A Darker Shade Of PinkNicely By NatureStephanie Sparer

In the month of March, I went on a string of first dates and talked to a lot of guys who didn’t even make it to the first date. Some were funny, like the guy with the Star Wars tattoo who texted me the night after meeting me, asking me to meet his parents (I declined). Some were sad, like the guy with The Hair (his official nickname) who called me crying at 2am, after knowing me four days, because he was scared to accept his med school scholarship.

“You’re the only one who can calm me down,” he said. So I did. Even though it was definitely cutting in to my sleep time.

This is all very sweet. It’s nice that people, think at least, that they have this instant bond with me, but it made me realize something as I sat on the phone, listening to a guy hyperventilate while I read the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and cooed at regular intervals, “You’re gonna do great,” that I just gotta do me right now, as the saying goes.

It’s nothing against these guys. Most of them have been extremely nice and kind (and cute, for the record), but I just realized that I’m not emotionally invested in any of them. I realized that what I am emotionally invested in right now is grounding myself and getting back to me.

I’ve just seem to find myself living for other people a lot. Not just boys, but friends, too. I love my friends, and I’ll do anything for them. Need me to pick you up from the airport or share a burden with you? Give me a call! Need me at four in the morning to talk you down from sleeping with a guy who will be terrible for you? Text me and I’ll be right on it. And then I’ll bring you over a cupcake. That’s what best friends are for! However, lately I haven’t been very selective in who I’ve been helping out and I really need to be.

I’m a people pleaser. Perhaps because I’m too afraid that people won’t like me if I don’t bend over backwards for them. (I say “perhaps” but that’s because I’m trying to be kind to myself. That’s totally the reason.)

I’m pretty nice by nature to other people. A friend of mine recently described me as “sweet” (which really shocked me, as I often describe myself as “sardonic”), but I sometimes forget to be nice to myself (see above that I’m trying more now, though). I think maybe a lot of girls actually forget, which is why just this past Friday, I surprised myself and took myself out for an impromptu date. “Treat Yo’self,” was the theme of the night. I turned down Dude From the Bar #292 and got a manicure before I went to a sushi restaurant I had wanted to try for forever. Then I met up with a best friend and her parents for drinks at a hotel.

The sushi was ridiculously expensive and awful, but I didn’t care. I was reconnecting with myself. A little check-in. A hey how ya doing? Turns out I’m doing well and my hair looks good! I didn’t even know. I was too busy making sure everyone else was okay.

Photo by Cindy Sherman

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  1. Took the words right out of my mouth. I’m a people pleaser too. I didn’t admit to myself until last year that it wasn’t because I ACTUALLY wanted to please people, it was because I was too concerned with how I came across to them and how they thought of me. A lot of people call me “sweet” too, which can be true sometimes, but I think there’s a difference between being truly sweet and just being “nice.” Nice is different than good. I don’t want to have someone spend time with me just because they want to be “nice”. That would be awful. So I shouldn’t do that with others either.

    And I totally agree with the importance of taking care of yourself. Sort of like on an airplane… should it spiral down to a fiery crash…you should secure your own oxygen mask first “before assisting others.”

  2. Love this. It actually made me realise that I’ve been kind of doing the same so I need to make some changes. Sometimes you just gotta do you.

    Anonymous | 4/04/2012 03:04 am