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Week 2023#22: ask for help
It strengthens both existing and new connections
Monday I made the decision to be in Lisbon for Week 23, organized everything, and on Saturday night I actually arrived.
Finding my friends at night in the city center turned out to be difficult: there was some sort of street festival and the streets were full of people, my friends were moving around still, and I’d never been to Lisbon before.
I managed to lock all my belongings with the exception of my phone in a metro station locker which closed at 1am. We found out it was closed at 2am when we wanted to head home.
On the way home my friend forget her phone in the taxi, so now we had two problems to solve on Sunday!
What I’ve learned
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help gives you a chance to strengthen existing bonds and form new ones.
On Monday I realized that going to Lisbon for Week 23 is a good idea:
I’m halfway there already coming from Frankfurt,
on the way back I get another family day with my mother in Germany,
we have a Portugal-related project at work that my team has been finishing in Week 22 and I can inspect the results on the spot if I’m there in Week 23,
tons of people told me recently how amazing Portugal is.
The problem was liquidity: most of the AirBnBs I found close to the office cost around 1300 EUR for a week and I didn’t have that much money to spend on spontaneous bookings.
After a conversation with a colleague, I realized that the solution is clear: just don’t book accommodation!
I’d just talk to people on arrival and find a place to stay until the next payday (so essentially for two nights).
The closer Saturday, the day of the flight came, the more I dreaded the task ahead. And this made me reach out to all sorts of people, asking whether they are in Lisbon or know somebody in Lisbon who could host me for two nights.
Ultimately, I got lucky and found a friend who could host me for a few nights and then chip in on paying for an AirBnB.
In the course of finding said friend, however, I reached out to at least 10 people, some of whom I’ve known for a long time and some who were new connections.
While finding a place to stay was still difficult, the experience of searching was a great one: by having a concrete ask conversations started with a lot of momentum and eventually veered into other topics, providing a natural opportunity for catching up and reactivating the relationship.
My takeaway: ask for help more often, help others more often, and strengthen relationships this way.
Direction vs Movement
Directions for Week 22:
Adventure: unexpectedly lived up to this fully by making an otherwise prohibitively expensive trip to Lisbon happen.
Acting like an owner: the old wiring in Garaažistan is removed now and I struck a deal with a friend to help with getting rid of a lot of the trash/refuse that accumulated on the property. The place is looking better every week!
Directions for Week 23:
Openness: I still carry my fair share of bad memories from time spent in a Mediterranean country in summer – in Week 23 I want to get rid of this, be open to experiencing Lisbon, and override bad memories with good ones.
Highlights of last week:
while the funeral of my grandmother was a sad moment, getting distant parts of the family together at the same table and talking after the event felt really good,
Roberto and I got to spend time with the remaining family and could help around the house in Germany a lot to take some burdens off our mother’s shoulders - this felt satisfying,
I actually made it to Portugal and didn’t have to sleep on the street,
Staying calm and managing a full day and night with only the things I was wearing (→ no ID, a few coins, my phone :D)
Meeting a random connection from LinkedIn in person, entering the meeting with zero expectations, and then talking for much longer than we thought because we got along so well!