leaning female with black matching bra and panties black necklace brown hair sitting on hardwood floor learning on arm.
February Photofest 2022


Leaning on myself or leaning on others, I feel like I am leaning. Maybe pushing myself up is a better perspective. I come from a substantial stock of women. I never saw them lean.

My Mom is a pillar of strength and independence. A country girl from West Virginia moved to Washington, DC, two weeks after her high school graduation with ten dollars. She taught herself how to type, raised two children, got a government job, and retired as a civilian from Federal Government. My grandmother was a countrywoman, forced into an arranged marriage at 15 years of age, ran a farm back in the day when it was not automated or easy, and birthed four children in the process. She took care of her husband, my grandfather after his legs were amputated from illness and fed seven farm hands daily. I have excellent examples of strong women in my family.

I can admit I am no shrinking violet. The examples I have made it impossible for me to be less than robust. Sometimes this doesn’t bode well. I have never learned to lean. I have always been a strong, independent woman through two marriages and two other relationships. This always worked for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t need anyone else or that I didn’t want help from other people. I didn’t want to start expecting it. Leaning on others or giving over that control left me feeling helpless.

There have been times when I leaned on others for things that didn’t come through. I never thought it was intentional, but it showed me that depending on others is risky. There is also a part of me that doesn’t want to seem weak. When I realized I needed surgery last year, it was crystal clear that I would need help. I could not do all that needed to happen in my life and have surgery. It was hard. Many people offered support in their ways, and I was careful not to decline but to seem like I had everything under control. Did I? I’m not sure. Everything got done and turned out ok, so that I will say yes.

I am learning to lean more these days, but I am hesitant. There is so much that I want to do and get done, and I will keep working on it as best as I can. For the people that want to help me, I am forever grateful. For those that want to help but can not for whatever reason, I understand. I will try to lessen my frustration. I don’t ask for help often, so I genuinely need help when I do.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.