My Uncles and I clinked our glasses and cheered to following our hearts. I smiled through clenched teeth from the weight of the heavy decisions I had been trudging through. The bathroom mirror made me look much older; dark circles, stress lines, the onset of a cold. I flew to San Francisco with the anticipation of big thoughts and realizations while staring at the Golden Gate Bridge or sitting in Delores Park with my favorite ice cream while the sun warmed my face. Instead, I was a garbage human taking up space in my uncles’ apartment, binge watching Fixer-Upper, using all their Kleenex.
The Art of Selfishness
This is something I am becoming better at. Not selfishness in the negative light that we often view it in; healthy selfishness. I made some big decisions that affected others. Me at age 24 or 25 would have let others have an unhealthy influence on decisions that determine the rest of my life. As I sat on the couch during commercial break, I reflected on how I have extracted others out of the equation when making decisions. While this seems “selfish”, I have come to learn that doing what is best for you ultimately becomes what is best for others as well. If you are your best self because you followed your heart, others will benefit from that. If you decided to end a relationship that was perfectly fine, but not fulfilling, you are doing both parties a favor by being honest and allowing each other to find something fulfilling. If you decide to move and leave loved ones behind, you are allowing yourself to learn more about yourself and how to be better to the world and others when you see them again.
I felt a little self-conscious when my Uncles would come home; sun shining outside. I would be in the same spot on the couch, the same channel on, wearing the pajamas I’d been in for a couple days now (like I said, total garbage human). I needed that. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a day to myself to just be with myself. In the last few months I have moved twice, been on a plane countless times, and consumed my time with being around other people. It was easy to keep doing what I was doing without allowing myself time to reflect, because my gut knew “shit would hit the fan” when I did slow down. And yes, yes it did.
I wasn’t even a little surprised that I became sick my first night in SF. It had been a long time coming; my body fighting for recovery and stillness. I hope to take one day every couple weeks to spend alone and do WHATEVER I want to do (peanut butter ice cream and playing with kittens, please). More than that though, I need to allow myself time to reflect and make sure I am on the path I want to be on and that makes me proud to be me. I picked up my journal and realized my last entry was in January. JANUARY. It wasn’t even an entry of substance. It was a list of things that went down in the 3 months before that, with no reflection. By checking in with myself regularly, I hope to cut down on extreme life decisions and efforts to get “back on track”.
If you thought these “big decisions” were me figuring out life…no. They were taking a step further away from that. One decision was accepting that I don’t know what I want right now, and that it is normal and okay. When my 15-month lease is up, will I stay in Seattle? Maybe, but probably not. Will I come back to Seattle if I do leave? Probably. I am okay with seeing where the winds of change and self-growth take me this time. It would be selfish (unhealthy-selfish) to paint a picture to anyone that I would potentially stay in one city to be with them at this point in my life. Maybe that day will come where my priorities shift as I get older. My 20’s have been largely about self-growth and fine-tuning what kind of person I want to become and what values I am most passionate about.
It feels good to be back on track.