Paying It Forward While Supporting Yourself First
Written by Xiao Mei // captured by youkenlook
- Consequences I’ve Felt Supporting Those Who Valued Me Differently-
I never expected to resent people I have shown support for during their pursuit of success. Life has laid out its principles that what we give, is what we receive in return. Our blessings or curses may not come how we perceive it should, but regardless, the universe allows such actions to take place in our lives.
Ironically, I promote positive reactions regardless of how a person has made him or her feel. However lately, even I must continue to practice what I preach.
So, here’s a note to self:
In our young adulthood, we are all taking risks. We are constantly building connections, finding what job suits us, discovering our strengths and learning our weaknesses. We’re teaching our hearts to let love happen, yet dealing with our past emotions of hurt, pain and distrust. Despite all the commotion of soul searching, a huge complication we all stumble on, is finding common interaction between our businesses while supporting our local peers.
WHEN PRIORITIES DIVIDE.
Lately, I’ve ran into an instance where I felt unappreciated. After consistently showing loyalty to someone pursuing their ambitions – I began to question, “Why should I continue my support to someone who doesn’t value my dreams?”
…here’s where this really hurt…
An old friend of mine chose her words very loosely, which concluded our friendship. Earlier in May, she invited me to her graduation lunch. Of course it’s my fault I RSVP’d last minute, but I was uncertain if I could attend. At this time several months ago, life planned for me to revisit D.C. (Much sooner than I received her invite) I had plays to make and projects to complete in the DMV. So I was wavered…
I figured she’d take my absence well hence we are both adults and life gets hectic right? Absolutely not. I was completely wrong, and I was shocked reading her response:
“I know you don’t prioritize education but it’s a huge deal to me.”
Dead. I’m absolutely dead. My previous blog post “Minority Women Creating Our Own World,” I shared that I decided not to take the traditional route of pursing a Bachelor’s degree after receiving my Associates in Interactive Media. (Read for more details)
Reading her artificial facts left me stunned. Just because I’m not attending college, did not justify the fact I do not prioritize my education. We all learn differently.
From this point forward, support for each other was dead. Priorities changed. I continued to keep me first.
RECIPROCATING THE SAME ENERGY.
I figured although someone may not match the same level of my support, I should not become angered. Soon enough the energy I poured out would eventually return regardless if it was the person I supported.
But HOLD UP. Wait a minute! Have you ever felt drained applying effortless mounts of energy into someone who lacks reciprocating what you deserve? Some genuine support?
Let’s be honest – in today’s time it’s difficult to truly know whose intentions are pure. But welcome to the 21st Century where people have improved their poker game. Of course, it can be exciting helping other businesses, collaborating with your locals and offering a sense of hope for a start-up entrepreneurs, but it’s all fun and games until you’re playing Russian roulette. What exactly do I mean by this? Reflect on it. Have you ever invested into someone, though subconsciously you disregarded your initial instinct that the person was of no good for you? Yet, you still connected together.
MY TWEET GOT SOME HEAT.
Not too long ago I tweeted, “No more supporting people who aren’t supporting you.” I caught some backlash for it, as I should have. Evidently I was angry and choose to react in a way that wasn’t polite. I was just apprehensive seeing a leading trail of my support towards a direct contact who has delayed showing their two cents in return.
So why do you continue to support them? Yeah, I know that’s what you’re asking me. Trust me, I’ve asked myself repeatedly and luckily discovered my answer.
IT’S NOT WHO, IT’S WHAT AND IT’S WHY.
My God it took me sometime to comprehend this, but it’s not who you are supporting. It’s what you are supporting and why you choose to support someone’s movement. Some of the greatest examples are Hitler and currently Donald Trump. In my eyes, these are two of the most unjust and unlawful dogs who deserve some of God’s greatest punishments.
But look at their history. Look at their support. Look at their following. Shocking isn’t it?
It’s quite astonishing listening to Trump belittle people of my kind, yet…people of my kind surprisingly support him. Again, it’s not who you support. It’s what you are supporting and why you choose to support someone else’s movement.
To be the “bigger person” is not to say “If he doesn’t do this for me. Then why should I?” To be the stronghold is to say, “I will continue to support you, as long as our priorities do not divide.”