I’ve had the most hilarious day today. As part of my quest to find my voice – my ‘spuckupedness’ (speak-up-ness) as my partner calls it – I am actively challenging myself to speak up respectfully in situations where previously I stayed quiet.
The funny part is that you have to be careful what you ask for, because the Universe will deliver it in spades until you have learnt your lesson!
So, I’ve emerged out of my office into the real world today, and big time!
It doesn’t get more real world than walking down the streets of Sydney’s CBD. The swarms of people going about their daily business, pushing and shoving, oblivious to others while they are glued to the screens of their phones. I just love the way that people hog the footpath, and keep expecting me to get out of the way.
As far as I’m concerned, the footpath caters to traffic both ways, similar to the road, and I’m entitled to my half. Or at least to not have to walk in the gutter or duck into a doorway to allow 2, 3 or 4 people to continue walking abreast! Is this an unreasonable expectation on my part?
It’s not like they can miss me – I’m 5’10” – so what is this with the trend of me being continually pushed, shoved and forced to the side?
There are probably many explanations, but the pattern I am seeing today is that I’m being forced to hold my ground and own that I DESERVE to take up space and walk comfortably (ie have my needs met).
For a continual giver and problem solver like me, this is phenomenally hard. My pattern is to make everything OK for everyone else, giving to them before me, with the end result being that I burn myself out and rob them of their opportunities to grow and gain confidence in themselves.
With this in mind I respectfully moved to the left of the footpath today – that is the side we walk on in Australia (hint, hint) – and then held my ground when people expected to take up the whole path. This resulted in one person getting a shock as our shoulders bumped into one another, but at least it got their attention to start looking where they were going. Hopefully I have saved some other people a near miss or an accident.
Proud of myself (I’ve never done that before!) I met my friend for lunch. She is fabulous with the way she is so assertive, and I marvel at her self assuredness as we talk about my quest.
We both order coffee, and hers arrives. We wait, and wait, and wait … still no coffee for me. Ah, a test from the Universe I think, and I’m not going to fail this one! So I call the waiter over (once I get his attention, because my voice was too soft and timid initially!) and remind him that we ordered TWO coffees and are still waiting on mine. ‘Of course, of course’ he says and my friend and I are sure we’ll be getting caffeinated together immediately.
I wait, she’s finished hers, I wait. Still no coffee. I ask again. Doesn’t the Universe think I have nailed this yet????
I wait, and wait, and wait. Our food has arrived, but still no coffee.
This time I ask a different waiter and my friend orders her second coffee. Maybe this time I’ll be lucky? Hooray! Both coffees arrive!
We go to pay the bill, and they try to charge me for 2 coffees?! No, I explain, I asked 4 times but only got one. They don’t even bat an eyelid. ‘Where has service gone?’, I lament to myself, pay for my lunch and ONE coffee, knowing full well that the Universe is providing me an opportunity for growth.
OK Universe, I think I’ve got the message now. I’ve found my voice enough, just bring me my coffee!!