You first.

All my teen and adult life, if there was one description that people who wanted me to open my eyes to the “real me” gave me it was that I was selfish. I was perenially guilty of putting me first. Post break ups, post fights, the other person involved would say that I didn’t think of how they would feel when I took the decision. Many years of reflection later, I concede that to some measure this has been true. I have usually, been truest, only to myself. If I felt my heart wasn’t staying in something consistently or I wasn’t feeling something with the depth of which I felt it needed to be felt, be it a project with a friend, or a relationship with a significant other, or a subject I had chosen, I did end up walking out. My excuse was always the same. How can I make anything work when I am not in it, when I am not happy? Perhaps it wasn’t the fairest decision t make since it almost always did involve other peoples feelings, but I remained staunchly insistent that if I am not giving it my all, then its not worth it to either person- in moments of drama I might have even believed that I was being almost fair to be so brutally honest about it. Trust me, I have received flak enough for a lifetime  for it- (no major scars though thankfully).

Very recently, someone from my past, one who I value a lot despite all the emotional trauma we dragged each other through, told me, he thought I had the most integrity for someone of our ages back then. I was floored. Seriously? I asked. I thought you absolutely hated my guts. “Well yes I did,”  he replied grinning, “but now that I have grown up, I can see that what you did what right. You cannot do things for others when you aren’t in it yourself. I actually IS very unfair to them. And your stance was right. You should always watch out for yourself before anyone else.”

Said in the cold daylight of msn, these words, even though meant as some kind of affirmation and acknoledgement of yester errors on his part, sounded so calculated, mean- even cruel in their assessment of me. They made me sound like the kind of person who only thought of her own feelings and not that of the situation as it stood, the people and feelings involved. I sat there for a moment, wondering how to reply. Have I changed? Would I do things differently now? If something, or someone, didn’t receive the full force of its deserved spirit, passion, attention and involement from me, would I still stick around just because it would be the right thing to do for commitments sake? And I realized that I wouldn’t. My commitment remains most of all, to myself to be true and honest in what I do with whom I do it- and yes that somwhat conscience-heavy path is definitely paved with a lot more judgement from others, and emotional pulls and pushes and analysis of details, but it is definitely the path I am most me on. Take it or leave it, I guess.


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5 thoughts on “You first.”

  1. having never fallen victim to your ‘selfish’ side, i’ve always envied your focus in difficult situations.
    wether its been me or kAy, or kookie, and something hasn’t been doe right, you’ve always had the “take no shit, walk out” approach.
    so while it may seem selfish to other people, i think its not just about you. you expect others to be the same. to look out for themselves first. to not compromise themselves over others feelings while your own are in torment.
    (i know this is different for loved ones and family, but i’m talking about life in general…the whole, what will people say bit)
    and that is what i envy about you. the ability to not let yourself get compromised.
    don’t feel guilty for something others wish they could do.
    i don’t know if i made a point… sometimes i go off on a tangent. lol.

  2. dekho jammie even in paying a compliment this gender has to exhibit their ‘recessive gene’…sour grapes sweetheart as they never have the guts to do the right thing. And I would rather you stand by ‘Me First’ or ‘Sab Se Peheley Pakistan’ (if you are a Musharrafite) than succomb to the ‘disease to please’.

  3. i agree on the oart where if you cant give your 100% then its not worth it.. the other person shouldnt suffer because of this. but some ppl just DON’T get it. i swear being brutally honest is so much better than making excuses and lying just to please the other person, that cycle will never end.

    i think that..esp aaj kal ke zamaaney mein.. the ‘take it or leave it’ approach is the right choice.. if you want to stay happy in the long run! as long as you are mentally/emotionally content with your decision and have no regrets abt it.. then fair enough.
    being selfish can vary from person to person.. like i know few ppl who are so ruthlessly selfish, even in their personal life and decisions, they go upon it in such a business like manner. that’s like on a totally different level.
    but moderately ‘Me First’, i think is ok.. why not? becasue you know know one else is going to look out for you, so u have to take it upon yourself to do the right thing.. and in the process some here and there might get hurt. but they should be happy abt it, beacuse this way any kind of further damage is being prevented.
    do i make sense?

  4. I think it is remarkable how sometimes people can remain honest to themselves. If you’ve done that – or even if you think you’ve done that – you’ve got a big milestone covered and you shouldn’t rethink it a lot. You should be proud of yeself. 🙂

    Inherently I think most people survive like that. We learn to put ourselves first, man is basically, innately self-oriented. Freud said that, Albert Ellis said that and modern day psychology abets to it as well. The self-preservation is always on top of any hierarchy. Whether it is social existence or personal choice.

    And if you’re accepting the truth in it – all the better.

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