Everything I’m not made me everything I am. I am a representation of every obstacle I’ve had to overcome and every decision I had to make. My history is not a predictor of my future, but a soft reminder to remain humble. Some things in life are easier said than done. When you’re on top of the world and you become confident and proud of your success, people tell you to tone it down. When you’re feeling down and out, and you have been having trouble believing in yourself; they tell you to be more confident. So, tell me, which one am I supposed to be? It seems like I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. As I sit back and reflect on the last twenty-five years of my life, I know I have done some good things and I have done some bad things. I’ve made countless decisions that I felt regret for, and I’ve done my best to charge them to the game. Casting judgment on others is something I’ve realized is counterproductive and detrimental to my own wellbeing. This is especially true because I have my own dirty laundry and I am by no means an angel. In my reflection, I found one thing in common throughout my life. Out of all the acts that I have committed, one stands out more than the others. I’m guilty of valuing people’s happiness as more important than my own.
Everyone can relate to this at some level. Think about that boyfriend or girlfriend you had that you were willing to do whatever to make them happy. Consider the major you selected in college to make your parents happy, or maybe it was the favor you did for a friend to make them pleased with you. However, you want to look at it, we have all been there. I think back on all the times I’ve felt overwhelmed or anxious and I see that my well being was never my top priority. Please don’t get what I am saying confused. My goal isn’t to get you to neglect other people’s feelings or be an asshole at the expense of someone else. I just want you to realize you must value your happiness above anyone else’s. The fulfillment and joy we get in life should be displayed from our own choice to put ourselves first more often. Some people are natural givers and it makes putting themselves first difficult. If it is difficult to put your happiness first, how much more difficult will it be to look back on life realizing you never made your happiness a priority? You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.
The day I realized I had to make sure my cup was full in order to pour into other’s is the day things started to change. My mood improved and I felt more secure in who I am. Don’t short change yourself and don’t allow others to dictate your joy or peace. Protect your energy at all costs. Putting your happiness first does not mean you are a selfish individual. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself before others if your intentions are pure. We are all faced with choices daily; we always can choose to save ourselves or someone else. I choose me. This choice is not because I’m full of myself or egotistical. It’s because if I choose my happiness first, I can be the best version of myself, and in the result, I can give my best to everyone else.