“Selfish means lacking consideration for other people and preoccupation with one’s own pleasure, profit or welfare, while selfless means having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to money, fame, and position.”
I actually had to look this up. How sad is that? And I’m a writer. (How sad is that?) And before I looked it up, I would have said, “Yep! Totally. That’s me.” But I think we have a problem here.
There almost needs to be antonyms for both of these words. And God, I hope this doesn’t sound like there should be a violin accompanying this, but my problem is that I would continually put the pleasure, profit, and welfare of other people ahead of mine—to my detriment. And it took me many, many years to see this was my pattern. So I made sure everybody else had a great time at the party while I picked up the broken glass and swept up the glitter. (This is all metaphor, I never threw any parties with glitter but I hear that shit is a bitch to clean up.) I was usually the one writing the check, picking up the tab, forking out the cash. And I was fine with it. I enjoyed doing it and that I was able to. And it’s not like no one ever did anything for me, but I was practically obsessive with their needs, so much so that I had little regard for my welfare. I found that wasn’t only unhealthy, it was dangerous.
And either because of that, or because the antithesis of selfish is the sister opposite of selfless, those very things this comparison mentions—money, fame, position—oh, fuck I don’t even wanna go into the money I left on the table, the fame I was too scared of to enjoy or use to my advantage, and even when I was at the top, I was still the motherfucker who was literally picking up trash everybody else was happy to leave to the maids and clean up the bathroom for clients, visitors, etc.
And I’m treating this like a conversation happening in real time—by the way it’s Saturday almost noon and I’m in my underwear and my Breonna Taylor T just to paint the visual—and I didn’t know we’d get to some place like this, but…I need a minute.