Do you feel guilty about putting yourself first? Do you think you’re being selfish? Is it unsettling when you take a decision and you know that other people may not agree with it? It’s something that I’m finally learning to do. If I think about it, I have been lucky that I’ve gone through almost 30 years of my life where my immediate family and friends who matter have agreed with most of my decisions. I have this inherent need to make other people happy, it’s probably a very common human trait. However, I’m now at a stage where I am trying to take decisions that some people may not agree with or be happy with. I find myself at crossroads in life where I temporarily want to risk a lot of things and my parents do not agree with those decisions and I have to gather the courage to go through with those decisions.
A conversation from last week triggered this post. I was talking to my mom and she mentioned that she wants to come and stay with me for a couple of months. From what I understand, the reason behind it is that she has been worried about me and wants to be there for me. I’ve been struggling with loneliness since I’ve come back from India, and I was in the middle of a melt down crying session when she called one night. I’m also quieter on the phone when I call her because there’s not much to talk about right now. When she offered to come, I asked her not to come because I want to wrap up things and leave from here, and if she comes, I’ll get tied down and I don’t want that. I know that she’s trying to do what she thinks will help me and I know that my refusal hurt her feelings. I love my mom and would love to have her come and stay with me at another time but right now, I just don’t want to be responsible for another person. Right now, I want to spend some time and learn to be alone and explore what makes me happy, no ties attached. I am doing alright so far, I am learning to focus on building new friendships but not overly depend on them. I’m learning to accept that some days are just going to be crappy, while other days will make me happy. In addition to learning to be alone, I also want to take some time off, because this seems to be the best window of time I can do that.
It sounds straight forward, right? I wish it was! After saying this to her, I felt very guilty and restless, and that I’m a selfish person and a bad daughter. It took me a few days to make peace with it, and I feel better now. However, it’s interesting to observe how hard it is to prioritize your needs, even when the other person wants the best for you. I wanted to make a note of this because this is an important step in my personal growth – a life skill that I need to learn – to prioritize my needs and feelings. And to learn to take decisions that other people may not agree with!