Be Loyal… You Owe it to Yourself

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It’s July and I think it’s time for me to evaluate the progress of my New Year’s resolution.  Just as a reminder, my goal was to focus on myself and make myself a priority in my own life.  To be honest, I think the start to my year was pretty shaky in relation to moving toward this goal.  I can recall one too many times when I was sacrificing time and energy that I truly could not spare, all in the name of helping others.  I was definitely feeling the stress, while seeing no real progress for myself.  However, the past few weeks have acted as a real turning point for me.  I’ve noticed a change in my thinking where I’ve learned to consider myself in my decisions, which is helping me progress in my own life.  Can I really afford to do this?  Do I really have the time for that?  Will this set me back in any kind of way?  I have to ask myself these kinds of questions to determine whether or not I’m being fair to myself.

Lately, I’ve experienced some interesting situations.  I’ve been tested really and I’ve had to make some decisions.  At first, I was torn and confused because I wasn’t sure what I should do.  Many of these situations involved two opposing sides and, in all of these specific cases, both sides were led by people who are relatively close to me.  I wasn’t sure whose “side” I should take, so I considered not taking a side and not getting involved at all.  I figured they could resolve their differences without my intervention and I wouldn’t have to deal with the scrutiny of taking a position.  But I realized that silence is just as loud as having an opinion, so there was no way around it.  I had to get involved in each situation.  I struggled with this issue each time, trying to decide who I agreed with, until I realized that I owed myself loyalty.

I needed to do what I was most comfortable with whether that meant speaking up and defending so and so, keeping someone’s secret, or being honest with a friend.  Situations vary and the person who is at fault isn’t always the same, so I couldn’t vow to blindly be loyal to someone.  If they were wrong, I had to let them know.  If they were right, I had to back them up.  If they asked something of me, then I had determine if it would hurt anybody before accepting.  If it didn’t harm anyone else, why not?  I had to play each situation by ear, loving each person who I had to deal with, but also being fair.  I had to be fair to those around me and, mostly, to myself.  I had to be loyal to myself and to what I feel is right.  It’s all about making yourself a priority.  So, yes, I said some things and, yes, I know some things, but I definitely am being as loyal as can be to those around me and, definitely, to myself.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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