"You don't have to take care of everyone. At the end of the day, you need to take care of yourself." I've heard it over and over again, and I ring it to myself every day. Not necessarily because I believe it, but because I know that I owe it to myself.
But nevertheless, I find myself in a position where I put my interests and priorities on the side. One minute I'm doing an assignment, the next I'm out roaming the starry nights of Los Angeles because a friend has come down to visit for a couple days. Another weekend I know I have midterms coming, but I push precious time to the side to drive up to Los Angeles because my family misses me. The list goes on.
I've come to realize that I put myself in positions where time management is a real, daily issue because of my own decisions.
It's hard, especially for someone like me who values their own self-worth in the validation of others. If I don't sense the appreciation or get validated for my actions from another person, I feel unaccomplished. I thrive in the well-being and happiness of other people, and I experience pleasure/satisfaction from that.
It's a vicious cycle really. Balancing different personalities, lives, and obligations while trying to be me. Feeling a sense of happiness but at the same time an immense amount of stress and self-loathing derived from lack of time spent on me.
But honestly, I'm learning that all the attention and time I give to others doesn't matter if I'm not progressing myself. That validation can only go so far if I can't even validate my own sense of being.
It's okay to say no sometimes. And no, I don't have to explain myself all the time.
Being the "yes man" or "the one that's always down" may be the cool thing, but it's not always the right thing.
Don't lose you, and be who everyone wants or expects you to be because, at the end of the day, not everyone is going to like everything about you or what you do. But the people that do matter and genuinely care about you will put that to the side.
Be who you are, who you want to be. Skip that party because you have an assignment due in two days. Spend that night watching TV shows because you're too lazy to go out. Spend that hour at the gym because you want to get stronger and don't want to eat a meal out with your friends.
Do it for you.