Be Selfish

That is the advice my friend gave me the other night at Starbucks.

As the oldest in a Chinese family, there are certain expectations.

If you are a girl?

Double whammy.

I was brought up with this weight of obligation. I was always a serious child but I sometimes I wonder how much of that was me and how much was my upbringing.

With dad passing, I find myself taking on the brunt of the responsibilities since my sister lives in Germany and my brothers, well, they do what they can and occasionally what they are told but they are, how shall I put it, a little lacking when it comes to initiative.

My problem too is that I cannot say no. People know it and some take advantage. I also have a habit of offering to step in and fix things- not always a good thing for me.

It is just assumed that I will handle it (whatever “it” is) and they are usually right.

I am capable. Like a pack horse, a mule, the buffalo that pulls the tiller in the rice paddies.

Not exciting, not fancy but I get the job done.

I may not get things done as quickly as others would like (because I am juggling endless plates, some bigger than others) but things get done when they need to get done.

I try not to moan too much- what purpose would that serve? It’s not like I’ll get help from anyone. I’m capable, why would I need their help?

Some people have others rushing to help- I wonder what that feels like?

With everything going down, with the game changing so much (and so quickly), my friend is afraid I will lose myself in the flood of responsibility.

The one area in my life that I thought was stable turned out to be the weakest and now the pieces have to be put back together around the notion of what is best for me.

As tough as that may be to wrap my head around, I have to think of myself first. If I allow myself to be crushed by the wants and needs of others, I will be no good to them or myself.

Selfishness is not inherently wrong.

My new mantra?

If it is good for me, it will be good for you.

Sorry, can’t quite go all the way- yet.

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~ by angryegg on July 30, 2010.

2 Responses to “Be Selfish”

  1. I believe Oprah refers to it as the disease to please, sadly I am afflicted by it too. Let me know how getting over it works out for you. 🙂

  2. I say it but I just hope I have the strength to live it. I know myself, I will give in occasionally and fall off the wagon completely but it will take time- for me to be selfish consistently and then not to feel guilty about it. A lifetime habit takes a little while to break. I guess the trick is not to lose myself completely in all the craziness. I wish us both luck!

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