Valuing Myself, My Time, and My Commitments

Being a faith-based advocate for reproductive health is not exactly a popular vocation. Because I occupy this weird niche, I get invited to speak fairly often, usually to groups of university students. For the most part these have been local groups, but last week I was asked, sort of last minute, to travel to West Virginia for an event. West Virginia. On a weekday. At 7:00 PM.

Any of you who live in a city know what a nightmare it is to travel on the highway on a weeknight during rush hour. It would take hours to make what should be a relatively short 1.5 hour ride, and I'd be exhausted by the time I got there. Not to mention I'd be out incredibly late, driving on unfamiliar roads back home in the dark.

So, I said no. Imagine that! I actually said, "No, I can't." And I really couldn't do it. I felt REALLY badly saying it, but I just couldn't give up that much time and energy right then. I was a bit annoyed to that they were asking me at the very last minute, meaning I wasn't their first choice.

A few days later I got another call about the event. They were getting desperate to book a speaker, I could tell. They offered me a PRIVATE CAR SERVICE to transport me from my apartment to the event and back. At this point, I had to rethink things. Yes, it would still be a lot of time, but it was a grand gesture, they were really needing someone to attend, and I would regain all of those hours I thought I'd lose driving there and back. But I also felt a little weird accepting something like a car service. I could drive myself, couldn't I? I had to keep telling myself, "No, driving yourself that far away, that late on a weekday when you have to work the next day is asking a lot of you. Offering you a car service is the least they can do, given you're doing them such a huge favor."

Ultimately, I said yes. And I'm really, really glad that I did. I had a delightful time at the event. Traffic on the way there was absolutely horrific, so I'm thankful that I didn't offer to drive myself there. But I had a wonderful driver who kept me entertained the entire time. And the group I met with was passionate, excited, and had many questions about the work I do on reproductive health and how it relates to my faith.

A lesson for me: say no when something is too much, even for a great cause. And if they find a way to make it easier for you, take it as a compliment.


  1. Wow that's very cool that they offered you a driver and that you ended up having a good time in the long run. Win win!

  2. Yeah, it was pretty cool. I'd never traveled so luxuriously before. My driver was awesome, too. We talked the whole time. If I can ever afford to have a driver, I'm definitely calling him.

  3. Know your worth. It is amazing what follows. Good job. ;)

  4. Thanks, TL! You are so right. :-)

  5. Wow. That is awesome that it all worked out. You live in DC? Holy Cow that traffic is a nightmare for real!

  6. You are so right! Traffic is horrible no matter when you want to go somewhere. That's why I walk/Metro everywhere.