Why It's Important to be Selfish (Sometimes)

I can confidently write, that I'm not a selfish person. That's probably the most egotistical start to a blog post I've ever written, but I try to live my life as selflessly as possible- it's the way my parents brought me up and since being selfish is a key to being a bit of a knob, I'm happy with how I turned out. But in the last few years, I've come to realise there is a time and place to be selfish. In fact, I'd say there are times it's important to be selfish. 

Two of my favourite people in the world inspired this blog post, because being their usual selfless selves has, in these circumstances, worked against them. Person A recently broke up with her boyfriend. She decided, after being messed around for a long old time, enough was enough, and despite the guilt, she knew it was time to let go... and so she did. This is a classic example of being selfish for all of the right reasons, but sometimes it's so hard to remind yourself how important it is to put yourself first. I've seen many a friend fall under the thumb, and that's completely fine. Part of being in a relationship is making compromise and letting somebody into your life, but at the same time, your happiness is self determined and there's a thin line. It's exhausting being the person always bending over backwards, and sometimes you need to be selfish and put yourself first. I am a full believer in a happy relationship being made up of compromise on both parts, but if you feel like you're the one giving 70%, it's completely your right to want something back.

Selfishness is, in my opinion, often linked to stress. Some of the most harassed 'omg how do I function/breathe/live' moments of my life have been because I've put myself in situations where I can't say no to people, and end up putting too much stress on myself.

And after two years of saying yes to pretty much anything and everything to help a sister out, I decided enough was enough.

I'm a busy human being, I know I am, and I put a lot of pressure on myself. But it's also my own place to contain that pressure and keep it manageable. There will be no more 3am breakdowns about essays and sport and work and projects and everything-else-under-the-sun. Sometimes it's necessary to let people down, and it feels bloody awful, but it's okay to say no when life gets too much, it's your turn to be selfish.

Which brings me wonderfully on to Person B, who went through something not dissimilar to myself. The classic, selfishness vs. parents. This is a horrible line, because for most of us, our parents are our rocks. They're the people you don't ever want to let down, and the people whose opinions matter most in the world. But when it came to taking a gap year, my parents and I clashed more than ever. Mainly because they didn't think I'd ever make it back to England once I'd packed my bags. But I decided to concentrate on myself, and took the gap year, which ended up being one of the best decisions of my life so far. If it wasn't for my gap year, Alice's Antics wouldn't exist.

So Person B also had this life conundrum, telling his parents about what future plans he wanted to pursue, and it didn't go down a treat. But the truth is, in 10, 20, 30 years time, it'll be you who is the one most affected by the life choice. By the regrets and the 'I wishes'. It's not always going to turn out to be the best decision of your life, but it's far easier to regret doing something, than having that longing 'what if' feeling of regretting not doing it. It's so difficult to let people down or veer off the path laid so clearly out for us all. I am terrified of not living up to people's standards, I've put so much pressure on myself recently that in the last month my friends have been trying to shake sense into me, asking 'yeah, but, what do you want????'

And that's a pretty damn important question to ask.

Sometimes you need to prioritise yourself in your life, and that's completely okay- the really simply way to put it all, is just don't be a dick about it.

Ciao for Now!

1 comment

  1. PREACH. I definitely relate to person B and parents, mine are divorced and it is SO difficult now being in Uni when I come home and they live half an hours drive away from the other!
    Great post Alice I love your writing :)
    x Kenzie // Kenzieblogslife.blogspot.com