Everyday life is a whirlwind of tasks. Work, cook, eat, clean, pay the bills, go to appointments, walk the dog, call mom, don’t forget to return that text, buy that gift, research that thing. Sleep. Wake. Repeat. Today, as I was deciding what task to tackle next, something occurred to me: I put every single responsibility and distraction ahead of taking care of myself. Thus crafting a lie that’s holding me back from becoming the best version of myself.
That lie being that everything else is more important than me.
I worry constantly about upsetting or disappointing those around me, yet I have no problem with letting myself down daily. I have goals, dreams and desires that I think about constantly but acting on them seems frivolous. How dare I take time to better myself or chase a dream when the dishes need to be done and taxes need to be paid and e-mails need to be returned? I try to hop on my spin bike a few times a week and feel ridden with guilt that I’m not being productive. I think to myself, if you put half as much actual effort in to pursuing your goals as you do thinking about them, you’d have so much to show for them by now. But instead I lie to myself. I let myself believe that everything else is more important than what I want. And I wait. I wait for some magical morning when I wake up and everything is done and cared for and all there is to do is finally tackle those dreams. No distractions, no responsibilities, no clock to watch. Just me and my dreams, together at last, making magic.
Spoiler alert: That day is never going to come.
Instead, I have to wake up and choose me. I have to start believing that my needs and desires are just as important as everyone else’s. Because they are. It sounds so selfish. In the back of my head, as I type, a little voice is trying to guilt me for my selfishness. But I am so sick and tired of feeling guilty for wanting to be a better me, for wanting to live my life on my terms. My health and happiness is no one else’s responsibility but my own. I want everyone around me to be happy and heard, satisfied and successful but that shouldn’t come at the cost of constantly letting myself down. I may be accustomed to disappointing myself in the short-term, but I’m risking looking back at my life decades down the road and wishing I had done things differently. I’m not okay with that.
I’m ready to start carving time out of my day that is devoted to me and my growth. Not time to waste away in front of the TV or social media, but time to become the me that I so badly want to be. If I don’t start now, I may never start at all.