Defeated by a Toothbrush
I've always had a desire to be independent and to be able to take care of myself without the help of others. It probably has something to do with being an expat and not having family/old friends/friends of friends to call on in times of need.
I truly relish those moments of actually figuring something out and executing it on my own without having to ask for help. Because when you actually have no one to ask for help, it's easy to feel, you guessed it, helpless.
This time, I am being defeated by a toothbrush. Ok, it's an electric toothbrush, but it's still frustrating. These things cost like $150...and if you use one, you know that they give a far superior brush than a conventional handheld. When my hygienist mother gave me one for Christmas one year, I'll admit, I was a little disappointed.
It turned out to be a gift that I have cherished every time I use it, and every time that I notice how clean my teeth still feel at 5pm =)
This amazing piece of technology has lasted me a whopping 7 years. It needs a new battery which involves using a soldering gun. So glad my dad let me play with one when I was a kid. I definitely don't want to spend money on a new brush, not to mention I HATE throwing things away because of the waste of resources and unnecessarily adding more plastic to landfills. How hard could it be?
When I was about ten and we first got a computer, I remember my Dad encouraging me to “just click around” and figure it out. I hated that advice, and I hated not knowing what to do. I wanted clear instructions. Or rather, a clear path of not fucking it up and embarrassing/frustrating myself. But life doesn't come with instructions does it? It's part of what makes learning so rewarding, the actual process of constructing the idea into action and results all on your own.
But I have to remember that it's ok to ask for help too. It's a humbling process to admit you need help, and allows you to let go of the reigns. It sure can be lonely doing everything alone.
Now, back to the toothbrush. I've managed to order the right battery and also to borrow a soldering gun, only to find I haven't got the right screwdriver! I'm starting to realise why my Dad had a whole garage and basement full of tools and gadgets. Today, the brush defeated me, but tomorrow I shall try, try again (and ask the maintenance guy for help). Helpless, I am not.