Recently at a work event I was excited about finishing my contributions and sitting down to dine on the delicious lunch awaiting the hundreds of guests. I’m not an avid salad eater, but was looking forward to the mixed green salad topped with grilled chicken, feta ,mandarins and pecans. I knew exactly how much vinaigrette I would need to get my healthy concoction just right for my finicky taste buds.
The moment of truth arrived and, after handling my assigned duty I found a seat close to the front and with a piece of luscious lemon cake in front of me. I sat down, placed my persimmon napkin in my lap and discovered I didn’t get chicken. Atop that bed of greens in varying shades of green were sweetly, toasted pecans, tiny, succulent mandarin and nothing else, not a single slice of bird in sight.
For a moment there I talked myself into settling for the meatless feast. Knowing I’m not a true salad fan I knew this would not be to my liking. I also knew that there were several plates in the room not yet spoken for, but I just decided I would tough it out and enjoy my vegetarian fare. Thankfully, someone saw my lack of protein on the plate and said, “you should just ask for another one”. I thought about it, and pondered the fact that I almost settled, having to suffer through an otherwise lovely luncheon and decided to ask for another plate.
Wouldn’t you know it. My new plate was perfect as my protein runneth over. Chicken was a plenty! I enjoyed the salad, getting to the point of not being able to finish it because the sampling was so ample. That would not have been so had I allowed myself to stay in a place of silence.
I wondered on the way back from the event how many times have I not spoken up for me when something wasn’t right or wasn’t right for me. Yes, it’s just chicken, and yes, I thought I was being kind by not disturbing the staff busily working the room, but after asking, the servicewoman graciously located the new plate, a new carafe of salad dressing and repeatedly smiled saying I was no trouble at all. Those five ounces of sliced foul taught me a valuable lesson. It reminded me that there may be times, more often than not, that I have not because I asked not. Putting myself before others is a sacrifice, and most times a blessing, but sometimes it’s the right time to speak up for myself, my wants, needs and desires. It also reminded me that sometimes exercising my voice for what I desire or what is rightfully mine is the best way to get more than I desired and more than my mind could have imagined.