“Living for yourself” is a phrase that frightens many people. The risks of this type of life are well known: vice, depravity and loss of identity. In other words, wasting your life … Yet one day, I realized that my life was no longer mine. It contained far too many “I must” and very few “I want”. My responsibilities crushed my dreams and I consoled myself by seeking excuses and justifications.
It was then that I decided to shout: “Enough!” . I’ve had enough of setting aside my soul and my life for a radioactive waste bin. I had had enough of shyly explaining how I dared to put my interests before those of others. It was time to live for myself. Choose happiness, not self-hypnosis. Live for love, not for obligation.
And so began a year of my life, ungrateful, asocial, based on pure and hard selfishness. “Pure” or rather “thoughtful”, a little nuance that allows me to escape the image of a rebel or a troublemaker. Indeed, most people think that life boils down to suffering first, and then, why not, to live for yourself with the “leftovers”. They see no problem there.
But I started to live at the triple gallows.
One against all
At first, I was a little scared. I was missing ideological arguments. I was basing everything on a vague but powerful determination that I was doing things the right way. I felt like I was starting a trip around the world on a simple inflatable banana. I didn’t know if I could fight a whole bunch of “homework” or distant hopes and projects. I didn’t want to turn into an outsider and be put in the “selfish” box. However, I felt that this was the only way to freedom.
For the others, my plan was unimaginably insolent. Because I was leaving the rules of the game which prohibited the defense of a life of one’s own. I stopped apologizing for my desires and plans, justifying myself, feeling guilty for being happy, quiet and being the mistress of my time.
No to complaints
The first thing I did was turn off the tap that filled my life with complaints, heavy monologues, moans and hate speech. I cherish my parents, I adore my friends, I value my co-workers and I respect my senior neighbors. But that does not mean that their endless confessions based on “what a horrible life”, “they are all fools and it is only me who realizes it”, “you imagine that this moron has dared to call me back, “must be part of my life.
I removed the sign “Complaints Office, available 24 hours a day”. And this gesture appeared as an act of social disobedience. “How? You don’t want to hear the details of your neighbors’ lives? Their illnesses, their depression, or their plans to take over the world? You don’t want to listen to your best friend’s broken record about her heartaches (for the umpteenth time)? Wicked witch! We should burn you alive! “
Gradually, but with great determination, I began to cut the complaints short with these simple words: “I think this subject is not pleasant for you or for me. Why don’t you tell me instead. .? “. I felt my heart stop beating for fear of being judged. I thought I would receive criticisms and insults. In fact, I was surprised to realize that my ability to listen to good things allowed me to talk about them in turn. Little by little, the habit of complaining disappeared. Indeed, by refusing to listen to depressing stories, I did not want to tell them either.
Yes, I am telling you that “no”
Then came the hard part. Start using the weird and outrageous “No”.
Usually I said yes to everything. My shyness, reinforced by the fear of offending, controlled me completely. I felt bad for destroying the image I had forged in the eyes of others. But, when for the first time a serious “no” came out of my mouth, I couldn’t stop. My loved ones were as surprised as if I had swallowed an elephant whole in front of their eyes.
I always dreamed of a thousand and one things but I always ended up doing what others expected of me. I replaced my work colleagues, I went back and forth to help out, I babysat my friends ‘children who were going to party, I watered the neighbors’ plants, I walked their dogs. The devoted child can easily turn into a professional slave. But I said “no” to this great career.
Over time, I learned to separate the straw and the hay: sincere requests and simple pest manipulation. A well-felt and aptly used “no” turned into my best weapon so that I wouldn’t be stepped on and forgotten.
We are all free!
The statement “no one owes anyone anything” is very nice, but unlikely in real life. Dismissing the role of the Eternal Royalty has not been as difficult as stopping demanding and violating the right to respect everyone’s will. Whenever I realized that I tended to dominate someone’s life, I would stop right there.
My relationships also remained full of debt. They gradually disappeared under reproaches such as “I give you everything, but you give me nothing”. Expectations and demands can kill both love and friendship.I solved this problem like I solve math problems. I have accepted the conditions as non-negotiable and sufficient. I stopped asking for small rewards to fill my ego, and I stopped getting angry when my partner wasn’t performing exactly the script I had written. One fine day the peacekeeper arrived on the battlefield of our raging egos. We talked all night, drank three liters of coffee, and chatted with all the sincerity. We then found an agreement: to have the right to be who we are. This is how we escaped from the scenario of the eternal drama on the road to freedom.
From now on, when I feel upset or offended because someone has not paid me the attention I expected, or has not met my expectations, I repeat like a robot: “We are all free. . “
Links, not chains
The desire to be accepted and the fear of being rejected are two very deceptive things. Throughout my life, I surrounded myself with friends and acquaintances as a protection against the cold of society. And very quickly, I felt that I couldn’t breathe anymore. They were suffocating me, they wouldn’t let me move. And I didn’t know how to part with them because they were all very nice and adorable. But a thoughtful egotist does not hide in the skirts of an endless number of false friends. When someone asks me “How many friends do you have on Facebook?”, Without any shame I answer: “Two.”
Be your best friend. Become an interesting, inspiring and helpful person. Because in truth, we are all alone. But it’s even worse if you don’t even belong to yourself.
To tell the truth, by starting my “egocentric” year I was prepared to be alone in both real and virtual life. The sighs of contempt that breathed in my passage: “selfish!” meant that people didn’t understand me. I was moving further and further away from them, and my new life became much more deserted and spacious. However, nature does not like emptiness. Very quickly, it filled with subjects and people with whom I began to share with great pleasure my new essence, which I had so much difficulty in claiming.
All the time I no longer spend in unnecessary obligations and parasitic relationships, I offer it to people who really need it. It is in no way a charity. It is also selfishness. Because I do it first for myself and for my soul . I suspect that a thoughtful egotist eventually becomes an enlightened humanist. I am only at the beginning of the mutation, but I have already lost my first layer.