I Am Selfish

Sometimes when I find myself debating about what to do instead of just acting on impulse, I find it strangely calming to say: “I am selfish” before making the decision. I’m not saying that this is the best way to deal with life, but it’s a way I deal with life pretty regularly. If I don’t put my own interests head and shoulders above the interests of others when making decisions, I find that life is too stressful because there are too many variables to consider.

Does this make me a self-centered, immature, and unreasonable? Maybe. There are certainly more than a few people who I’ve crossed paths with who would agree with that, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I figure it is what it is, and acting any other way would be fake and dishonorable.

The older I get, I’m being drawn towards the idea that people are what they are in this world. Above all else, we want what we want, and there’s very little any of us can do to alter those desires. Those desires inspire us build the personas and lifestyles that drive us all.

So maybe fat people just want to eat cheeseburgers. Maybe hipsters just want to prove they’re right and everyone else is wrong. Maybe Will just wants Asians. Maybe drug addicts just want more and more drugs…

It seems to me that so much of the “Quarter Life Crisis” is based on the idea that someone who is in their 20s might not know what they want because they haven’t experienced it yet. Like there’s some grand desire out there that they will want once they experience it for the first time.

So traveling the world, trying new lifestyles, etc., etc., is all about finding these new desires. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is an immense value to doing all of these quarter life crisis activities. But it seems to me that the point of them is to clarify an inner desire, not to uncover desires that were previously unknown.

Dammit, you know what this sounds like? This sounds like the stuff people with no real problems think about. My mind is being taken over by the ideas I always looked down on, I guess that’s what growing up is all about.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “I Am Selfish

  1. face it hero, you’re a hipster. Meet me at the cafe so we can discuss some new indie bands and bash the real world. I’ll be the one with the 5 o’clock shadow dressed like a 14 year old skater kid.

  2. I am highly impulsive, which has certainly lead to a few disasters, but in general, I think I have much more fun that most people.

    I think part of growing up is realizing you cannot make everyone happy; someone will always be pissed off. Live your life as you see fit and in a way you can live with. Only assholes intentionally hurt people, but if people get hurt in your wake, most of the time it is their own issues. As long as you can sleep at night…

  3. Frankie

    This is realistic. Fair enough.

  4. As for these people that don’t agree with you being selfish…were your decisions made to get back at them for being selfish? I think some were.

  5. Kasey

    The only justification I can find to excuse my agreeable selfishness is when women purr after sex.

  6. Jack, I’ll be in my faded Guess Vintage looking aloof and confused.

    Ava, let’s just leave it at that.

    Kasey, that is a poetic truth. +1 CP.

  7. rob

    “The older I get, I’m being drawn towards the idea that people are what they are in this world.”

    amen. when people try to drastically change who they are or act completely out of character it is always amusing and/or painful to watch.

  8. Hope

    I don’t believe that people can’t change. I didn’t want to exercise at all until last year, and now I’m walking 2 miles a day weekdays, lifting weights at least 3x a week and running on a treadmill at least 1x a week.

    But it’s pointless to change other people. I can only change myself , and maybe in the process influence other people as they see how much better the change has made me.

    Being selfish is not just about self-indulgence and setting zero boundaries, because that path is ultimately destructive. I think if you are “selfish” then you will also seek self-improvement, self-restraint, and self-understanding. Willpower and wisdom, shit that most young people don’t use, have or value anymore.

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