Put Yourself First

“Selfish” is a negative word. It has a bad connotation, and it’s not something we strive to have people say about us, right? We need to change this. I’m not saying go forth and stop caring about others, but I am saying that sometimes being selfish can be a good thing. I’m talking about putting yourself first.

You have to take care of yourself, and just like you have to eat, breathe, and sleep, you have mental and social needs to take care of as well. Do you have that one friend who is always putting you down and makes you feel terrible about yourself? Distance yourself from that person. Surround yourself with people who motivate you and support you. These people can be hard to find, because there are people who will motivate and support your bad habits and it’s easy to get these situations confused.

It’s almost a new year, and one of my resolutions is to deactivate my Facebook account for all of 2016. Since I graduated college, my Facebook friends have had so many successes: salaried jobs, engagements and marriages, moving into their own place, etc. and I am beyond happy for all of them, but it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I still don’t have a salaried job, every time I fall in love it ends up being long distance and then fails, and I’m about to move back in with my parents while I re-evaluate life and look for work.

Now I know that most of us only display on social media the version of ourselves that we want people to see, which is typically only the positive side. I know that people are struggling and most people are putting on a front on social media, making their lives look perfect because they don’t want to display their struggles. However, even though I know and understand all of this, I know myself, and I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others. I think that I should be in the same place in life as all of my super successful fellow grads. That is why, for my own sake, I’m getting rid of Facebook, to remove the ability to compare myself to others.

2016 is going to be about me – what I want and what I need. I will score my success only against myself.

Life isn’t a race, and that’s important to remember. When I was 8 I wrote down my life plan and said I would get married at 25. I’m 3 months away from 23, so I’ve still got time, but it’s ridiculous to think I’m going to follow a plan I made when I was 8.

Planning is good. I’m a list maker. I’m obsessed with planners and colored pens. But as my mom always says, “life happens to your plans.” So if you’re a planner like me, we just need to remember that things will not always go according to our plan, and we need to find healthy ways to adjust to the deviations.

If you are not where you want to be, that doesn’t mean you’re not where you’re supposed to be. It’s going to be okay. You’re doing fine. You have time.

In the midst of all the planning and the goal setting, just don’t forget to put yourself first.

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