I’m Going to be a Pretty Terrible Friend Right Now
I was listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album, because lets be honest, if you’re not you should be. It’s full of sappy love songs and a few breakup songs – not just featuring a transition in relationships, but also in countries as well. Please check it out if you haven’t already, it’s amazing.
Anyway, one of the songs on the album, one I haven’t heard much hype about, is a song called ‘Save Myself.’ I listened to it a few times, enjoyed it, felt like I could relate to it, and that’s about it. Back to listening to sappy love songs that make me think of marriage and life long relationships.
Back story here, I’ve had a really bad few days. You know when everything that’s been building up for the longest time suddenly comes crashing down on you all at once? It’s been like that. So I packed my bags, left home, and did the mature thing that all adults should be doing: I ran away.
Now it’s almost nine in the evening, I’m sitting on a bed in my Dad’s house, not crying for the first time in three days, and that song came back into my head. I look up the lyrics, copy them down in my sketchbook, and while only half paying attention to the newest episode of The Walking Dead, start to really think about it.
Ed Sheeran, beautiful man as he is, is right. (But honestly, did we ever doubt that he was?) Guys, I lost myself. I’ve been working so hard to make sure everyone else was happy, that my relationship was going smoothly, that I was prioritizing everyone else over myself, that somewhere along the line, I forgot who I am. So I ditched it all, took everyone else out of the equation, and ran away.
You know, I hear so many people talking about how they’d love to get away from their lives for a while. That if they only had a chance to clear their head, refocus a little, and take a bit of time to figure themselves out, they’d be fine. Instead, they focus so much on what everyone else needs from them (work, school, relationships, family, etc), that they forget to look after themselves, and in the worst case, forget who they even are. And you think you’re doing good because you’re being selfless. Because you’re making a positive impact on all the other people who seem to be unhappy around you. Because you’re fully capable of balancing yourself and your job, relationships, families, school, friends, and whatever else. You don’t feel burnt out yet, you’re not completely exhausted and miserable, so why not keep giving to everyone else? In the mean time, you can set a few of your own boundaries, try to work through the stress, and maybe figure out what you would like to do in the next few months. Everyone else seems to be able to balance that much, so why can’t you?
And you can, but here’s when it becomes a problem: when you stop prioritizing yourself and spend your time trying to ‘save’ everyone else. That’s been my thing. Until all of a sudden I’m depressed and my panic attacks haven’t gone away, and all the relationships in my life seem to be going to junk.
This is where we get to the main point of my post, as well as our reference to the title. Guys, I’m going to be a terrible friend right now. I’m going to be pleasant, I’ll respond to your messages and be a decent human being, but if I don’t spend time focusing on myself right now, figuring out who I am and how to be that person, I’m not going to be any good to anyone, least of all myself. And I need everyone out of the picture in order to do that. I’m sorry if that makes me sound like a jerk, but I can’t really have anyone in my life right now.
I only just ran away this morning, and while that’s never an entire solution to anything, I want to say that running away is awesome sometimes. I don’t care about your obligations, about the things people expect you to be able to do for them or whatever else, I care about you. And running away from your life just long enough to recover from your injuries and figure yourself is not just okay, it’s important. Because when you’re so stuck in the situation, when you’re in the middle of the ocean trying your best to stay afloat, there’s no way you have time to sort yourself out while you flail around precariously.
The thing is – it’s okay to be a bit selfish sometimes. It’s okay to be a bad friend on occasion. It’s okay to run away from your life for a bit in order to come back stronger and more amazing than when you were before. And anyone who’s worth anything in your life is going to be fine with that. There’s nothing wrong with taking what you need instead of always making sure everyone else is taken care of first.
So drink that tea, run away, be selfish. Demand that the people who love you be there in the way that you need them to be, instead of trying to give them what they need all the time. Take your space, abandon everyone else for a while, do what you need to do. Because in the end, there’s no way you can be anything to anyone if you don’t make sure you’re being supported first.