It seems not so long ago that my life was governed by what I wanted to do. If I don’t want to go to school, I won’t. If I don’t want to go to church, I won’t. If I don’t want to go to work, I won’t. See the pattern? It was all about me. And I was pretty okay with that. The narcissistic part of me still believes that doing things my way is always best. Point is, it is a very selfish way to live. Everything is about me. All of it. Is that really so wrong? Well, yes and no.
We should always do what we can to make ourselves happy. If some poor soul gets hurt in the process…well, at least it wasn’t me. The downsides. People seem to think I was some neanderthalic ass-hole that was born to make the lives of those around me miserable. I can think of worse things to be called. What it really meant was the lack of friends, self-esteem, and a good support system. I didn’t need all that touchy-feely crap in the first place. People would often say “maybe you will change when you’ve grown up”. Checking now….nope, still selfish. (I think I hear a ‘but’ coming…)
But…(see there it is), but at some point, I did change. A change I didn’t even realize had taken place until it was too late. Change knew I was a dick, so it moved slow, chipping away little bits at a time at my rigid exterior to get to the gooey center inside. Probably was super disappointed at the decaying husk that was my soul. For 18 long years now it has worked its way around, stitching up the tears, patching up the holes, and knocking down walls. Finally, change succeeded.
Don’t get excited, I’m still the same ass-hole I’ve always been, just a little less selfish I think. I realized the other day as I was helping prepare my daughter for graduation, and college thereafter, that at some point, I started putting other peoples needs over my own. This realization, this epiphany, was enough that I threw up in my mouth. How could this have happened? Did I really just put off a fishing trip so she could go on her senior trip? Did I seriously give up KFC so she can get housing? Ohhh….the horror! Seriously…it was weird.
But…(there it is again), I decided that trading my own selfish needs, for the needs of someone else, isn’t always a bad thing. Yes, it makes me queasy to think about, but that’s why there are TUMS by the bed. And there is no one in my life that I would like to be less selfish for than my little, “Dad, I’m 18 now,” soon to be high school graduate.
Remember, fear change. It’s of the devil. Tricky, I tell you. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.