Selfish Shellfish

8 Jul

Whilst reading Inferno by Dan Brown (my review here), I latched on to a particular discussion Langdon and his partner-in-crime Dr. Brooks were having regarding denial. Apparently, people subconsciously dislike dwelling on “big issues” like overpopulation, world hunger, etc, so they automatically revert back to thinking about their own individual problems. Throughout the passage, this was me:

And a bit of this:

It’s true! I try my best to live in the present, worry only when necessary, and avoid dwelling on problems I can’t fix. If this could be classified as denial, then I have it.

“So many important things are happening in my life right now.”

I can use that sentence to describe my life on any given day. Important? Nothing in my life is important compared to deadly plane crashes and other looming catastrophes. But it’s ok to be a little self-obsessed (or a lot self-obsessed). It’s ok to take a moment to live life for you, not for people a world away. That doesn’t mean you should make a habit of it, but once in a while, you can leave behind your earthly responsibilities and immerse yourself in your own issues. You can be selfish. I’m selfish.

My mother oft (what a great word) accuses me of thinking only of myself. Naturally, this is far from the truth. It’s only in lying-comatose-curled-up-knee-hugging darkness that I dwell and dwell and dwell on myself and my problems and my future. But I’m selfish enough to wish that others would take my opinion into account. I’m selfish enough to believe that I’ll succeed in something, somewhere, even in competition with smarter, stronger, better people. I spend enough time with worthless good-for-nothings (eh hem, half my family and 98% of my high school) and dealing with personal catastrophes to understand that I’m worth something, and that I deserve to do well and to be happy. Does that make me selfish?

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