Today I was reminded of this, and the “I told you so” I heard inside was too loud to not share because it bit a tiny piece of my introverted ass, momentarily.
My sons’ school requires parents to volunteer a certain number hours per week.
For weeks, some parents got emails from one teacher, asking them to volunteer for dismissal.
“No, my introverted self said. Not your thing. No, no, no, NO.”
There were more NOs, but you get the point.
The whole traffic duty just never sat well with me every time I saw an email come through and tried to search within myself to see how I could help.
More emails came and went, asking for help from parents of those students.
Some parents tried to help here and there, but that teacher was consistently short-handed for dismissal.
Then her helper left for an early maternity leave, and the teacher seemed even more stressed about not having enough help.
“Yes, I told myself. You’re there everyday anyway to pick up the kids, and it sounds like the teacher needs someone dependable, so she can stop begging parents for help. You also need the hours. Suck it up, Vanessa. I REALLY don’t wannnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaa, but okay.”
So, I suck it up, rearrange my afternoon daily schedule and commit. Through the proper channels, I sign up for M-F through the end of the school year.
Yes, I shocked even myself. Apparently, I was knee-deep in denial at that point. 😂
I confirm with the teacher that I’ll be there everyday. She thanks me.
I’m there everyday without fail for a couple of weeks, at least.
Then, the school emails all the parents who don’t have enough volunteer hours, reminding them that failure to volunteer can result in their children not being selected for next year or whatever.
Suddenly, there are 4-5 parents there to volunteer for the same thing everyday (without going through the proper sign up channels.)
It becomes, again, this big messy thing for dismissal of those students.
Then today, I show up as usual, and am asked/thrown into something else that my introverted self wanted to run away from and say no to, but I was nice and stayed to help.
“But How?” I ask innocently. “I’m the only one signed up?”
“They only need two people, the front said. One, an employee and one is a parent who has “always done it.””
I agree to do the other thing to help out because they are short-handed. Just as I thought, it’s not for me.
Another parent comes to volunteer for the same thing I tried for initially.
I warn her about the changes, and she tells me that the person who is “always there” can’t make it today.
They let her in to do the thing I had shown up for, initially.
Mind you, I’m not upset in the slightest because, really, I never wanted to volunteer for that kind of thing and was doing it to help and volunteer.
But I momentarily did feel like it might be personal, and that with a gazillion emails that are sent out every week, my time could have been respected and spared with one sentence.
Maybe she doesn’t like me? Did I do or say something? Why didn’t she tell me?
Either way, I can still see instantly how it’s all working out for me.
Sometimes, being an empath, reading energy and seeing beyond the norm still shocks me, I guess.
I get over the mishap in a few moments and see it for what it really is (and why I had to share this): a teaching moment and important reminder.
And just to be clear, this isn’t a jab at anyone, not the amazing school or that teacher who is actually very good at what she does professionally. I have nothing more to say on that matter.
This is a story about you doing YOU, no matter how hard you try at times to convince yourself not to.
No matter how many times you try to convince yourself to do the right, normal, responsible, widely-accepted, or sensible thing, your intuition, your soul knows best.
Listen to it. Back it up. Follow it.
We find it so easy to doubt ourselves and so hard to simply trust.
Don’t let fear, self-doubt or people-pleasing lead you to do anything that makes you as uncomfortable as an introvert having to open and close strangers’ car doors during a school dismissal. 😬
And about that required volunteering? It was always worked out, I just didn’t realize it yet. #everythingisalwaysworkingout
I am part of a really awesome committee of parents who help with something that I actually enjoy doing and am good at, which is planning events. I am one of many talented peeps that get to contribute a little peace of who I am for something that feels good and helps the school. #winwin
Usually when we try to doubt ourselves, and the message/warning keeps coming back up, it’s for a good reason.
You know better than anyone else what’s good for you and what isn’t.
Trust yourself in all things and through all things.
And remember that when you do (even if it seems like you’re already in too deep) everything ALWAYS has a way of working itself out.