Selfish. Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
That word has a strong and negative connotation, no? During my therapy session this week, I talked to my therapist about my upcoming trip and how I feel bad about leaving everything behind: My pregnant sister, my dog, my friends, my family. I’ve been getting hit with the worst guilty pangs lately, bringing in some pretty terrible, depressing feelings. She told me, “Sheryll. You need to learn how to be selfish, and you need to realize it’s OKAY to be selfish sometimes. This trip is for YOU, for you to explore, create and grow. You’re doing what’s best for you at this moment. Sometimes it’s best to not worry about what everyone else thinks.” And she’s totally right. My therapist is fucking awesome.
Being selfish doesn’t always mean you’re an asshole. Sure, there are people who just do dumb shit and couldn’t give two fucks about it, but in reality, we ALL need to be a little bit selfish with ourselves. We spend time working for someone else, taking care of someone else, giving advice to someone else, not working out, not going to see the doctor for regular checkups, and not nearly enough time focusing on ourselves. Sometimes we have to stop and spend some time taking care of ourselves, despite what other people think.
I have a new part time job as a hostess at an adorable American Diner/Bistro type of restaurant. I work during the lunch rush, which means I seat tons of hungry business people scarfing down cheeseburgers while simultaneously planning meetings on both their Blackberries and iPhones. It seems so sad to me, seeing all of these people who can’t become detached from their work for a mere 30 minutes to enjoy their food. I can only imagine these are the same types of people who punch away at their phones during dinner with their families, at the gym, while driving. Where does the time for oneself come in?
We only have one beautiful, precious, incredible, glorious life. We only have one body. We are the only ones that can take care of ourselves. Taking a 45 minute bath doesn’t make you an asshole. Neither does eating a box of chocolates, reading a book by yourself in the park, or turning off your cellphone to get some quiet time for yourself.
Let’s be a little selfish today. Plan that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Get a manicure and pedicure. Don’t answer that call from your mom. Eat that damn pizza you’ve been craving. Make an appointment to see the dentist. Drink that last glass of wine. Go dancing in those fabulous high heels until 3am. Light candles. Wear your best perfume for no reason at all. Take the time to write in a journal. Lounge around in your apartment in your finest underwear. Go for a walk and actually smell the flowers. Turn off the TV. Buy that gorgeous necklace you’ve been eying in the store window. Love with all of your soul. Don’t apologize for how you choose to take care of yourself.
As for me, I plan on being selfish in the most magnificent way possible. This trip is my selfish moment. I’m going to eat whatever the hell I want, buy whatever the hell I want (within reason, of course!), drink as much as I want, explore the world how the hell I want. I’ve spent my life pleasing my parents, getting the best grades, working since I turned 16, paying for college, moving across the country, working, working, working. It’s finally time to take some time out for me. It’s the most amazing gift I can give to myself, and I plan on completely relishing in it every single day. Unabashed. Unashamed. Wild and free. It’s the most delicious way to live life.
I encourage you to be a little bit selfish today. I promise you won’t be an asshole.