By: Kate Krassowski, Regular Contributor
“And now I’ll do what’s best for me.” –John Green
I can’t tell you how many times I think to myself “is this really what I want to do?” About 80% of the time the answer is “no” but I normally go along with whatever it is anyway. I am so used to pleasing other people and working around their schedules so no one else is inconvenienced that I lose myself in what I truly want.
What I dislike about myself is also what I like about myself. I love that I care for other people and put them first and sometimes I’m frustrated that I put others before me. There’s a healthy balance in there somewhere but I have yet to find it. I turned 25 last week, and for my birthday a bunch of my friends wanted to go to the mountains and go skiing. I am not one for being cold and am pretty terrible at skiing and snowboarding. My idea of a perfect birthday was a relaxing massage and to spend the evening in a nice hotel not worrying about anything. However, other people wanted to go to the mountains so I went along with it. It ended up that no one actually was able to go and backed out at the last minute. I had already planned on going with my boyfriend, who was super excited because snowboarding is one of his favorite things, so I had to go at that point. The one day all year I was allowed to be selfish, and I still couldn’t do it.
Please don’t get me wrong, luckily my boyfriend is wonderful at making things fun even though he knew I was disappointed, and I truly did end up having a fantastic birthday after I got over feeling sorry for myself. But the lesson here is that it wasn’t what I wanted. I let other people plan and dictate what I was going to do. I was madder at myself than I was at the people who backed out.
We need to learn to take control of our own lives. If we don’t lead our own life, other people have no problem doing it for us. We will be pushed around and walked over until we say enough is enough. Now, my story was a minor example of a much bigger problem. I don’t want other people telling me what they think I should do for a job or to have a say on whom I love. Honestly, your life is no one else’s business but your own. We have the luxury of choosing who we share our lives with, but we can also choose how much we allow their involvement to dictate our actions. Surround yourself with loving, inspiring people, but learn to recognize what you want and how to say it to others. I say “I don’t know” so many times in a day where I TOTALLY DO KNOW: No, I don’t want to eat that for dinner, yes, I want to go somewhere this weekend. We know what we want, and we need to learn to be the right kind of selfish and stand up for ourselves as much as we stand up for other people.
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She moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland, OH after graduating with a B.A in Film Production from BGSU. She is passionate about speaking out against how women are viewed in the media and being part of changing it.