved to be an excellent bicep work out. Felt the burn for days.)

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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. In the tension of brokenness, resilience, and conviction, she chooses faith and depends on grace. She leans into empathy, curiosity, divine whispers, and childlike wonder.

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