I am a Rock… I am an Island

If I had to pick an animal to describe myself, it would probably be a turtle.  Not for the reason that turtles are slow (though I do tend to run on “Chinese time” a lot), but for the fact that they have a nice, hard shell around them.  I like how they have their own built in armor, which also serves as their home, so there’s no need to look for a place to stay when on the road.  Turtles may not be the most menacing of animals, but they seem pretty tough and self-dependent in my opinion.  🙂  And being the firstborn/almost-only-child that I am, I like to be strong and rely on myself.  So the idea of asking for help is like a foreign concept for me; I even realized recently that I think suffering is “noble”.  Well, suffering when the situation is out of your control should be admired, but it’s another story when it’s self-inflicted because I’m too stubborn to ask for help.  😛  And to make matters more complex, I also go to the opposite extreme sometimes and like to be co-dependent.  This is where the analogy of the turtle becomes this:

A teenage mutant ninja turtle! (Image courtesy of kidsprintablescoloringpages.com)

I think my overly-responsible and perfectionistic tendencies go into overdrive at times and I want to save the world – or just whoever needs help fixing a problem at the moment.  Hm…it’s all starting to make sense now why I chose a career in counseling.  Just kidding!  😛

But one can only function as an island for so long.  As I’ve learned over the years, it’s a bit hard to be on separate teams when you are married.  My hubby, the youngest of four, is great at cooperating and compromising and has put in a lot of hard work teaching me how to be a team player.  He says I still need work in the listening department; in my defense, I think I have the listening part down, it’s the following part that I need to work on.  😛  It’s hard for a self-dependent person to admit that maybe, just maybe, someone else might have an idea that is better that mine.  Another reason I’ve come to realize that it’s good to ask for help is that it really does take a village to raise a kid.  When you have more than one kid, the odds go up that one of the many dishes you are juggling every day (figuratively and literally!) will come crashing to the floor.  I have to say there are days when I would be much happier if I would just admit that I can’t do everything by myself (did I just say that?!).   
 
Recently hubby helped give me a new perspective on this whole issue – sometimes it’s for the sake of the other person and your relationship with them that you want to ask for their involvement.  This is where self-dependency and co-dependency become inter-dependency and there is mutual giving and receiving.  This is the way relationships ought to be and what I’m working towards.        
 
You know the question that goes, “If you ever got stuck on an island, what would you want there with you”?  I think I’d definitely like some sunblock and people, my family and friends, on my island.  🙂
 
Here’s an appropriate song for this post – Simon and Garfunkel’s “I am a Rock“.

What kind of animal would you choose to describe yourself?