For as long as I can remember, I have been like a moth to the flame whenever it came to other peoples’ problems.
I always wanted to help.
Solve their issue, provide advice, give them love in all of the places they needed it.
I once got an award in grade school because my friend fell down and chose to sit and cry about it, rather than get up and deal, so I got up from my desk and helped her to the nurses’ office. She just bumped her knee. My interference was not necessary. But I liked being a helper, and frankly I was seven, so I liked the acknowledgment that I did something that fell under the category of “Good Citizenship.”
There comes many a time when you need to help the little guy that fell down and can’t get up. But something I am realizing lately, is that sometimes the little guy on the ground is just a douche bag that can’t deal with his own shit. And by going over and helping that douche bag up off the floor, I become an even bigger douche bag, because now I’m an enabler.
What a conundrum.
For many years of my life my definition of loving a person has been all sorts of unsuccessful. I constantly made excuses for other peoples’ terrible life choices. I have listened to their sob stories, always chose to be empathetic, rarely stood up for myself, and thus never really formed an opinion other than to “be kind.” I became an introvert because my relationships with people were so exhausting. I would rather work, write, run, and tell jokes from the safe distance of a stage, rather than engage in relationships. They were too much work. And frankly, for a long time, I had a very difficult time just enjoying drama-free relationships because I felt guilty that I wasn’t off picking up the pieces of someone else’s broken personality. That is all kinds of crappy, isn’t it?
What kind of life is that?
I’m starting to mourn my lost youth… I could have been embarking on all sorts of projects, dreams, hobbies, and career paths, but instead, I spent most of my time worrying.
Worrying that I wasn’t enough for the people in my life.
BUT I WOULD NEVER WORRY ABOUT ME.
I thought I was giving myself enough just by choosing to be a performing arts major. I scratched the surfaces of my talents and abilities, and I felt GUILTY ABOUT IT. I felt that going after my own desires meant that I was an awful, selfish person. Projects and dreams take up time. They put relationships on the back burner, and when all of your relationships are primarily dependent individuals, you end up stunted.
I’ve decided it’s time. It’s time to set some boundaries. It’s time to stand up for that girl that never got to speak up. It’s time to stop enabling the douche bags.
I don’t like to admit that some people really are just crappy, or in a time in their lives in which they are choosing to be crappy people. But you know what?
I AM ALLOWED TO CHOOSE TO SAY NO TO THESE CRAPPY RELATIONSHIPS.
I don’t need their validation.
I don’t require another person’s neediness of my time and my love in order to feel like a good person.
I’m done saying no to myself.
I’m done saying yes to the douche bags until they choose to stop being douche bags.
And I never knew what that really meant until now, but I’m excited for this newfound concept that I have the power over my own life.
I get to choose what I love, who I love, and how I love.
I get to choose how I want to spend my time.
I get to choose who deserves my love and attention, and who does not.
Holy crap, that is liberating.
Time to disengage.