Independent or Selfish?

I have recently realized that moving alone to a foreign country has realigned my priorities and interests. I mean, I believe I have always been somewhat independent but lately I have noticed how much this whole independence thing has been kicked up a few notches. I have only had to look out for myself for a while now. I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have family here. I don’t have room mates. So really there are two things I care about: my friends (that I usually only get to see on weekends and occasional meal dates) and myself. I didn’t quite realize how much I have enjoyed this lack of responsibility for others until recently. I have developed a routine. I enjoy my freedom and get stuff done during the week. I do my laundry, buy groceries, clean my flat, take French lessons, work a bunch, go shopping, and make plans with friends when they are free. On the weekend, I literally spend 2 ½ days straight with my best friends here. They mostly live in the suburbs or with their au pair families so my flat turns into their weekend home—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love having my weekend room mates and hate the empty feeling the little 15 m² flat I call my own gets on Sunday nights. My friends are my family here and I have been lucky enough to be blessed with an incredible family  We all live for the weekends and cannot wait until the week finally reaches Friday so we can have another few days of adventures. Now I believe I have arrived upon this realization of complete happiness of my independence because I am finding it hard to balance when another thing is thrown into the mix. I haven’t really dated out here too much—partly due to my extreme want to do this by myself and partly because I have yet to find someone worth hanging out with for more than a few hours. Not to come off as a bitch but guys are not so much a priority. I think after I reached the year mark, I was more open to the idea but still really hesitant. Why complicate my pretty awesome life? I mean it’s not like I don’t enjoy getting driven to work on the back of a Frenchman’s motorbike but the whole thinking of someone else and finding time to squeeze in time for yet another part of my life is creating a challenge for me. A challenge I am somewhat resisting. I realize this sounds selfish and probably stupid but whatever. I’ll take it. I know I am being selfish but I have done this whole thing for me and it scares me to let someone else in and change what I have created. I just don’t think I am ready or willing to change, but if that can be accepted then I guess I am ok with it. I have no idea why someone would decide to sign on to someone who refuses to give up even a fraction of the weekend to anyone besides her friends but hey, if that works for them, then I am willing to give it a shot.


3 thoughts on “Independent or Selfish?

  1. Independence is good. You need time and space to discover what you want. You have had many hours by yourself, but you also have been fortunate to have good friends to share some of your time with as well. The key is being comfortable with yourself and who you are, then finding the proper balance.

    You’re situation is unique because your immediate future is unknown, so I think that influences your priorities. Also, I think (hope) you will not be a permanent resident, so a serious relationship is tough to consider.

  2. This proverb from the Tao Teh Ching by Lao Tzu says it all:

    He who knows men is clever;
    He who knows himself has insight.
    He who conquers men has force;
    He who conquers himself is truly strong.

  3. I see where you’re coming from. Now that I’ve finished college and am focused (some would say fixated) on setting goals for myself and figuring out ways to achieve them, I’ve realized that I do sound a bit selfish. How am I going to move on with my life, though, if I don’t focus on where I want to be and make plans that mostly include me trying out new things?

    I really don’t think you sound selfish, though. It sounds to me like you are just living independently, learning much about yourself, and enjoying the process.

    Btw, totally enjoy reading your blog!


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