We can all relate to the idea of trying to make sure everyone is happy and going out of our way to please others. We all have put ourselves through things that make us miserable or attended events because it was “the right thing to do” simply because we would rather do that than let others down. I think to an extent this can be a positive thing but there is a point where self becomes lost and neglected. Finding a healthy balance proves to be a fine line and knows varying boundaries for different people. For me, this line is vague and grey; personally, this has created some of the greatest challenges I have faced yet. For example, I still remember the exact words I used and where I was when I called my Albion College Softball coach to tell her I was transferring to U of M and would no longer be a team captain for the varsity softball team. To this day, this remains one of the hardest things I have EVER done. Then, in college, one of my best friends called my boss pretending to be me to quit a babysitting job that I just could no longer fit into my schedule. Some people may call me a pleaser as I would far rather be miserable than let people down.
And, I fear to admit that after living in the Fijian culture for over two years, the line of holding up commitments and making others happy and doing exactly what I want has become even harder to locate. In Fiji, the sacrifice for community is incredible. Your life is often directed by elders who have the community in mind. Willingly, villagers agree without complaint and honor the wishes another has for their lives. And I am not talking about a small wish- for example, I have seen this happen in the form of marriage and accepting or not accepting a job overseas.
Now, I have to determine where I want to draw this line and what balance makes me happy; of course, this easier said than done. Thoughts and opinions welcome!