Why I Chose To Be Selfish
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Politics and Activism

Why I Chose To Be Selfish

Some decisions you have to make thinking only of yourself.

Why I Chose To Be Selfish
Candace Choi

I made the selfish decision and chose myself over someone I really cared about. I’m not a selfish person, though. In fact, I sacrifice so much of myself to make others happy. Through pain, and confusion of why it wasn’t enough to be happy when I’m pleasing those around me I realized what it really meant to be selfish.

The term ‘selfish’ can be defined as acting for one’s own self needs. However, the negative connotation that is assimilated with the term is why being selfish is not a heroic act. I like to think otherwise. I don’t know how being selfish became correlated with the lack of consideration for others, but that is something that is entirely its own.

I chose myself over someone I really cared for because it wasn’t fair to either of us with the stress and tension that came from our relationship. I felt it was due to the fact we were each at different places in our lives which meant needing to go our separate ways.

I was yearning for growth. It was the time of my life where I came to terms with my faults and insecurities. It was a time when I decided to learn from my mistakes and be the better person I knew I could be for myself and my family and my friends. Of course, that’s when I learned there is no perfect balance. There isn’t always the option to please those around you while also keeping the peace of your own happiness. As much as it seem unadvisable, you are your first priority, so you can choose yourself every once in a while. I know nowadays not many people have time for themselves. And with the buzzing of mindfulness through meditation in the media, it’s not necessarily easy to take up. Things come up and people make excuses or put their mental and physical health off. But that’s where I draw the line. I will not let work, school or other people take priority over my own health because what good am I to others if I’m not fully well myself?

Now, I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be, but I am constantly striving for something close to it, to be someone that others want to be around. And I had to walk away from someone who I felt was an obstacle. I won’t say our friendship never meant anything to me, and it was hard to let it go, but I knew why I had to.

I was once at a place where I victimized myself. I was childish enough to project the blame on others and protect my pride. Yet, I was a child. I felt so much and being overwhelmed with emotions I couldn’t place that meant that I would displace them, or hide from them. I never learned how to deal with them. And because of that, I did not like who I was. Somehow I grew up and realized the pain I wasn’t just causing for myself, but others as well due to my lack of self-awareness.

I saw a lot of my old self from when I was younger in my friend. I did what I could to open her mind to a world that isn’t trying to hurt anyone, but teach them. Continuously, I felt drained by the negativity brought by her victimizing herself. I felt that every time I said “it’ll be okay” what was being heard is “you have every right to blame the world”. I did what I could, but I felt she wasn’t willing to be helped, then I was afraid there was nothing left I could do without being an enabler. I felt so strongly that she needed to look within herself and in the moment I decided being a friend was more harmful than ever to the both of us, the difficult decision was made. I let her go.

I may be selfish. I should take fault that I let someone rob my happiness, but in life people come and go and each individual is a lesson. I learned that the people who are worth keeping around won’t leave you drained, won’t blame you or bring you down as a means to validate their value. The people worth keeping around are the people who actually inspire you to be better or make you feel like a better person than you believe you are. I didn’t like myself before I ended our friendship. I couldn’t be a good friend because I didn’t agree with some personal choices made on her behalf. As much as I wish I could be there for her today, I feel more peace within myself. I know my decision hurt the both of us, but the selfish decision I made to save myself from a detrimental relationship will benefit us both in the end. It wasn’t mutual ending our friendship, but eventually we will each find those people that make us better when together we just weren’t that.

Call me selfish. I just know what I want and what I need and an unhealthy relationship isn’t it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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