I have been raised to think of others. How can I help those around me? What can I do to show I am there for others? Especially when you are raised as a christian, you are molded into some cookie cutter help-others-personality type. But what if I said you didn’t have to ignore yourself in the process?
Let’s go back a few years. Or four or five… moving on! My first year in college was a crazy one. I was in a city I had never lived in before, living with two other girls I never met before, my new boyfriend had just gone to military training, and I was broke with no car. So doing what every college student does, I got a job. Fast food, right by the college, easily biked to. If you are anything like me, you work hard at everything you do, even fast food. So what happens? They schedule you more hours. then they ask you to come in on days off, or work later. Wanting to be a good little employee and show you can handle it you say yes. Of course. Anything to help others… Right?
But what happens to you? Besides your clothes getting ruined and smelling like grease for the rest of your days. You loose sleep. Your first year in college turns from pulling all-nighters to study to pulling all nighter shifts at work. Grades start slipping, sleep becomes a word you think is a myth and your health is thrown out the door. All to later find out they are hiring people to work shorter shits, higher pay, and half your ability while you pick up the slack.
NO! It is ok to put yourself first. Especially when you are in college. I gave everything I had to that dumb part time-turn full time- job! I missed my first college Halloween party. I had to work on days when my roommates went downtown. I ended up needed to work more to pay to work because of my uniform requirements, or missed opportunities, or the apartment I had to get for the summer. Trust me, I know this sounds petty. Childish almost. There are so many people that have it worse than missing a couple parties in college. I get it! And I respect that. But when I get up with my old roommates and swap stories I only remember that job. What I missed. They have amazing memories and stories and life long friendships that I completely missed out on because I was trying to please someone else. I wasn’t thinking of myself.
Look. When you are young, yes I know I’m still young but still, it is so easy to think you have so much to prove and you should always always say yes when you can and show that you are a hard worker. But there is a difference between being a hard worker and being a push over. Do NOT let people take advantage of you and take you for granite. They know you won’t stay there forever. So don’t let them treat you poorly for the time you are there. You are worth so much more than some part time job that takes over your life.
It’s not just jobs though. Let’s be real. This goes along with friends and family also. I wouldn’t change anything. Let me go ahead and say that. If I hadn’t done what I’ve done, I wouldn’t be who I am now and I like that person. HOWEVER! After graduating from college, I could have staying there. Found my own path, create a life over there. But I thought that I should be thinking of my relationship. We had already spent four years apart. Maybe I should move home, wait for him to ask me to move in. THEN work on finding a job. GUESS WHAT? A year and a half later, I’m single, and stuck in a town I swore I’d never go back to. If I had just been a little selfish and stayed where I was, who knows where I could be in my career right now?
Well I’m being selfish now. And you know how I feel? Great.
I feel pretty dang great right about now. I got a new job in a large city. Might take me a couple months to move over there, but I’ll get there. GREAT chance for travel and growth. I met a guy, lives far away… but we meet up just for fun. No mess. No worrying about what the other is doing. I’m just thinking about what I want. Who I want to spend my free time with. Where I want to work. What I want to do. I’m done thinking of what others expect of me and what I think they expect. I know I’m a hard worker, and I’ll gladly prove it. but I’m done being the brown nosing employee who gets forgotten about or abused. And you wanna know something? My first day at this new job felt amazing. I’m usually shy ad awkward at new properties… But I really held my own this time. I was confident, because I know what I am good at and I know that this was a good move for me.
I cannot wait to see what the rest of this year has planned for me! But I’m done trying to micromanage my own life. I’m young and I’m ready to start thinking of myself.