Every once in a while, the reminder that I’m single slaps me in the face pretty hard.
Like when I’m trying to do a two-person job by myself.
I recently bought a new MacBook and decided to sell my iMac to the company Apple partners with for doing so. It sends you this gigantic box and all of the packaging materials you need to ship it back. The concept seemed simple enough—I had no idea how ridiculously complicated the packing system was, though.
I finally got everything deleted from my account on my old computer and reinstalled the operating system (a process that also tested my patience a little bit), and then I figured I was ready to follow the step-by-step instructions on the piece of paper that had come in the box. What I didn’t realize was that I was nowhere near ready for what was ahead of me.
Because I never thought a cardboard box could defeat me.
There was a huge piece of cardboard that had plastic wrapping attached to it, and you flatten the cardboard and slide the computer under the wrapping. You’re then supposed to pull the wrapping tightly around the bottom of the computer, which I did (sort of). Then, the geniuses who created this flawed system expect you to be able to fold two of the sides down. It looks super easy on that piece of paper.
But I’m not sure they factored in people trying to do this by themselves.
I don’t know that I can accurately describe why this was so flippin’ difficult, but it was. My wingspan is not long enough on its own to be able to fold both sides down at the same time, and after one was folded, it became physically impossible for me to get the other side down without the first one popping back up. I spent a solid 19 or so minutes trying to do this and am pretty sure I was sweating by the end of it. I also walked away with a few bruises from the computer when I was trying to maneuver the materials to try to defy physics and whatnot. I came close to ruining the cardboard contraption completely more than once.
I’m normally not a quitter, but I couldn’t take it anymore—I gave up and folded all of the sides up, even though doing so meant the computer wasn’t secured in there as tightly. To be honest, I was beyond the point of caring.
Then the fun of trying to make that fit into the big box began. Again, this was also probably a task more suitable for two people. It was simply too big for me to be able to hold it at a good angle and fit it in there, and I’m pretty sure it would have fit better if the sides were folded correctly, but that’s a reality on which I choose not to dwell.
By a miracle of God, I finally had success.
I quickly used the packaging tape they sent me (which was actually super cute, by the way), to tape up the box and then noticed something that made me cringe more than a little bit: I had taped the wrong end of the box. You see, I had opened it on the wrong end originally, so I didn’t think anything of it. However, each side of the box had an arrow with the word “up,” which meant it was taped on the “down” side. I said a weary prayer that the computer would make it to its destination in one piece and not be damaged from the multiple packaging mishaps that I had created.
I then looked down at the box and wondered how in tarnation I was going to get that thing to my car downstairs. It’s not that it was super heavy, but it looked too massive for me to carry on my own. So I scooted it. Yep—I got in defensive tackle position and pushed the box to the elevator and down to the parking garage. As soon as I got down to the garage, though, I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t scoot it on the concrete to my car.
That was a really unfortunate realization.
I was so tired. I put my head down. I suddenly looked up to see a tall beautiful creature walking through the doors into the garage. I didn’t even think twice before letting the words come out of my mouth: “Hey, hi, hello. Can you please help me move this box into my car?”
Homeboy had super long arms, so he was able to pick it up without my help and put it in my backseat. I thanked him probably six times and then hopped in my car to head to the post office. Somehow—I’m really not sure how—I got the box out of my car on my own and awkwardly carried it to the door. I don’t like to admit failure, but I tried to open it on my own and had a success rate of zero. Thankfully, some man full of jokes saw me struggling and helped me and also felt the need to point out the absurd picture before him. Thanks, bro.
I finally got that huge box to the desk (Mr. Funny had more commentary when I tried to hoist it up there on my own) and out of my hands. I really wanted to take a nap.
I have to admit that a thought ran through my mind during that entire box situation: This would not be this difficult if I had a boyfriend.
I know it’s silly to have such a thought, but it’s also true. It’s not just about having someone to help me, though—it’s about having someone to make memories and share experiences with. It probably would have been a lot funnier in the moment and not just looking back on it if it weren’t something I had tried to do all by myself. I’m a very strong-willed and independent person, but every once in a while, I have moments when I think it would be nice to know what it’s like to be loved by someone who picked me out of everyone else in the world.
That evening, I watched the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and I was really touched by Jason Taylor’s speech. He said so many wonderful things, but one struck me more than the others: “Ease is a greater threat to growth than hardship.”
And he’s right.
I truly believe that it’s the really tough stuff we face that helps us become even stronger. I mean, even though that whole box situation was draining, it was something I obviously needed to endure that day. Sure, it made me feel weak in certain moments, but it was also a reminder that I can still handle the difficult circumstances that come my way—and that, even though I may not have a fella, there are still people who will always be there to help me along the way. I also always have the Lord there working His miracles on His own time.
And it was a reminder that being single doesn’t mean you’re completely alone.