Unselfish Selfishness

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Huh? What does that mean? Well, I don’t know exactly, but I am going to try to give it a shot.

Recently I quit my job. My last day is March 30th, and instead of feeling scared or unsure, I feel…happy. This is a word I haven’t truly felt consistently for quite some time now, but why? What has my happiness been based upon?

It all hit me one day when I realized that I hadn’t been doing any of the selfish things
that make me happy. Like buying a stack of fashion magazines and looking through them all page by page, and then ripping out the pages that inspire me.

Or spending an entire Sunday watching Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility (the Masterpiece version) from start to finish.

Or deciding on a whim to see a movie or visit the Met museum, Strand Bookstore, or Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

I also stopped writing ideas, plays, and poems in my notebook, which is something I had been doing for years.

My creative self has been disappearing, and even though I know there is no one or nothing to blame but myself, I have realized that I need to be a little bit selfish again. I need to think of me.

So where does the unselfish part come in? Well, that would be the 11 month old who is sleeping beside me. Of course life is all about my son, and that will never change, but…if I want him to be happy then shouldn’t I do all I can to be happy as well? Everything I do, and feel, and express has a direct impact on his growth as a person, so if I am unhappy and not thinking of my own happiness then how am I affecting his?

That is how all of this began. I want to surround myself with light, joy, and creativity, so I can share it all with my son. If I don’t do this then he will only see one part of his mother. I want to be a better mother than that.

Selfishly, I also want to be happy.

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