Thursday, September 6, 2012

On Doing What I Want

Some people have no problem saying "no." Or saying "yes." They do what they want.

Some people can't say "no." Or they say what they think others want them to say, and then back out at the last minute because they're overcommitted. I've fallen into this category before.

Some people weigh every decision they have to make with the utmost care, afraid to make a choice that will offend or anger someone, but very aware of their true feelings on the matter, which (often) may directly oppose the assumed expectations of the other(s). I fall into this category every day of my life. Welcome to my head; it's a scary place to be.

It's no secret that I'm a people pleaser. Always have been, always will be. I'm also a perfectionist. In kindergarten I still remember an incorrectly circled picture on a worksheet—the only answer I got wrong all year. Yes, I'm aware that I have "issues."

And I'm controlling, but this is something I'm working on. (I believe people can change, and I've seen some measurable progress in myself in this area.) My favorite person to control is me. I'm fantastic at controlling what I eat and drink, how much I exercise, and how meticulously clean I keep my house. The problem is, it takes a lot of mental and physical energy and time to be controlling. So when people pose requests that don't fit within my well-planned weekly routine or perfectly crafted daily schedule, an internal dialogue ensues in which I must decide between saying "yes" to my own carefully calculated desires, comforts, and needs or saying "yes" to the other person whom I so desperately want to please. (Again, welcome to my head.)

(I realize that if I have children, I will receive a crash course on letting go of personal control. Hopefully I will not project said control onto my kids. But let's be honest, they'll probably be in therapy for years.)

Usually I maintain a decent balance of doing what other people ask/expect of me, and doing what I want. Sometimes I ignore what I want in place of pleasing others. Rarely do I say "no" to someone in lieu of making myself happy...until recently.

Lately, I've felt like doing whatever the hell I want. And I'm not caring what others think—as much. It's a weird feeling, I must admit. A new phenomenon. And I think I'm gonna roll with it for now...

No, I don't want to go to the movies with you, even though that would make you happy. Instead, I want to sit on my couch with a glass of wine and read my Marian Keyes novel. No, I don't want to run that race for the third year in a row. I don't care that we'll wear glow-in-the-dark tutus and do post-run tequila shots, or that it will be "such a blast!" No, I can't travel out of town that weekend. It just won't work for me, my impending freelance project deadline, or my wallet.

Maybe I'm merely feeling a bit antisocial these days, and this mood shall pass. Maybe I'm making wise choices and protecting my time, my finances, and my "margins." Maybe these are all just lame cop-outs, and I really need to get out of my comfort zone, stop being self-indulgent, and start saying "yes." But for now, I really don't care. I'm gonna do what I want and will try not to make excuses.

1 comment:

Victoria Mason said...

AMEN! And I believe it is not the last two things you mention but learning to say no more.