Learning lessons.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
– Maya Angelou

When I was a freshman in high school, there was a boy who would turn around in class and stare at me with a vicious look in his eye. He’d make fun of my clothes, my bushy eyebrows, my curly hair. Anything that he could think to rudely comment on, he would. My best friend N was my savior. He picked on her too, but she had no trouble standing up for herself and protecting me. She’d yell and scream at him; she didn’t care who heard or what they thought of her. I’ve always envied people like that. I’ve never been one of them.

I’ve never been the girl that can completely and totally stand up for herself. I believe it may, at least in part, stem from the fact that I’m an only child. I do not have siblings that will always be there for me through all of my stumbles, falls, foolish tears and broken hearts. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got an amazingly supportive family, but not having brothers or sisters has made me learn to rely on my friends a great deal. It has also led me to fear that the people I choose to have in my life will, undoubtedly, leave me. And I’ll be all alone.

So, I hold on.

I hold on, but not too tight for fear of suffocation. And suffocation can scare people away.

I hold on, despite the fact that I probably shouldn’t even be gripped to some of them in the first place.

I hold on to everything and everyone I’ve got, even if they’re treating me in a way that I should not be treated. Because…they are there.

In this holding on to things that should be let go, I’ve done nothing but hurt myself. I’m learning my lessons, but I’m learning them at a snail’s pace.

I’m slowly learning that, in order to be taken seriously, I really need to start sticking up for myself. I need to stop worrying about who is going to leave if I speak my mind. Because the people that leave, are the people that shouldn’t even be there in the first place.

I’m slowly learning that, it’s not okay to forgive someone who hasn’t apologized from the bottom of their heart.

I’m slowly learning that people need to earn my trust and respect, and if they don’t want to put in the effort or time, they’re not worth mine.

I’m slowly learning that I can’t make people change, and I shouldn’t want them to. That would mean I am wishing for them to be someone else. And, if I want them to be someone else, there’s no reason to want them in the first place.

I’m slowly learning that it’s not okay to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings.

I’m slowly learning that I’m stronger than I think I am and that I deserve so much more than I settle for.

I’m slowly learning that you, and you, and you, and you are not worth a single, solitary tear.

So I won’t cry for you.

Ever again.

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