I stood on a stage in front of a crowd of 30+ people that I never met before in my life, under a spotlight, eloped in the silence that was first time stage performance. I stood there, shaking to my core, about to perform my first spoken word piece at open mic night.
“Shit, can I really be doing this? I barely can describe feelings to my parents, never mind a room full of people who I have never met.”
For two minutes and some odd seconds, I poured my heart out to a room of strangers describing how exhausting it was to continuously care. I described my heart as an ocean, endless and full of love and fear all at once. Without hesitation the words flowed and poured out of me onto the old wood floor of the stage. It wasn’t even about a certain man, or fling. It was about everything. Caring for my friends, my family, putting everyone and everything before my own wants and desires.
That’s what good daughters and best friends do right? Of course people say. But when does it become too much? The third or fourth whiskey and coke standing in a kitchen listening to someone you couldn’t actually be with play the bass? Cleaning up the messes of others, being a solid rock for others to unleash their previous night of furry upon. Of course while you sit nodding and saying “mhm” or “what a dick” on various points. Putting in extra hours as a barista to please your boss from a short staffed shift or doing extra work on files. The numerous personal plans you cancel to go and take care of something others ask you to do. Then realizing “yea I’ll do that thing another day.” Only to continuously put things off and then forget it.
I slowly realized through the years how much I would put down in my personal life, to make others’ lives easier. If it was for my best friends though, my family, I would feel happiness, waves crashing over because my friends would smile, therefore I would smile. If my parents asked me to do something, as a daughter I would obey, knowing it would make them happy.
For those of us who want to bring in happiness, we have to put it out into the world. Right? When is it okay for others happiness to cover our own. What have I learned? It takes balance, and a “one day at a time” kind of outlook on life. Because without it, we all just end up slaves to other people’s feelings, when we should be to our own.