Tag Archives: Thoughts on life

To be or not to be selfish

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There’s a thought that’s been brewing in my mind for the last few weeks as I gear up for what may be my busiest year yet: Life is a constant push-pull between being selfish and meaningful personal relationships.

When I say selfish I don’t think of a negative connotation because we all need to be somewhat selfish in life, no? To attain the things we want, for ourselves and those who we want to share our lives with, we have to prioritize the things that lend to those end goals. Possessing an “overachiever-first” mentality, I do not think it’s a crime to set personal goals in life and be uncompromising. Often we compromise on the things we know we need and regret settling down the road. Being selfish to me means deciding on what we want –  not what your parents, friends,  boyfriend, boss or anyone else wants – and propelling ourselves forward to attain that which we have decided upon.

But at the other end of the rope, we all seek fulfillment. Meaningful relationships, the feeling that what we’re doing in life makes a difference, or at the very least makes us happy to go to work each day. And of course love. Sometimes the goals we set for ourselves can lend perfectly to this kind of fulfillment but, conversely, often putting yourself or your career first can get in the way of meaningful connections. Being too single minded in what we want can cause us to rush passed life without stopping to smell the roses and share the experience with others along the way.

It’s a conundrum that I often think about. And frankly it’s not easy to ameliorate the constant push-pull.

It’s clear that I skew in the direction of camp selfish but I see it like this: If I’m not happy with myself, my accomplishments, and where I want to be in my career, I will not be happy in my personal life. I often feel as though it is emphasized that we all need fulfillment from others. However you’re a dreamer if you think attaining the things we want out of life should take a back seat on the priority list.  For me, the ideology that a significant other makes you better, or a person who needs a relationship to be happy, is innately flawed and destined for a personal crisis down the road. Taking a step back, mulling over yourself and deciding what it is that makes you happy has to be an equal priority with sharing your life with others.

The perfect balance between selfishness and meaningful relationship most likely doesn’t exist.  But for me the dilemma reminds me that no matter how caught up you get pursuing one end of the spectrum, it’s good to pause and assess your progress on the other end. Maybe I think about it all too clinically, but in the rat race that is life, understanding the tradeoffs of push-pulls is the first step to balancing it all successfully.

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Life Happens, Learn from Everything

Life Happens, Everything's a Lesson

As new responsibilities aim to run me into the ground at work, Sunday night musings fill my mind as I sit on the terrace and watch another beautiful UWS sunset.

Nance and I were talking earlier this week, after I had to work late almost every night. One of her mantras is that everything in life happens for a reason. However I think my mantra is, life happens and everything is a lesson to learn from.

Thinking it over, we are dealt the cards and it is up to us how we play those cards. Whether for job, men, friends, misfortune – every experience can accompany a lesson that adds to the nuances that color a life.

For instance, I know that my current job is not what I want to devote my life to, but working so much solidifies that you really need to pursue what you love. Obviously this is not new information, but as I decide the next steps for my career, following a route to satisfy my parents’ vision of my future career is out of the question. It’s slightly scary to think that I’m at the point in my life where work is consuming most of my mental energy but I suppose it’s all apart of growing up. I guess the end goal should be working constantly on something you love, so that in the endless repetition of NYC working life, you can go to bed both exhausted AND fulfilled.

For everything else it’s the same. Silly boys who made you cry taught you lessons that shape your future. Even if you lost time with bitches who never were worth a minute, take a moment and it’s not hard to find how certain outlooks are changed for the better in retrospect. It’s not as much about things happening for a reason, as it is being rational and moving on from the past with you head held high.

It’s interesting. As I no longer have any time to write blog posts or text friends endlessly at work, I actually find myself being more introspective in my free time. Working so much is giving me perspective on what I want next; perfect for a year I’ve tried to make about attaining clarity.

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