Amongst my favorite novels is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. In it Chbosky reveals one of life’s saddest truths. He tells the reader and the young fictitious Charlie that “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I accept that truth but I will challenge it/offer a new perspective in this post.
I believe that some accept the love we think we deserve but others expect the love we think we deserve. This is a hard lesson I have had to learn recently through failed relationships and current lifelong relationships that I can’t/don’t want to ever get rid of.
I am a very straightforward individual. Although I understand many gray areas in situations of crime, the law and life in general I also see many issues as black and white. Like the issues of respect, affection, attitude and how far you go in life. If you work hard, you will get far. Just as if you love hard you will receive the same amount in return. Clearly that is not the case. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” does not mean that they will in fact do unto you what you have done unto them. I find that both depressing and sad.
As an optimist and a frequent user of the sunshine emoji, I often see the world in a positive light. That is one of my biggest flaws. I have always believed that if you are a good person, you will get rewarded in life. If you are a just individual, you will get justice. If you are a lover through and through, you will only receive love in return. Although I still believe this (and I truly do here, Stranger) I have been figuratively smacked out of that utopian view this week and last.
I cannot expect that because I feel that I am a good person who deserves respect and love that I will automatically get it. One must command respect. One must recognize that not everyone has their best intentions or is ever going to give them the love or the appreciation they think they deserve (or actually deserve).
I didn’t understand this concept until I spoke to one of my very close friends from home. Funny story, I actually had a completely different post going up earlier this week. Here’s an excerpt from the original post (entitled I can watch a sunset on my own) before I calmed down:
I have a question to you stranger: is it always you who has the problem if others aren’t receptive to you as a person or aren’t as enthusiastic about forming bonds with you? Is Taylor Swift really crazy or is she being mislabeled? Despite all of his craziness, was Michael Scott really that unworthy of at least one friend?
I have always prided myself as one who is a good friend. If you need a shoulder to cry on, I give you both of mine, an ear and a helping hand just to make sure you’re okay. If you need a favor, I will gladly give up something that is valuable but not as necessary at the moment (i.e. time) to help you. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, test days, move into your first apartment or dorm, whatever the occasion may be I set reminders to check in with you and wish you luck. Even my ex-boyfriend understood and commended me on how far I would go to support my friends and those I cared about (and he was shit at compliments).
If you can’t discern from my tone in the first paragraph, I was about to basically go HAM on everyone in my life. I was going to kick and scream verbally about how I was mistreated.
Then I thought and stewed (as I do often). Then I spoke to one of my very best friends from back home. We spoke about the fact that accountability is something that often gets looked over. I am still a strong believer in the notion that if you do good and are a good person, good will come to you (the glass is still half full, my friend). But now I understand that sometime, it is actually me. One must take some responsibility when it comes to how they are treated. I am not a pushover by any means, but I do tend to be an individual who is always there for those I care about. I am not saying to not be there for those people (I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t help those I loved and cared about or simply another human in need). My friend said it best: sometimes it is when you are silent that people see how loud you actually are and how important you are to them.
I am on a new journey now. One I am not sure of. I don’t know where it will lead me and hopefully by the end of it I will come out with a better understanding of what I mean to people. I must let those around me grow up and not have 50 million one sided friendships and relationships. I must stand up for myself a little more and be more willing to simply say “No” to picking someone up at 12am at the airport because they forgot to make plans ahead of time (hypothetically speaking but not really…)
To be honest, I am afraid. I am afraid these relationships will crumble. I am religious, however. I think God has a plan for us all and I have faith that the friendships and the relationships I have with people are stronger than I give them credit for. If they are not, then I’m better off without them and should instead focus on creating more lasting and meaningful friendships. Who knows, maybe making this journey will do nothing but help these relationships.
Lets hope that this summer and a more vocally reserved me will bring some little wonders to my life.