Have you ever wanted to be everything to everybody? It sounds stupid right? Well, I have. My.Whole.Damn.Life. I don’t really remember when it started, I just remember wanting to take part in everything. Tennis, swimming, golf, ballet, tap, jazz, you name it, I wanted to do it. The question is why. The only thing I really enjoyed was the dancing. I guess not a whole lot has changed. Swimming made sense because duh I live on an island, might as well be a strong swimmer. So I did swimming for years, and then guess what? There was a tennis court in the same compound as the pool. Well hey I have 45 minutes before swimming why don’t I go and do that? Suffice to say, that was short lived. There was no way my scrawny little self (at the time) could swing a racket around for 45 minutes then do laps in an olympic sized swimming pool. That was a mistake. Anyway, on to golf. Anyone who has even the most superficial knowledge of who I am, will know that my family is everything. My papa used to play golf quite frequently, and being as close to him as I was, of course I started. In all fairness, I was pretty bad, but that didn’t stop me from continuing. I don’t know if I enjoyed making other people happy or if I managed to convince myself that I was happy. Either way, that too was a mistake. Now back to the dancing. Dancing.. what can I say about dancing. I have loved to dance since I was a little kid. I took my first ballet class when I was 4 years old and I remember not having the proper leotard, I was in my gymnastics leotard and I felt so self conscious. Oh crap.. gymnastics.. I totally forgot about that. Anyway, irrelevant. After beginning ballet, I soon began to pursue tap dancing, and jazz, or what we call modern dancing. That was definitely the most fun I’ve had in an extra-curricular.
You’re probably here wondering, why the prelude? Of course that’s me assuming that someone besides my mom (Hey mom!) is actually reading this. Now more than ever before I find myself on the brink of being overwhelmed every single day. Yes of course being in medical school plays a huge part of that, but I think there’s a whole element to it that I do to myself. I kill myself trying to be there for friends and family and what has it taught me? That nobody gives a shit. Man, if I had a dollar for every time I thought I meant more to someone than I did, well I’d be chilling in the Maldives sipping on a bellini instead of writing this post. The problem is that I expect people to do the same for me that I would do for them. Spoiler alert – that doesn’t happen.
Now how did this all start? Or when did I realize that I have this propensity to act like this? Well, I have this habit, of being called Responsible Rachel. I can’t remember how or where the name originated from but it’s there. My first point of interaction with many a person has been when they were drunk and me springing in to action as if I were the reincarnation of Florence Nightingale herself. But the massive problem I’m now faced with is that YES, it does make me happy caring for other people. Why it makes me happy is yet to be determined by a shrink, but it definitely does. *Yay me* for being in the right profession. My question is.. how do I stop? Do I stop? Don’t get me wrong, it makes me happy to make other people happy, but at some point, you have to be self aware. And I think I’ve reached the point.
At several points throughout my life, I functioned as the go-to friend. You have a problem? Tell Ash. You need to talk? Tell Ash. You need a drink? Tell Ash. (Ok that last one is still true) You need a ride? Tell Ash. It has been absolutely draining to try and keep up friendships that weren’t even friendships in the first place. They were all about convenience. And now that the need has been removed, so has the ‘friendship’. The truth is that I never gave of myself expecting anything in return. Or so I thought. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.”
Now that I look back on those experiences, (thank you hindsight for being 20/20) I at least expected what I gave.. and that was too much. There was no way that people who did not really care about me could ever give me what I gave them, because they didn’t feel the same. It has been a long road with some brutal lessons and A LOT of soul searching to accept that there are only a handful of people in my life that I can really count on. And let me tell you guys, these are the people who make life worth living. The people in my life are some badass humans who love and support me more than I will ever deserve. With their love, my spirit remains unbroken and I will never stop exuding love in everything that I do. I will always strive to give 100% of myself to help anyone who needs it. If ever you’re feeling overwhelmed, and underappreciated, I’m probably feeling it too, so do what I do and listen to Rihanna. Today is Riri’s 30th birthday, and as she says: “Don’t let the bastards get you down, turn it around with another round.” SO deep Riri, SO deep (and true I might add). Love is the answer.. so keep giving of yourself, you never know, it may change someone’s whole world. It sounds cliché, but other than a bush bath, the only thing I can offer you peeps, is love.