I’m not sure that “selfish” is a word that most people, friends and enemies alike, would use to describe me. I definitely don’t think of myself in those terms. My love language is gift-giving so I think that most people might even view me as generous. But — there’s always a but — I am a single woman in my thirties which means that I have become particularly set in my ways. Let me see if I can explain.
I spend most of my waking hours at work, entrenched in the ongoing civil war, fighting a battle on three fronts, staying three steps ahead of the enemy at all times — you know, normal work stuff. The remaining hours of my day are spent in service to myself. I am either working out at the gym, lying in my bed thinking about working out, salsa dancing, writing, Facebooking, working on PureLove, reading a crappy Regency romance novel, reading an excellent Regency romance novel, or lying on my bed (or in my claw-footed bathtub) and thinking (this probably occupies most of my time). 100% of my non-work time is filled with stuff-Jada-likes. I don’t think I’ve done anything that I didn’t feel like doing since 2009 when a particularly drama-filled trip to Cinque Terra made me realize that I cannot travel with everyone and that doing stuff that I didn’t want to do was for insecure girls in their twenties (and the birds).
Likewise, I don’t think that anyone would describe me as an introvert either, but I live a very solitary life. Perhaps, introspective is a better word. I am very much a social butterfly and often go out salsa dancing, but I spend an equal amount of time lying on my queen-size bed figuring stuff out. So how is all of this introspection and soul-searching a bad thing? That question should be asked of my best friend, BM, who just moved here. She and I go way back. In fact, her lovely baby girl is my god-daughter which makes my friend, my baby mama (hence the BM). The problem (which isn’t an actual problem) is that she moved in with me and well, I’m not handling it very well.
Suddenly, there is another person to consider. Another person with thoughts and ideas, and things that she wants to do that directly conflict with stuff-Jada-likes. Cue drama: Jada doesn’t watch t.v; BM likes the background noise. Jada wants to drive into work moodily silent, listening to the radio; BM wants to talk and pray out loud and stuff. Jada wants to go salsa dancing till 1 am on Thursday nights but doesn’t want to invite BM because then Jada might have to cut her salsa dancing short and come home early, or God forbid, keep her friend company when she’d much rather dance. And we can’t have that! My time, and my space, and my life is in an upheaval. Yikes! What selfish alien has invaded my thoughts and taken over my life?
Truth be told I am somewhat surprised by my own reaction. I don’t, in general, consider myself selfish, though I do realize that I am very stuck in my ways about some things. I just didn’t think that I was that bad. But spending years in service to your self can have detrimental side-effects. And I, Single Girl Extraordinaire, have been my own idol for far too long.
It’s tempting to blame the situation: you know, I’m not use to living with someone, I just need my own space etc. And while that may be true to some extent (BM and I have both grown up and are at different places in our lives), there are other forces at play here. Truthfully, I am not used to living in a community environment because I don’t have to. And I am not used to someone holding me accountable for my poor attitude or moodiness. Not that BM is in any way tying me to a chair and forcing me to look at myself, but that’s what relationships, by their very nature, do. Being in a relationship, whether romantic or friend-inclined, is like having a permanent mirror in front of your face, reflecting your internal issues in a way that all the wrinkly, bathtub ruminating can never do.
I am so used to doing only what I want to do, anytime I want to do it, that just the thought of considering someone else in my calculations makes me uncomfortable and angry and brings out all kind of spoiled, slightly obnoxious behavior that I didn’t even know I possessed! My other recent introspective ideas (which are an inevitable Single Girl Post) have revolved around the thought that children seem rather complicated and would most likely ruin my perfectly coiffed and crafted life and are, perhaps, unnecessary. I had the startling realization on Sunday, that I am in no way ready for a relationship let alone a marriage at this point . And while that might seem over-the-top, I think it’s an accurate assessment with where I am. I think the question then is: How does one go about un-idolizing herself?
I think that ultimately the answer lies in spending more time in community with others, more time listening to others, and more time serving others. I don’t know that I have all the answers regarding how to fix this problem, but stay tuned — I’m sure we’ll be discussing it further.