Shortly after the bag of Brussels sprouts broke, she told me, “No one does that.”
There I was, standing in line at Costco, placing all my items on the conveyor belt while my husband quickly ran back to grab some eggs. The check-out lady picked up our bag of Brussels sprouts (am I the only one that thought it was BRUSSEL instead of BRUSSELS?!), and out they spilled. She asked me if I wanted to grab another bag.
I thought about it, and my initial reaction was to say yes, but I couldn’t because I had 2 kids in my cart and a husband running around somewhere.
I told her, no, thank you. She took the bag and gave it to someone to stash away. I didn’t think anything of it.
When my husband returned, I told him what happened and asked him if he wanted to get another bag.
He looked at me like I was crazy or something. As he was loading the items into the cart, he told me to tell the lady that we would take that bag either way.
I turned to relay the message to her (no idea why I was the messenger), and she looked at me dumbfounded.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“You guys are going to throw it away, right?” I asked back.
She said yes, so I told her we didn’t want the food to go to waste. Gimme my bag, lady!
She looked at me and whispered with profound sincerity, “No one ever does that. Thank you”.
I cannot express how proud I felt of our decision. Then I felt shame and anger.
Shame because: Why did I ACCEPT wasting excellent food? There was nothing wrong with it. The bag just broke when she scanned it. Why was it that my husband was clear-headed about it, while I just accepted the fact that in our culture, if a perfect bag of food breaks, we’re ENTITLED to another one?
What’s that all about?
Anger because: Why are we all walking around with our heads in our pants, not questioning our OWN actions and decisions? I acted out of habit. How many other things am I doing that are totally misaligned with my own beliefs? And why are we all just ok with wasting food in general?
For a second, I felt like a hero (I SAVED THE SPROUTS!), and then immediately felt shame (IT WASN’T MY DECISION).
I’m telling you this story with the hope that you have the courage to stand for what’s right, even if no one else is. And to QUESTION why you do things the way you do them. Even if you feel weird or anxious about it, I promise it’s worth it. You will feel so proud of yourself, and you’ll forget all the other negative feelings.
At least that’s my lesson learned.
Now, in other Social Anxiety news, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Sadie on her podcast Your Social Anxiety Bestie. We talked about social anxiety as well as being comfortable being uncomfortable. You can probably download it anywhere podcasts are available. Or listen to it now.
It’s a quick and fun chat. I hope you take the time to listen to it, and maybe it will inspire you!