We are born into a life filled with obstacles, responsibilities, and chemical imbalances that are not of our own making. It’s as if a pre-determined decathlon awaited us before we could even exhale our first breath. And depending on the family you are born into; each obstacle could be met with stoic determinism or tragic wails of despair.
My family tended to veer into the dramatic, which in turn made me stoic. I never felt the weight of the challenges before me because I was too busy keeping my head down and looking for solutions. And somewhere along the way, I realized my constant problem solving only enabled the ‘crazy-makers.’ Now the crazy-makers don’t realize they’re making the people around them crazy. They only need what they need: endless attention, money, time, and coddling. Somewhere along the way I also noticed the crazy-makers antics would spike up right before a vacation, a job interview, or any important event. And I would get sucked into their priorities and neglect my own because I felt guilty. Yes, I felt guilty that my life wasn’t as hard as theirs, guilty that I could be happy, and they never were.
But something happened this past week. The veil of guilt dropped away and I could see the crazy-maker for who they actually were. A selfish, calculating individual who used my guilt as a hook to cater to their whims and bad habits. Someone who never fed their own soul and constantly wanted to eat off my plate. And it shook me to my very core. It made me question who I was. Was I someone who sought out to be helpful, resourceful, and nice (no matter the cost!) – because I was this person? Or is everything I am a reaction to who they were? I honestly don’t know.
I do know that I will never feel guilty for being happy. I do know that I will never apologize for even the smallest success I’ve achieved. And I will never again be sucked into a vortex of people’s self-imposed tragedies.
I have goals, dreams, and ambitions larger than I can fully explain. This means my time is valuable, my empathy is valuable, my feelings are valuable. And if you cannot value that, then I cannot value you.