Remembering Myself

Lauren Doran, Reporter

I believe in being selfish. Growing up I watched my mother sacrifice over and over again for the welfare of my sister and I. I watched her cancel plans and take time off work; I witnessed her play the bad guy and take all of the hits. I wanted to protect others in the same way she had done for me, help others just as she had, and inspire others. So I watched and I learned. I learned that sharing was only acceptable in regards to materials goods, or good news or good emotions. I learned that complaining about issues that everyone could relate to, issues that everyone had suffered was okay; but a problem that wasn’t so easily solved, feelings that wouldn’t go away with a hug or a “sorry” were burdonous, and therefore selfish to share.

So I strove to emulate my mother, to be selfless at every opportunity, to push deep down what bothered me and ignore its simmering beneath the surface. I found myself suffering the consequences of being selfless- having to tend an overflowing fountain of emotions, being fragile where I once was strong. My attention to others translated to an inattention to myself and in reflection I find it ironic in and of itself to think that altruistic actions, deeds done for the benefit of others could cause harm.

However in recent years I have gained new teachers in the form of friends, family and just plain experience, and I have begun to realize that there are times when I should put myself first. I have begun to understand that ignoring my hardships only worsens them, and to accept that with the right people my problems are not burdens but opportunities for others to be selfless- opportunities to protect, to help, to inspire.

While I may not act on it as often as I should, I believe that being selfish plays just as important a role in our lives as being selfless.”

— Lauren Doran