Sometimes it’s OK to be Selfish.

It all started when my best friend called me a “cunt”.

…a cunt.

First of all, that word has to be the most vulgar word of all.  And probably the ugliest behind derogatory terms for different races and gays.  I hate it. And when one girl calls another girl one?  Disgusting.  When your best friend (whom you refer to as your life partner) does it?  Jaw-dropping.

According to my friend, I had not been there for her enough, especially given her recent breakup.  Despite her living in Brooklyn and me in Seattle.  In addition to the 3 hour time difference — I work full time, I’m in school full-time, and when I’m not working or in class I’m trying to not be so much of a fatass and spending time running/working out.  I’m not trying to make excuses, but honestly I barely have time to squeeze in my friends here, let alone someone not in the state, on the spot.

She then calls me selfish.  At first, I’m offended.  I’ve been conditioned my entire life to believe that being selfish is probably the worst thing you could be.  Sure, 4-year-old me could call my sister a “dickhead” but crying over my own self-pity was absolutely unacceptable. Who cares if I didn’t make the basketball team — I was being SELFISH. The pinball in my head starts rolling before it starts darting around my brain.  I go back and forth in my mind of what I’m doing and if it results in selfishness.  I’m frantic because, well, I have to find a way to prove I am NOT being selfish.

Until it hits me.  It’s true.  I am being selfish. But you know what? I come to the conclusion that I think that’s OK. In this case, anyway. There is nothing that I’m not busy doing most of the time that doesn’t contribute to making a better life for myself in some way or another.  I go to work to make money, support myself and get myself through school.  I go through school to give myself a shot at a better career.  I work out because I need to give my body a shot at a better life.  I’m not harming anyone, I’m just trying to make myself the best I can be.  How am I supposed to help anyone if I’m not at my best?

When I thought about it some more, I came to this conclusion:  We are in our twenties.  And it’s probably the most “selfish” time in life. Next to when you were a baby and couldn’t eat, shit, or bathe without the assistance of someone, of course.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the first half, maybe three quarters of your 20s are fun, but also pretty shitty.  You’re still figuring out exactly who you are, you’re still trying to settle yourself in your career and try to build yourself up into something somewhat upwardly mobile.   You’re most likely not married yet and you have no idea when you will be.  You’re still trying to figure out what friends to keep around and which not to because some of them cause just as much drama as they did in high school.  Your 20s is your time to figure your stuff out for you.  No one else.  Might as well before you begin taking care of a husband/wife/kids/19 cats/dogs.

Of course this doesn’t mean you’re supposed to neglect everyone in your life who is there for you when you need it. Just like I need work, school, working out, and sleep — I do need my friends.  I would carve out time for her if I knew she really needed it.  She is one of my best friends and I want her to stay that way until we’re out of this ugly stage.

I guess this was a case of two twenty-somethings having a battle of much-needed selfishness?

You tell me.


We both apologized, by the way.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s OK to be Selfish.

  1. Hey B! 🙂 Glad to see you with us again!

    I know what you mean when you say you’ve been conditioned to believe that being selfish is the worst thing you can be. It took me a long time to believe that there are times in our lives where it’s not just healthy, but a good thing for us to focus on ourselves. I also think that the word “selfish” gets thrown around casually when it comes to people.

    The only person you can usually count on to be there 100% of the time is yourself. So if you’re not on the right track to being the best self you want to be, then who’s going to put you there? There isn’t enough time in the day or time in the world to do everything we want to. We can’t be there for everyone who we love all of the time. Does that make us inhuman? No. It makes us fallible on occasion, but we aren’t robots. We have our own needs and wants and if we can’t learn to take care of ourselves, we don’t have it in ourselves to take care of the other people in our lives.

    In closing…if you’re good friends, then you’ll weather this. It’s just a passing storm. Sounds to me like she needs to hit a good sandbag for an hour! Lotta love to you and your friend! You’ll make it through! Cheers!

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