I think that we all deserve to be happy. In college, one of the obvious ways that happiness comes about is from your relationships with others. Recently, I've been talking with some friends about relationships that didn't make us happy--whether friendships or romances--and I've started to realize something we all have in common: at least once in our lives, we've sold ourselves short, thinking that we don't deserve anything better than what we have. How do we find ourselves in that rut of thinking that we have to push aside all negatives and refuse to imagine a better life? Why is it that we'll settle for something, even when it's not easy and it's not making us happy? I'm posing questions here that don't have an easy answer, but they're worth thinking about.
Obviously no relationship of any kind is perfect. There's give and take, there's compromising, there's a big argument every now and then. But when I was sitting around the kitchen table with my roommates, we each had story after story of how many times one side of a relationship wronged the other, whether it was through cheating or lying or general horribleness, and the other simply put up with it. Yeah, sometimes your best friend or your boyfriend or your girlfriend or your lab partner is having a bad day and they let out a few choice words in your direction that aren't sweet. That's forgivable. We all do that. But the people that continue to berate us and beat us down...why are they still in our lives?
People often joke about how savage it is to delete a friend from FaceBook or unfollow someone on Twitter. So, for my generation, imagine how hard it is to imagine cutting someone out of your life not only virtually but also in the real world. It's hard to remove someone completely from your life. For me, I imagine it happening dramatically, even though the reality is that the person who posts negative Twitter rants is so focused on him or herself that it's almost impossible that they'll notice I unfollowed them or that I no longer show up to the group gatherings they host.
I think some people are the type that are so guarded that they hardly ever give pieces of themselves away. I can be like that. But I can also be trusting and extremely emotionally invested in others. What I'm deciding, especially as I get ready to graduate, is that I need to be choosy about the people to whom I give my time and my love. We all need to be picky. We need to stop selling ourselves short, and search for the relationships that make us feel good and whole, without a doubt. There are plenty of people out there who will lift us up, and it's just not worth it to spend time with someone who will bring us down.