Have you ever been so lost and so stuck that you have no fucking clue how to get home? Every step you take is in the wrong direction and the people around you are getting more and more frustrated with you?
Well, so have I. Quite literally to be honest.
I had spent the last 3 days in Germany working on a story about a refugee camp, and was on my way home to the Netherlands.
That morning started out rough, I left the apartment I had stayed in the night before and hopped on a train to take a bus to the train I needed to get on to take me home. Confusing. I know. I lived it.
Well I was supposed to take a series of connecting trains from the south of Germany to the North of Netherlands and I missed EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM. and not because I was particularly inept at traveling or following train schedules. But the first bus to take me to the train never arrived. And I was stuck.
I can tell you that I ought to have asked for help right away, and I did try but not with the right person. So I never thought to try again afterwards.
What should have taken me 3-5 hours took me 18. And I was miserable.
It doesn’t matter the reason that you need help, but what matters is recognizing when you need it and knowing how to ask for it.
Mankind is made of interactions where we learn from each other, grow from each other, fuck even our sexual intercourse has been so modified by time that we seek partners that will enhance the humans that are born from them beyond what we were originally.
What I mean here is that you are not supposed to handle some shit on your own.
I know, this is a counterintuitive point to the type of blog I am creating but the last thing I want from any potential readers is for them to think they are alone in their misery, especially when it is caused by things that could be life threatening. If you need help you need to know how to ask for it.
And that really is the key to learning how to be happy on your own.
When you are lost in a city you ask people for directions, you consult google maps, or you find a cheap tourist map that has arrows pointing what way to go. The best way to be successfully independent is knowing when and how to ask for help.
And not giving up on asking when the first time doesn’t do you much good. You never know what good can come about from making friends or acquaintances and letting them teach you what they know.
My stint in Germany was marked by the help of one man in general. He caught me walking from the train at 2 a.m. while I was looking for a 24 hours restaurant or help center and offered me food and shelter.
It was a risk to take it, for sure, but his kindness is overwhelming to this day.
And that’s how it works, to be honest. You ask for help and it will either bite you in the ass or it will give you a giant hug and say you’re strong enough to do this.
You just have to ask.