Kaylé gets frustrated pretty easily. I could be sitting right next to her and she would rather remain in battle with whatever her opponent happens to be at that moment (a toy, a book, a piece of clothing, the computer, her tablet) than ask for my help. I find myself having to remind her that if she’s having trouble with something, just ask someone for help.
I’m no good at this either – asking for help. I don’t know what it is but I always feel like I have to do everything on my own. Maybe it’s the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a daunting task by myself or the fear of feeling inadequate if I find myself in need of assistance. One of the biggest lessons I’ll take away from medical school is that asking for help is not only OK, but encouraged (in most circumstances).
Looking back over the last 3-4 years of my life, I can find countless moments where if I had only asked for help, or asked for help sooner, things would have been much better. For instance, I’m not the best exam taker. Don’t get me wrong, I know my stuff. It just, when I sit for an exam, it takes me a while to get into the groove of things. Plus, I’m no good at guessing correctly and I never go with my gut (which is usually correct). Needless to say, I discovered earlier this year that I have a bit of test taking anxiety. Unfortunately, this was discovered a few weeks before my second to last shelf exam (the exams we take during third year) and second to last exam of medical school (not counting the boards). I made some changes for those last 2 exams which definitely helped (moved my seat to a quite, less distracting corner; put in some ear plugs). If only I had sought help sooner, I may have been able to make some more helpful changes. Can’t cry over spilled milk (or so they say).
OK, so the more I think about it, the more I sound like a control freak. And maybe this is what it boils down to in the end – a need for control. Regardless, this is something I recognized in myself a long time ago and am still working on.
So today, I heard Kaylé scream in frustration trying to pull out a piece of play food that had gotten stuck in her doll house’s refrigerator. As usual, I remind her that instead of getting frustrated, just ask me for help. I had to smile to myself as I said this because I know exactly where she gets it from.