My best friend recently went through a breakup, and no, she’s not all tears and tubs of ice cream. She separated from a three-year relationship to focus on herself. Who she thought she had lost so long ago, she is now rebuilding and working on becoming someone she could admire. As a best friend, I saw her stuck in a dependency trap, always needing someone and always putting their feelings first. But sometimes it’s OK to be selfish and break away.
The happiness that shines through in her eyes is something that I haven’t seen for a while. She has reconnected with people who didn't see much of her before, and goes out without the thought in the back of her mind that she could be upsetting someone. She prioritized herself first and has fun every day. She constantly tells me, "I'm so much happier." I feel that from her, and am also happy that I got to reconnect with my best friend and how I remembered her from before.
Allowing yourself to find what you like and care for first is the most important thing before you start to care for others. If you don’t have self-love, you have nothing. People often get caught up in pleasing others before themselves, and while it could make you feel good for a little bit, you don’t want to forget the percentage of love for yourself. Don't think about what others might say or think of you because, at the end of the day, the only opinion that should matter is yours.
So be selfish! Everyone deserves to do that. Go speak up for what you believe in, surround yourself with people that make you feel good and join things that make YOU happy. Feeding off of others' happiness is OK and all, but I’ve seen firsthand that it really doesn’t fulfill your happiness. Growing up, adults become people pleasers and their life becomes an exhausting routine to fit in a certain way, get the job or gain acceptance. But part of you gets lost and that adds to the list of reasons why people say "growing up is a trap." Don't let it be a trap, have fun and keep your well being in mind.
Now, I’m not telling you to literally be selfish. Yes, consider others' feelings and take care of your loved ones, but don’t lose yourself in the process.
Lead Image Credit: Alyson Chuyang