How can you ask for help? More importantly shamelessly (without guilt) ask for help? My recent adventure of deciding to live full-time in a RV has forced me to learn how to shamelessly ask for help.
I bought an RV (with cash, yay)! Right now, I’m currently living full-time in a 20-foot travel trailer. Believe it or not, but this is a dream come true for me. I tested out living in small spaces via Airbnb and loved it! I spent my time in Hawaii on my sabbatical living in a tiny house (not on wheels though).
Other than that, my knowledge of living in a RV is about the same as your knowledge: very limited.
How do you connect to water, sewer, plumbing, electricity, and gas? Beats me! Is the water safe to drink? How do I MAKE SURE the water is clean?
What about emptying the tanks, AKA, your waste? Eh, gross! Do I really have to do THAT part?! My SUV is capable of towing, but seriously am I capable of hauling the thang?
Enter massive doubts. Cue: fear.
I mean one glitch in the tow connection and the people behind me are screwed! TURNS? WTF, that’s a whole other story. How am I going to turn the beast when driving?
I’ve learned that there are times in life, especially when it comes to your dreams, that asking for help is a necessary evil.
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For me, asking for help means admitting that I don’t know it all and it requires vulnerability.
Thank God for Brene Brown, a Phd and Social Scientist, who found through research that vulnerability, or essentially being open with your weakness, is a key factor to experiencing joy in life. Who would have thought?
Here’s why asking for help with my RV was a necessary evil.
If I wanted to live my dream and buy a RV my options where I could:
1. Spend countless hours on the internet researching
2. Wing it and do it all myself on a whim
3. Wait until I felt more “ready”
4. Ask for and receive help NOW!
Yep, I decided on shamelessly asking for help. Here’s why.
If I spent countless hours researching on the internet, that would be crazy making.
I didn’t have the time to sit and watch a million YouTube videos or read article after article with oftentimes conflicting advice. Plus, even if I did research online for hours on end, it could be worthless. I could have found my water tank doesn’t connect at the same location that the one in the video does. NONE of the recommendations would be customized to my RV and my SUV.
Next, I wasn’t comfortable winging something SO IMPORTANT.
I could have just showed up at the RV dealership and connected it to my SUV the best of my ability. It’d be like, “I think this thing is connected! Let’s say a little prayer and hit the road! No looking back!”
Except, that wouldn’t be prudent. That’d be downright nuts to drive at a speed of 60-70 miles per hour with no idea if I even connected the thing right.
Connecting clean water and power safely: well that’s a whole other story. Things like learning how to tie your shoes, write a poem, or decorate a cake, you can wing. Pretty much everything else, at least at FIRST, I’m gonna learn from the experts.
Lastly, the timing was never going to be right!
If I waited until a magical fairy waved her wand and said, “You’re ready to make the jump and live in an RV,” then life would pass me by, and I’d never do it.
Also, there’s the saying by the author Karen Lamb, “A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.” That’s so true. For all the projects in life like getting out of debt, saving for a home, etc. it makes all the difference to simply start, now. Your future self will not regret trying and failing.
Instead regret comes from never trying at all.
Here I am… sitting in MY RV typing this very blog. It brings a smile to my face: I DID IT!!
The only option I saw to start living the life I’ve dreamed of was to shamelessly ask for help and to gratefully receive help.
So, here’s what I ended up doing. I decided instead of RVing from one spot to the next, I was going to just park it in a RV park for at least a month to get used to RV life. I’d get hands on experience in a low-risk environment.
The problem: how would I get my RV from the dealership to my first RV park AND setup everything correctly?
I called the RV park and said that I was brand spankin’ new to RV life and asked if they could help me hook up the RV.
Yes, that was humbling. However, I’ve decided that I want to live a shame-free life. I admitted that my knowledge of RV’s was essentially zero and I needed help with the basics of hooking up power. Asking for help was being true to who I was: someone willing to take a risk on a dream and not let fear or inexperience hold me back!
The management at the RV park was going to be out of town but recommended for me to ask the dealership to deliver and set it up for me.
Genius! How did I not think of having someone else deliver it for me the first time-around?!
I shamelessly called to ask my RV salesperson if they could deliver it and set it up.
I can hear my old self thinking, “You self-centered b, the world does NOT revolve around you! Stop asking others to give to you!”
…. Um, that’s my old self.
My new mentality is, “I really need help, I can’t do this on my own (for REALZ), and I’m worthy to receive help.”
Bam. How do you like them apples? I LOVE my new mentality! I deserve help in this life, I don’t have to do it alone, and the same for YOU?. We’re in this journey together.
Of course, at the end of the day I’m the only one responsible for my life. However, this doesn’t mean I have to experience life without the help from others.
My RV salesperson responded that they’ll do an hour walk-through going over all the safety features. YAAS! They’d show me how to connect the power, water, etc. They’d show me the black water tank (stuff from the toilet, eh!) and gray water tank (water from the sink and shower). Bonus: they’d show me how to connect the RV to my SUV.
That was awesome! However, it wasn’t quite enough help for me. That still involved me getting on the road with the beast and hooking it all up at the RV park myself.
I continued to shamelessly ask again to get the help that I needed.
The truth is that often help comes with a price tag.
The dealership was able to connect me with someone who would deliver and set up my RV completely for a fee of $200. At first the delivery and setup fee seemed very steep. It was only around 2-hours of time and the only expense to them was about a quarter tank of gas.
Again, my old self would say, “Oh, I’ll just wing it on my own.”
The truth is, again, I need help in certain situations and this was one of them! For my peace of mind, safety, and sanity I shamelessly accepted the help. That meant I’d quite literally paid for it.
Was it worth it?
Heck, yeah! I am now living my dream with no regrets. Now that I invested the $200 to physically see the correct way to hook up MY RV, I’ll be able to use that knowledge FOREVER going forward. There was even more to getting the RV setup than I anticipated.
I didn’t know, what I didn’t know!
I didn’t realize that most RV parks are not level! That’s kinda a big deal to live in a space that is not crooked!
In a nutshell, the Beatle’s song, Help! says it all:
When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me, get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me
Amen to that!
If you have friends, family, or coworkers who also geek out on personal finance (or RV life!), then share this with them.