Last Saturday I found myself with one of those rare days where I had the house to myself and no plans to be anywhere. I grabbed a comfy blanket and my laptop and curled up on the couch, intent on spending a few glorious hours writing in silent peace. Somewhere along the line I decided that a fire would enhance the mood, so I got up, grabbed the firewood, loaded the fireplace and headed to kitchen for a lighter.
As I turned to make my way to the kitchen, however, my toes got caught up in my wide-leg pajama pants. I tripped and lunged forward, stumbling as I tried to regain my balance. Seconds later I found myself slamming headfirst into a plaster wall… hard. I slumped to the floor and laid there, stunned. I started scanning my body to check for broken “stuff,” but all I could feel was a lump that was quickly taking residence over the entire right side of my head.
I sat up and was found myself face-to-face with my pitbull, Ollie. “Holy shit, Ollie,” I exclaimed. “That hurt!” He responded with 100 puppy kisses to my face and a wagging tail. Puppy kisses always make everything better.
Except it wasn’t all better. My head started to throb, as did my elbow and toes.
I got up and wandered around the house for a bit. Everything seemed to be in working order. I lit the fire, curled back up on the couch and text my husband who was at work - far out of reach of a wifi signal. I started Googling, “Signs of a concussion.” Everything I read ensured me that I was going to surely die of a brain bleed if I didn’t immediately go to the hospital.
I hesitated - weighing the pros and cons of lying down for a nap and silently slipping off to my death or interrupting someone one’s Saturday afternoon with a distress call. I mean, it wouldn’t be the worst way to die, would it? Far less horrific than asking a friend to change her Saturday afternoon plans and drive me to the hospital?
I decided to adult.
I text four of of the SheHive partners that lived closest to me… plus Jane who lives nowhere near me, but one doesn’t have a mini crisis without inviting your best problem solver to the party.
“Hey all… is anyone around and free? I just tripped, fell down and hit my head super hard (and, I think, broke a toe). I’m feeling okay, but I hit so hard I’m thinking it wouldn’t be the stupidest thing in the world to go to the ER. Can anyone take me?”
Ten seconds later Sonya text back, “On my way!!”
Soon my phone was flooded with messages from my Hive.
“Sonya is a superhero!”
Sonya got me to the hospital, coached me on what to say to the doctors so I would be seen quicker, showed me where the snacks were (did you know there’s a snack pantry at Beaumont?!), entertained me all afternoon and stayed until we were sure I wasn’t dying. She’s a pro. A pro friend and pro hospital concierge. I’ve joked that she should make a business out of it.
I also joked that I considered slipping into a coma instead of calling a friend for help, but it’s not really a joke at all… I actually considered it. I can quit a six-figure job, start a business with no experience, parasail, sing karaoke on Bourbon street under a worldwide web cam, move into Detroit before there were street lights and repeatedly walk to the bus stop as a child past a group of inmates mowing lawns (true story - one that I will willingly share if we run into each other at the SheHive), but the thought of asking someone to put themselves out on my behalf?
I am part of a generation, the often-lamented GenXer, who grew up believing that we could rely solely on ourselves to make it in this world. But it’s a lie. We all need our people - and if we don’t have them, we have to find them. It's the only way we get to where we want to be - within a circle of support.
Before starting the SheHive I didn’t know a single one of the women I texted last Saturday for help. It’s the true beauty of our community that it’s not just a place to learn about yourself, but a place where you can become connected to a group of women who care if you hit your head on the wall - even if that hit (thankfully) resulted only in two sprained toes and a gaggle of bruises. It’s among the many unique differentiators of our little slice of Heaven on earth that I am most proud of… there are a million places you can take classes, but very few that hold up the connection among those you learn with as the true measure of success.
So, if you are at that point in your life that you’ve decided you need people too, I invite you to come pay us a visit and meet the circle of women who are willing to drive you to the hospital if you are an elegant swan, like myself, who trips on her pajama pants. Some of us even know where the snacks are now.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD