Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Who's life is it anyway?

A thought struck me last night as I was on the way home from a night out with a close friend. It’s been with me since, and try as I might, I can’t shake it.

I’ve become increasingly aware that I live my life for the other people that are in it. I’m almost certain I’m not the only person to do this, but since I don’t want to presume, or generalise, I’m thinking about it in the first person, specifically.

Anything I do, or try, or think about, I apply to others. I want to do a dressmaking course, and while yes, partly, I want to do it so I can make lovely, pretty things for myself, the motivation behind it is making things for other people, so they can say ‘oh yeah, so and so made this, isn’t it great?’ and also just so I can say that I’ve done it, and wait for other’s reactions. This isn’t the only example of specific things, but I don’t have the inclination to list them all. It’s not narcicism on my part either, I think it’s a constant search for validation.

But it’s not just specific times in my life that I’ve found myself doing this. It’s how I live in general. I’m the type of person who likes, almost needs, to have someone else to revolve around, and to base my life around. It’s entirely unhealthy, unfair to myself, and unfair to whoever I find to act this way with. Because, unfortunately, life is unpredictable, and we can never know what’s around the next corner. So in the blink of an eye, the person or people you choose to revolve around are gone, and then where are you?

The frustrating part to this is, now that I’ve fully realised that this is how I am, what do I do to change it? How do you change a fundamental part of yourself? I’ve heard everything that can be said about it, I’ve said them all myself, and it makes for a great little speech, but how do you make yourself believe what you’re saying?

I’ve said it to people who’ve expressed the same kind of problem to me. I was very certain that the only way to live is to live for yourself, because surely if you can’t be happy by yourself, and with yourself, then you can’t fully be happy with anyone else because you’re depending on them to be your happiness, which is a terrible way to be because if and when that person leaves, as they are likely to do, then you’re back to the beginning and unhappy by, and with yourself again.
I know what I need to do is start doing things for myself, seeing the benefit things might have for ME and me only, and not for others. Not selfishly, if things I do benefit others in some roundabout way , then even better, but it shouldn’t be my only motivation.

But again, I have to ask. How do you do that?

How do I figure out how to live for myself?

Because, really, what’s the point otherwise