I think this will be the final post in this series. [If you missed out and are like “Clouds, what you talkin bout? There was a series?” Yes friend, there was. While brief, basically the last handful of posts were looking at traits (semi-negative) and how I /slash/ you /slash/ we can flip those to find some positive. While I have found positive aspects for being fragile, bitter, awkward, forgettable, and now stubborn and selfish, I kind of don’t want to do that anymore. I think I’ve focused too much on what I’m not by doing so. It definitely served it’s purpose. But I kinda wanna focus on some other things now. So after this brief-yet-probably-scenic-route exploration of my being selfish and stubborn, I’m going to switch to exploring those other things that contribute to my happy. K? Cool. Thanks for understanding.]
So selfish and stubborn, huh?
…and you guessed it, we’re gonna explore that a bit…
Alright so a basic truth I have arrived at is that, at some point, we have to take responsibility of our own actions. and let others do the same. I’ve also determined that I am both terrible and great at this.
Let’s back up.
Innately, I want to help people. I’ve been doing it all my life…since I was about 5 years old to be exact, when my younger siblings were born. That event, along with a few (much less positive) moments, seemingly ended my happy-go-lucky, play-in-the-dirt childhood activities. I took on role of helper, not looking back. I even adopted it into my professional identity: helping professional. it’s who I am. it’s what I do. but sometimes, just sometimes, it defeats me.
I am not great at being told I can’t or even recognizing that something is beyond my control. This stubbornness has served a purpose, fo’ sho. I wouldn’t be where I am at professionally had I not been stubborn enough to use the negative chatter to fuel my drive and ambitions. Truth. Did you know that less than 3% of all doctoral degrees conferred in 2010-2011 were earned by Latinas? I am humble (reserved?) by nature and don’t usually go there but this is one of those times when I think: fucking-a Clouds! You are doing it! You did it!
Again, being stubborn has paid off.
But it’s also left little space to do things in ways other than my own. I dont think it’s necessairly that I’m closes minded. I tried explaining it to a boy/friend once. I ended up sounding a bit douchey…and closed minded. The convo went something like this:
– you’re stubborn, aren’t you?
– no, I’m not!
– so you’re open to other points of view?
– yes! I’m very open minded! I listen openly…but end up doing things my way because I know me best and I know what works for me. (…or something like that, but probably read with much more defensiveness and a little bit of attitude…and maybe a raised eyebrow a la my Mexican mother. Again, I’ve needed a little bit of stubborn to make it to where I am…but maybe now I can do without.)
Now for the selfish. Remember how I said I was simultaneously terrible and great at this? Well, the thing is I kinda suck at the putting my own needs first part (again, career-wise, it works). But I am fabulous at the demanding-personal-responsibility part when it comes to my actions and those of my family members. I often feel extremely guilty and somewhat incompetent given my profession when I think of the plethora of interpersonal problems my family faces. I question my loyalties/purpose/values. How can I help others so openly, honestly, willingly, yet I can’t do the same for my family?
Part of it is the stubbornness clouding my judgment. In the words of Drake:
Came up, that’s all me
Stay true, that’s all me
No help, that’s all me
All me for real”
Then I think, Clouds, you’re a shitty person for thinking that way.
::sigh:: …so that’s my struggle. I have to be stubborn to keep fighting toward my goals. It’s not easy. Or maybe it is but my ambitions are too big. Same with the selfish. I can’t seem to allow myself to put myself before others, unless it’s family. Again, this is a stubbornness-bitterness-rebellion clusterfuck, but also too it’s what’s needed for survival and continued attainment of goals and dreams and fluffy stuff.
…but maybe it’s not needed as much anymore.