“This is my year to be selfish.”

Yesterday I became a college graduate!  I purchased my cap and gown in March but by April no longer wanted to participate in the Commencement Ceremony because I didn’t see the point, considering that I’m going right back to school for my MA.  I ended up walking, and I was in in the center of the arena toward the back (the graduates were called from the upper level and sides of the arena, then toward the center), so I was called roughly two hours and forty-five minutes into the three-hour ceremony.  It was painfully boring but the girl next to me didn’t think so, unfortunately for me.  She was screaming and squirming throughout the entire ceremony, hitting me every half an hour or so and basically screaming in my ear.  It was her day, too, so I didn’t want to be rude and tell her to get up and move fifty yards away from me even though her overflowing joy and enthusiasm was more difficult to sit through than all of my undergraduate coursework put together.

Later in the day I went to a friend’s graduation party.  Her step-mother was friends with my father since they were eight years old, but about five years ago – when my dad got re-married – he stopped all contact with her because his new wife didn’t want them talking as they have “history.”  But mind you, the last time they tried to date was about eighteen years ago and it was weird and both said that it they felt as if they were trying to hold hands with a sibling versus a significant other.  She’s also married and has a daughter (in addition to her stepdaughters) so I’m not sure why my dad’s wife is still so threatened.  Anyway, I overheard my friend tell another guest, “It’s my year to be selfish,” when she had asked her why she and her boyfriend had stopped seeing each other.  My friend’s step-mother then talked to me about it and told me that indeed, a person’s 20s is the real time for them to be completely selfish.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I don’t want any commitments besides school right now.  I’m so focused on and in love with my academics that I don’t want or need anything else, really.  My significant other will want to spend time with me and it’s almost a chore at times.  It makes me feel horrible, and I feel even more horrible knowing that he loves me completely while I mentally checked out of the relationship around February or so.

I’m going to India in about two months and I just…”want to do me.”  Is it extremely selfish to want to have my selfish years?  Judging by the name, yes.  But I feel that it’s rudely selfish of me to decide to start my selfish years almost five years into a relationship.  But I don’t see myself slowing down or wanting to settle down any time soon…I want what my professors have.  I want to be cooped up in an office doing research and traveling for conferences and research opportunities.  My mom always told me that I’d feel like this one day, that I’d just want to pick up and run away and do my own thing.  I didn’t know what she meant or believe that it would happen to me, considering I’m such a timid homebody.  But now I do, and I feel very heartless for wanting to choose myself over relationship that also took up years of another person’s life.