The thing about being selfish

The word “selfish” has a really bad reputation. 

Like, a terribly bad connotation. 

You’ve used it in a negative way. I know it. I know I have. You’ve looked at someone and thought,  “man, that b*tch is so selfish” or told someone, “you’re really selfish, you know that?” 

And maybe you were right. 

There are always cases of people who are unstoppably selfish, who think and do only for themselves and toss the feelings, wants, and needs of others to the wind. But, just as bad and maybe even worse are those who are preposterously selfLESS. Yes, the giving of yourself for the benefit of others is a wonderful thing, but when do you stop? At what cost should you be selfless? At the price of losing yourself?

I have always prided myself on knowing who I am. I am a very strong willed, wildly curious, stubborn, goal oriented woman with a superhero complex and the amazing-sometimes annoying-ability to find the potential in anything. Stray dog? Gotta save that. Dilapidated house? Gotta explore that…then save it. Kid getting bullied on the playground? Gotta rescue him and beat up the bully. Beat my own personal record? Good. Gotta beat the new one now. Stray human? Gotta save them, too. 

See where this is going?

With 2012 drawing to a close (are y’all seeing a trend here with these posts?!) I’ve had a lot of time to look over the events, comings and goings of the past year. Maybe the past couple of years. And I’ll be the first to tell you, I haven’t really been myself. Because of my relationship situation, I gave up a lot of “me” for “we”. Which, of course, is a good thing to some regard…but at what cost?

I always look at situations with a “risk to reward” perspective. When faced with a choice, I ask myself, “is the risk worth the reward?” if the answer is yes, full speed ahead! If the answer is no, obviously, no go.

I found myself giving up all kinds of things. Friends. Some family. Lifestyle choices. Dreams. Hopes. Goals. And the whole time, I thought to myself, “you’re being selfless. This is not a bad thing.” But it was. Because somewhere in there, while I was so busy being selfless, I became less of myself. It had nothing to do with my former significant other because he never asked me to give up anything. I did it all myself. Why? Because I thought it was what I had to do. I had imagined some crazy expectation of selflessness and held myself accountable. And all this being selfless had really left me less of me. 

So, at the risk of being a cornball, in 2013 I vow to be more selfish. 

No, I will not fly off the handle and become some kind of roaring b*tch. But I vow to be me. I will hold onto the things and traits that make me who I am and I will work very hard to hold onto my dreams and goals and see them come to fruition. Or fail miserably. Either way, find out where they go. I promise to be more respectful of my own time and only entertain those who are also respectful of my time. I swear I will not allow people to manipulate the way I feel about myself or my choices because they’re MINE. And if I don’t want to go out and drink because I have 5 am workouts the next morning I will NOT feel badly about it because I will end up having bad ass glutes as a result (see what I did there? Bad ASS? Ha.) I will not waste my time on guys that I don’t really like or care about–not that I ever really did that to begin with, but it’s always nice to reinforce it. I refuse to expend energy on people who are miserable. Misery loves company and I can’t deal with that shit. I’ll be in the back, eating paleo red velvet cake and hanging out with funny people. I will make time for me to eat, sleep, and relax ALL IN THE SAME DAY. I’m not in college anymore. I don’t have to choose two of the three to survive. Although this is subject to change in the fall when I start graduate school. I will do crazy shit because I feel like it and I promise to explore more abandoned buildings. 

I will not make some crazy promise to be the “best” me because who really judges that? I just promise to get back to being me. And figuring out who I’ll be tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “The thing about being selfish

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