Demand Something More
“If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.” - Christina Yang, Grey's Anatomy
After moving to San Diego, I found myself in crappy situation after crappy situation that I was absolutely (and falsely) convinced I deserved. My car was declared totaled...and I fractured my hip - I was convinced I did something to deserve both. I couldn't figure out how to improve the quality of my work - I was convinced I was just not cut out for the job and accepted the idea that maybe I couldn't make it. I dated two guys back-to-back that refused to make it exclusive (one...after 5 months)...and I was convinced it was because I was an embarrassment and they didn't want to admit to anyone else they were dating me.*
*From this point forward, I will frame this blog in terms of my dating life because it's most relevant at the current moment...but it applies to most aspects of my life.
Here's the thing: I am (generally) happy, I give out advice to my friends on the daily, I have positive affirmation all over my apartment and I love being surrounded by confident people. But (because isn't there always a but?!), I notoriously struggle with self confidence and comprehending and appreciating my own worth and value.
A consequence of this lack of confidence is that I generally accept what happens to me - I'm often reactive, rather than proactive. For the last few years, I avoided saying anything that makes me (or anyone around me) uncomfortable. Rather, I passively allowed things to happen and tell myself I deserve it without asking why or for more...or for what I actually want and think that maybe I actually deserve! Rather than demand more, I consistently complained and cried to my friends about it after the fact. My tears were typically countered with eye rolls and lectures that I deserved more and that I didn't understand my self value. I didn't understand it to be honest - like I said, confidence struggles.
Well, anyways, the last few months, I dated (or some variation of that, really) a friend. I have no bad things to say about this man (sorry if you read this!). The friendship was great, and his self-assuredness, confidence and easy banter quickly (and unbeknownst to me) rubbed off on me. Throughout the last few months, people around me made comments that I had become gradually more confident and held myself in a higher regard.
Then, something happened - something clicked in me, like a lightbulb finally turning on. All my friends' comments began to crystallize. I knew what I wanted, who I wanted to be with, and where I wanted to go. I knew that I deserved someone who was going to respect that and give that to me. I realized I was exhausted from ending up in the same situation over and over again - be it work, dating, or my outlook on life in general. For the first time in quite awhile, I said something and rejected my crap situation, demanding more.
So, after a few months without a clear definition of where things were going, I asked what we were, if there was a future. Something I would have never done before! I knew I wanted a relationship, and I knew that I (yes, me!) deserved someone who had the same relationship goals, who actively wanted to be with me, and who was going to really give it 100% with no reservations. I was worth that much - I was not the embarrassment you hid.
In the midst of ending things because we weren't in the same place, he told me I deserved someone who could really be all in because I was great. For the first time in my life, I verbally agreed...and actually meant it.
While I value myself a bit more now, I won't lie. I've definitely struggled in the last few weeks as I've worked through the healing process. I wonder what I did and what I could have done. But, at the end of the day, I know that I am valuable and pretty cool and maybe sometimes even funny and nice to be around and I want someone to appreciate that - be it in a relationship, at work or anywhere in between (like I said, I frame this with dating, but it really applies to almost every facet of my life).
I get that it takes time - why something in me just clicked, I'm not entirely sure of. Friends can tell you a million times - but it's up to you to realize it.
So, what I'm getting at here is - don't date shitty guys, don't settle for less, don't convince yourself that you are not worth it and not enough. Delete that number and ignore the late night texts and emails. Don't find yourself in the same crap situation over and over and over and over. Demand more, demand what you actually deserve. Hang out alone - and really dig into what makes you, you and why that's awesome and valuable.
You accept what you think you deserve - so learn that you deserve the world. So, as Christina Yang (or Shonda Rhimes, really) says, stop accepting the crap and demand more.