By Sierra Terrell
Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland for 2012
There is one word that just about everyone on this planet fears being called: selfish. Growing up, we’re taught to do the selfless thing and to share, share, share. We’re always to think of others first and to never do something out of our pure pleaser. Of course there is nothing wrong with this; however, sometimes we are so scared of being selfish, we forget to put our own happiness into the equation.
It is so easy to get caught up in the motion of making sure our family is happy, then making sure our friends are happy, and then sometimes even making sure our teachers/professors are happy. By the end of the day, we find ourselves exhausted and indifferent. Overtime, we realize that just about everyone else around us and doing wonderful, and we’re still not truly happy.
This usually happens when we overexert ourselves, and to be honest, if this happens to you, there is nothing wrong with that. If more people had the issue of being “too selfless”, the world would be a better place. On the other hand though, you must always remember to only act in what will have the best outcome for you mentally, physically, and emotionally. This means that sometimes we will have to say no to going out with our friends just so we can get some “me time.”
Don’t be ashamed to have to tell people that’s what you need. Needing some “me time” is not a sign of weakness or having a nervous breakdown; at some point everyone needs some of it. I will admit, that I find myself wanting to be alone so that I can dance in front of the mirror or so I can belch out every word to my favorite Beyoncé song. Laugh if you want to, I find it very therapeutic.
So find whatever makes you happy and not necessarily what makes everyone else happy. Don’t forget about them, and always be there, but remember: you are your number one priority.
Sierra Terrell is a college freshman at Troy University in Troy, Alabama majoring in Psychology. Originally from Waldorf, Maryland, Sierra was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Maryland for 2012. Learn more about Sierra here!