By Kat Hamilton
My ex-girlfriend took me out to coffee recently and confessed that she wanted to get back together.
A few months ago I would have leapt at the chance. She ended our relationship to work on herself and I accepted that I couldn’t do anything to change that. These days, I work full time, run a band, have a solo album in post-production, teach vocal lessons, and have five friends (outside of my band) that I make time for. My weeks are planned out because they have to be.
At 23, I have finally learned how little time I have to waste on the things I don’t need. I told my ex that I’m not interested in a relationship right now. The truth is, I’m too interested in myself for a relationship.
I am hungrier in my career than I’ve ever been before. I enjoy my own company more than I ever have. I want to do voice acting. I want to pitch my songs to pop artists. I want to be better at bass and start a Josie and the Pussycats cover band. I want all the clothes I own to fit in one suitcase. I want to be a better friend to fewer people. I want to take dance classes. I want to start my own YouTube show where I play games with the musicians I admire.
I want to do so much. I need to do so much.
I’ve had many conversations recently about how the next generation is the most selfish one yet. Especially in New York, everyone is selfish. Our friendships tend to be surface level because we don’t have free time to develop them. We all work constantly to get by, and that devotion to our livelihood enforces selfishness. I still don’t understand selfie sticks, but I’m okay with a bit of selfishness. A positive side effect of generation “me” is that we are more self aware than ever before. We get to know our needs sooner.
As I told my ex over an iced double shot, you can’t love someone else until you know what you need from a partner.
I tend to give a lot in relationships. This is because I am a control freak and giving my time and energy helps me predict the outcome. If I call first, I control the power dynamic. Obviously, I deeply care for my partner. But I’ll admit that in the past, I gave a lot so that I didn’t have to work on myself.
Someday I’ll need a partner who chills me out because I’m intense, but right now, I need to be with myself. Selfishness can be ugly but it can also be beautiful. I think it’s important to have
something to pour your heart into, but what do you need? At some point giving will drain you without a little self-care.
I used to be frustrated with those who kept to themselves, but I understand it now. Your energy is precious and so is mine.
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