I often ask myself this question. Is it really OK to be selfish? Without having to guilt trip yourself? I several times answer myself, if you know what you want and you know exactly what you’re aiming for, then it is completely fine to be selfish. When you are doing it for the greater good, what is it to hold back on to? No one in this entire world knows what it is like to be you. Well, except for you. A colleague of mine once told me, only you get to feel the pain and victory, no matter how many times you try to express and explain them to others, they might listen and nod, but nobody understands how you feel but you.
In my case, by experiencing pain, a calling raises itself in the distance. Suddenly, you know what you want and is no longer “picky” nor “choosy”. Suddenly, you’re not mindless of what your heart truly desires. That’s what is so humorous about life, life made you experience the most unbearable type of pain in order for you to know exactly what you want. You just know exactly what you desire and you strive for it.
You must have had those moments when you felt so strong, thinking: whatever needs to happen, it will happen. That sweet feeling of trusting in Allah SWT is priceless, and it always feels like a weight has finally been lifted off your chest. I always tell myself whatever He has plans for me, will be, for He is the best planners. Tawakkal to Allah SWT.
But life in itself is unpredictable. Take for instance a heartbreak. It can categorically teach you that surprises are a part of life. No matter how much you planned for your future life, it will shatter into pieces. One way or another. You received what was unexpected from life. You were sure about your lover and his or her insights, but what happened later was a violent blow on your predictions. A true slap in the face. Or rather, a slap of reality.
Thus, going back to the question, is it really ok to be selfish? Living the life you want often means making some big changes in some part of your life, whether career-wise, relationships, location, and etc. You can never know for sure whether you can actually shift your life in the direction in which you want to go; change is really difficult. Or, if you succeed, whether that change will be what you really want. No one, not your family, your friends, your psychotherapist, or your psychic (if you have any) can foresee what will happen to your life if you change it. There is going to be that fear of the unknown; how will you change psychologically and emotionally, and how will your world around you change?
About a few weeks ago, I made what some people would consider an irrational decision. I made a reckless decision in resigning that soon of time. Perhaps, I was too quick in jumping the gun at sending in the letter but that was because I was just done with the place. Making a change in your career life choices can be a huge risk. A risk that can go both ways. You may believe that it will open up more doors, but in reality, there was never a door, to begin with. Then, you are left with nothing other than a slap of reality – or rather a slab of reality. My much older friends always tell me “your 20s are for your trial and errors – Your prime”, but they forgot to tell me how those trial and errors are going to affect my life and my choices. When you are faced with such predicaments, you are obliged to be selfish for your own benefits. Because at least to me, I’m always putting other people first. I believe in the saying, “you do good, you receive good”. However, when it’s my time to “grow”, somehow I have this lump in my gut that is holding me back, and this lump is called guilt. For some odd reason, I would always feel guilty for growing. For my own benefit. Which I think I deserve not just a slap of reality, but an actual slap.
Hence this month alone, my head has been throbbing non-stop as all I do day and night is think. A lot. And it’s really starting to stress me out. I have now faced with a new predicament; career/life choices. I had no one to turn to as to help me decide which career path I should take. Should I stay or should I go? I’m already indecisive by nature, and when faced with choices I have to admit defeat. Should I be selfish and dart out? Or should I think of the repercussion it’ll cause if I do?
Well, when in doubt, and after asking for advice from different walks of life, I prefer to see things from a different point of view. At the end of the day in my case, it’s about how much you can earn to get by each month. Because no matter how much you love a place, after a while, you will get sick of it. So my motivation now has always been driven by bringing home money for financial stability. That is my drive now; stability. Finance wise, because we are young adults who are trying and learning how to live independently. This is the prime age where we learn to know what we want and what we desire, and who we are supposed to be. And at the end of the day, yes we can and are allowed to be selfish because we need to grow to benefit ourselves. Sometimes, we deserve to put ourselves first because who else will do that for us if not ourselves?