Remind yourself what you deserve

You deserve better
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When we are feeling rejected by someone or something, it’s easy to get down on ourselves and come up with all the reasons why it happened to us. It’s easy to try to rationalize someone else’s actions or decisions or find ways to defend them, even if they hurt us. It’s also common for us to settle for something less than great because we just want to feel accepted or appreciated, no matter the costs.

But we deserve better. You deserve better. I deserve better.

Think about it: a friend isn’t exactly being a good friend – they never call you back, they always have an excuse, maybe they failed to recognize some major moments in your life lately. You say, “Well, but they’re busy,” or “But they usually are a good friend.” Or perhaps you went on a few dates with someone, and started to get interested, and then they lie about something, or lead you on to think it’s something more. “Well, but they’re a nice guy/girl,” or “I should have known better.” Maybe a family member has continued to let you down over the years, but because they’re family, you let it slide.

We shouldn’t let it slide, anymore. What happened to honesty being the best policy? What happened to our friends being that – good friends? What about family who is supposed to be there for you instead of against you?

It’s in my blood to want closure when things don’t work out with people in my life, whether it’s friends, boyfriends, family members, or even coworkers. I want to get it all on the table, I want apologies said where necessary, I want to hug or shake hands and be able to move on. I hate just letting things go without clearing the air, but because of that, I also tend to give people a lot of second and third, maybe fourth and fifth chances. There are some people in my life I’ve given way too many passes, and it’s bitten me in the butt in return.

But then my lovely friend K reminds me that I deserve better. She says I’m too hard on myself. She tells me that when something doesn’t work with a guy, it’s because he’s not the guy for me, and that it’s not about me. She urges me to not deal with people who don’t want to put in the effort, who don’t appreciate me in the way I deserve to be appreciated. And it’s not because I’m more special than anyone else, or deserve more than anyone else, but it’s because I deserve the same things, really, that you deserve: respect, and honesty, and integrity, and love, and time. Because I’m a woman who lives and loves just like everyone else, with dreams, and goals, and good days and bad days, and because I should get something in return from my relationships, like we all want and need.

Remind yourself what you deserve. Remind others what you deserve and ask for it. It’s like I said before, if you want something, you have to go after it, and this is just as important as anything else. And don’t forget to give others what they deserve, too.

Life’s little reminders

A busy, stressful day at work. Waking up with a headache. The Metro is 100 degrees. An annoying friend/coworker/tourist.

These are just a few of the things that can make us go from feeling content, happy, or satisfied to pissed off, irritated, and looking forward to the moment we can collapse into bed and sleep it all away. Some days, we let the little things get to us more than they should. I know I have sweat the small stuff more than once, and of course when you look back on most of these things the next day, or even 20 minutes later, they seem so lame, almost laughable. “I got mad over that?” you might ask yourself.

So tonight, I’m sitting here drinking tea out of my Wizard of Oz mug, watching Iron Chef America, and perusing my favorite websites, and chuckling over more than a few things I read. It seems so simple. Laughter. Joy over such small things, small sayings, small images. It’s like in session one of the writing class my department at work began this week – we were all discussing how the introduction to The Elements of Style by E.B. White was shockingly full of humor, without banging you over the head with it. (Sidenote: the illustrated version is fabulous.) More importantly, this is an introduction to a grammar book; a book that points out the simplest language rules and reminders  – ways to make your writing tell – without having to be fancy.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few things in my life that are simple, that are humorous, that are telling about life as I know it, without banging me over the head:

  • Having dinner with former coworkers every couple of months
  • Reading the blog of one of my favorite Twitterers: the author is genuine, humble, and refreshingly honest – and we’ve never met
  • Talking to my parents online and them calling me “kiddo” or “squirt” even though I’m about to turn 25
  • Relishing a comforting routine: post-work workout, making myself dinner, drinking tea and reading/relaxing
  • Cooking one of my favorite dishes for a friend’s birthday dinner
  • Giddily adding more items to my Amazon wish list despite having multiple books yet to read in my apartment
  • Coming home and feeling like I accomplished something at work
  • Pardon the Interruption on ESPN
  • Planning Thanksgiving dinner with my parents
  • Lunch with a coworker I work closely with, but don’t usually hang out with

I could go on and on. Sometimes it’s nice to remind ourselves of the little things that happen in our daily lives that make us happy, content, and satisfied, so that the little things that piss us off are a distant memory, or never get so far as to piss us off in the first place.

The bottom line is that it’s a choice: you have the power to decide which little things affect you – and how.