Sunday, May 21, 2006

It's me, not you

Several months ago, a friend and I went out for dinner and I was discussing my misgivings about a certain situation. I wanted to do something, but I didn't know *what* to do that wouldn't hurt the other person. More than anything, I wanted to be fair and considerate and kind, and I genuinely felt badly that while I thought this person was very nice, it just wasn't working out, for any number of reasons.

My friend finally said at one point, "So why does his happiness matter more than your own?"

And that was the statement that put it all into perspective for me. Staying in the situation was stressing me out, making me feel discombulated, and I wasn't having any fun. I want things and relationships that add to my life, not take away from it, and over the past 18 months, I've been taking steps that reduce anxiety, stress, and general unhappiness and doing things that make me happy. It's a very selfish approach that doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room, but it's very necessary.

But just because I'm saying all of this doesn't mean I don't feel tremendous guilt. It doesn't mean I don't wonder if I made the wrong decision. I think about how I want to be treated, and realize that I'm not treating this person in the same way. But I felt a certain way at a certain time and I had to make a decision. When it comes to being happy, it's certainly always about me, and not the other person.

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