It finally happened. I had a meltdown in the grocery store. Whole Foods, of all the places.
Usually I can make do reaching things that are out out of my reach. It started early, as a kid. Scaling the counter tops in the kitchen, climbing my bookshelf, the pantry shelves – whatever it was, I was able to devise a plan and conquer it.
One of my favorite stories is from back in elementary school. My best friend’s mom was a teacher and would give me rides to and from school. What did she drive? An Izuzu Trooper. To a little girl topping off around 3’6″, getting into such a large vehicle was a bit of a challenge. To get into the car I would open the door, put one foot on the running board of the car and then hoist my self up holding onto inside of the door. Then, using my rock solid abs, I swung my other foot into the car and pulled the door closed. Most of the time my plan was flawless. There was one day that I wasn’t quite in the car yet and my friends mom began to drive away with me hanging onto the door. From the backseat, my friend and I both began to scream and laugh and it wasn’t until her mom actually turned around to glance and notice that I was flailing in the breeze, hanging on for dear life. She eventually stopped and I was able to get back into the car. To this day I haven’t lived that one down.
I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.
Back to Whole Foods…
Every now and then reaching items on the top shelf in the grocery store becomes a bit of a problem. Usually I can climb the shelf or ask someone for help. Usually. Yesterday I had run into Whole Foods for just a few items. I knew exactly what I wanted and the hard taco shells were the last item I had to cross off my list. There I was, in the Mexi food isle staring at the box of blue corn taco shells on the very top shelf or maybe they were staring at me. My first attempt at climbing the shelves to reach them proved unsuccessful. I barely grazed the box with my finger tips. Attempt number two was even worse because I actually ended up pushing every box of taco shells further back on the shelf completely out of my reach.
Now I was getting frustrated. Looking to my left and right, there wasn’t a soul in sight. How?! I’m in the middle of Whole Foods on a Monday evening during dinner time and there is no one else in the Charleston area who is having tacos for dinner?! C’mon people! Ugh. Rather than give up, I tried once more to get that box of gold on the top shelf. This is where it gets pathetic. I tried to use a packet of taco seasoning to swing the edge of the box closer to me. Fail. The harder I tried to reach those effing things, the closer I got to my breaking point. Right as I was about to put my foot on the second shelf to boost myself up, I envisioned everything coming crashing down on top of me so I forwent my plan. There I stood, once again, my eyes now beginning to well with tears I was so frustrated and there was still not a person in sight to ask for help.
Whole Foods: 1 Kristen: 0
Then it happened. My meltdown over a box of blue corn taco shells. As I wiped away the tears, I turned to forget about taco dinner night and just checkout. Before I had gotten a full step toward the register, a little old lady rounded the corner at a snails pace talking on her blue tooth. There I was, one hot mess, lingering in front of the refried beans, jalapenos and taco paraphernalia. I decided it was worth a shot to interrupt the woman’s conversation to seek her assistance in getting my top shelf prize. Trying my best not to be too socially awkward I raised my hand (who does that? this wasn’t a first grade classroom!) to get her attention.
“Excuse me, ma’am.” She looked at me like I was about to ask her to write me a check for $1000.00. “Could you reach one box of those taco shells for me please?” She looked relieved. Without saying a word, continuing her conversation, she got the box of taco shells down, handed them to me with a smile and moseyed on down the rest of the isle.
My mind continued creating my limitations even after I left Whole Foods. You know, one of those ‘Whoa is me’ kind of moments. Those times where you have the tiniest bit of resentment for being you. Sigh. It happens. It’s normal. But I have learned to remind myself that there really are no limitations. Whatever we perceive something to be, we create it to be. Hence when something appears to be a limitation but you do not perceive it as one, it will not become something that limits you. Having this mindset of ‘no limitations’ is a powerful one, causing us to become unstoppable. Never forget that our weaknesses can become our strengths, our disabilities can reveal our incredible abilities, our fears are indications of our potential, our failures are lessons learned and our challenges must only be road blocks not dead-end streets. Certain circumstances may be unavoidable, but our mindset, potential and success are created by us alone.
Meltdown behind me, I’m out to conquer the day and make it a successful one.