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thatgirlallison08 at gmail dot com
I was discussing with a friend yesterday the act of having children. He said it was selfless, I disagreed. It’s an argument that a lot of people use for biologically procreating. Look: I’m not begrudging most of the human world for procreating or having the desire as it’s what we’re biologically programmed to do so there’s nothing wrong with that. I know people with kids and lots of my friends want kids. That’s totally cool! Great even! I’m just saying look at it for what it really is.
Calling it selfish has an immediately negative connotation, right? But why? Selfishness is acting out of self-interest, says my friend, but isn’t 95% of what we do every day out of self-interest? And who are you having a child for if not for your own self (and your partner)? You’re not having a child for your friends, or your boss, or the mailman, or the dude that sits at the end of the bar at your favorite pub every day. You’re doing it for yourself. And presumably so you can raise a child in the way you think is right (more self-interest) and impress your set of beliefs upon him or her (self-interest?).
If a person was really being selfless they would adopt one of the many of thousands (millions?) of children without homes. But most people make the (not bad or wrong but) selfish decision that they want a child from themselves who looks like them because anything but isn’t really their child.
And they call it a selfless decision.
I had two very wise people reinforce to me yesterday that when someone close to you is spiraling (addiction, codependence, etc.) the best thing - the only thing - you can do is let them spiral and hopefully they’ll hit the bottom and start to work things out. If not you go through life feeling like an enabler if you condone their behavior or they’ll be mad at you all the time for “shitting” on their dreams and happiness.
A friend once came to me for help because he thought he was an alcoholic (I 100% agreed). I referred him to another friend who’d been through (and is still going through) the sobering up after bottoming out and after one conversation he thought the whole AA thing was “weird” and asked that I never mention it again. He’s never gotten help and his behavior has only gotten more manic.
If I say anything, I’m being a “debbie downer” but I feel like I’m being super judgmental (in my own head) watching him continue on this path. I don’t like feeling like that and I’m not like that with any of my other friends. So, he’s a good friend, but I’m going to try to detach from him for a bit and let him do his thing. (No, he doesn’t read here. I don’t think he knows this blog exists.)
Has anyone else ever been through this? I know the bottom for someone doesn’t have to necessarily happen soon but I’d be lying if I said I hope it does because I don’t want to not have him as a friend for long.
But then again, this isn’t about me.
When I asked my yoga teacher for advice recently, she said that twenty-eight is the year when you really realize you’re an adult and starting setting boundaries for yourself. You start living up to own expectations. The ones that make you happy. Because if you’re not happy, you can’t make anyone else happy either.
It was so nice to hear that. It was a nice reminder that I’m not living solely to make others happy. As selfish as it may sound, I’m here to make myself happy. Once that’s taken care of I will make those around me happy effortlessly.
To hear that it was okay to not worry myself about keeping others satisfied was a relief. Oh OK, so I’m not a horrible person for not caving to codependency.
I’m a pretty boundary-less (boundless?) person so setting them will be a challenge. But nothing in life that’s worth doing is easy. That’s at least what I hear.
So I wrote this a long time ago, but I think it’s still relevant because even though I’ve been out on three dates with one guy, I’m still cautious and learning that my happiness doesn’t depend on whether or not he (any guy, really) calls.
The number one thing I’ve learned about myself in my four months of not dating? I have a life. I’ve filled the last four months with dinners, friends, drinks, books, movies, LOTS of theatre, and other events. None of which required a having a boyfriend or even just a guy that I was casually dating. My social life hasn’t been lacking at all since not having a guy in my life. I hate to admit it, but when I’m dating someone I don’t make plans until I know what that other person is doing. My social life is scheduled around when I’m seeing the other person. This is not okay.
Life has also lacked the drama that comes about when you’re dating someone (at least when I’M dating someone). I’m not sure if I can date and not be dramatic, but I think I’m getting better at this.
After five months of not dating, I went on a date on Memorial Day weekend. It was really relaxed and a lot of fun. I didn’t over analyze anything and I didn’t even freak out when I wasn’t in constant contact with him the following week. We spoke, briefly, via text. I’m not stressing anything anymore. We went out two other times but I think whatever we had has pretty much fizzled. Onwards!
But that’s not to say that I’m looking for someone else to date. I’m kind of enjoying having fun with my friends right now. I’m not feeling the need to date a bunch of people. The male attention isn’t as validating as it used to be. That is a good thing.
I know, if I’m so happy, why do I feel the need to blog about it. I guess for posterity so if I ever fall back to the dark side, I can remind myself of this time.