Lifestyle

Am I required to keep you around because of your title? Nah…

Okay, so I wouldn’t say I’ve been in a complete funk lately, but definitely in a space where I could use some serious inspiration. It’s not that I’m burnt out or anything but I’m having trouble grasping that one topic that I want to discuss and that I’m able to expound on effectively.

It’s like right on the verge of writers block and I refuse to cross that bridge!

So, I began going through some old drafts of posts that I’ve either started to write a year ago and never finished or posts that I completed  but never published.

Early into my process, I came across this gem. I took this from a post that I intended to have out towards the end of 2017 to talk about some lessons that I learned. However, it didn’t go out because I was busy trying to send myself into labor *shrugs*. Either way, I’ll let you read it, and then I’ll continue…

I learned to stop giving people a free ride in my life and access to all I have to offer simply because they think they are entitled to it by title. Again, a post dedicated to this topic will be up in the future but here is the just of it. I realized that it made absolutely no sense that on a job, with people who don’t know us or don’t owe us anything, we require that they respect us. Not only that, but we also require that they acknowledge all that we have to offer– skills, talents, etc.. We make sure that they know just how important and valuable of an asset we are. We want them to know our worth– even though they, as I mentioned before, don’t know us or owe us anything, and on top of that are paying us for our time. The minute that an employer doesn’t make us feel valuable, important, or acknowledge what we bring to the table- we’re ready to leave and go somewhere where we are appreciated. However, we don’t require the same out of the everyday folk in our lives because of all the excuses in the world- “that’s family”, “we’ve been friends forever”, “that’s just how they are”, etc..

I realized that I had been conditioned to believe that due to the nature of my relationship with someone, it affords them the right to be able to disrespect me, not support me, not appreciate me, not acknowledge all that I bring to the table, and use me.
I had to realize that I am important and I deserve to be treated as such.

So this year, I learned to raise my expectations of the people in my life- and I,in turn, would uphold those same expectations. I learned that I had so much more to offer than whichever thing people wanted to use me for.

You know how it is, there are those certain people you only hear from when they need something from you but yet when it’s the other way around you’re S.O.L- yeah, that’s the call I decided to stop answering because I owed it to myself to not let people take advantage of who I am.

Okay, so first let’s start here- trust me when I say this is not a boastful ‘oh, I’m so great’ type of post. However, I will not fall into the trap and misconception of humility. Yes, I understand that it is important to be humble- and when it’s necessary, I am that. But for some reason we live in a world where people are taught to posses so much humility to the point that it’s crippling and I will not do that anymore. I’ve learned to not shy away from the greatness that I am. After all, how can I know my worth and know how I deserve to be treated if I don’t know who I am? 

Moving right along…

Yeah, this seriously had to be one of the most ah-ha moments I’ve had last year. I remember I was so excited to share this with my husband. This realization came to me at a time when I was doing a lot of things for a lot of people and making myself extremely available for people who, in turn, did not and would not do the same for me. I struggled with it for awhile because, to be honest, I was uncomfortable setting the precedent for how I wanted to be treated simply based off of the nature of my relationship with each person. Which is actually crazy for me being that I have the cut-off spirit– shout out WOTTCM, you taught me how to do it best.

Anyway, when I began to think about it, I realized a couple of things that shifted my thinking in the best way possible.

Let me explain.

I’ve had quite a few jobs. And of the quite a few jobs that I’ve had, I’ve also left quite a few jobs. Before I actually made the decision to leave some of those jobs, there were periods of unhappiness and feelings of discontent. Those moments and those feelings were brought on by an environment consisting of taking advantage, dis-acknowledgement, and un-appreciation. Once I began to realize the type of environment I was in, my job performance changed. Why? Well, because I refused to continue to pour my all into something that was not serving me in return.

Let me just be real here- I worked my ass off for a lot of those jobs. Put in extra hours, did other people’s jobs, went completely above and beyond just because that’s the type of employee I was. However, often times those things went unnoticed- or at least unnoticed where it counts. I’m talking about promotions and raises people. I was pretty much working for pennies. Sure, every now and then I got that condescending pat on the back but it did nothing for me when it came time to advance and I was passed up every time. 

But anyway, the point is I had no problem, whatsoever, making that change- whether it be pulling back or leaving altogether because I knew what I brought to the table and I wasn’t content allowing a job to not acknowledge that- even if they were paying me *shrugs*. 

This is so relevant to my life right now it’s crazy. It’s like the lesson that I never stop learning and I’m grateful for that. 

As I mentioned before, I did/do have the cut-off spirit, however, there have been some people who were exempt from that strictly based off the nature of our relationship. You know, some people were just too close to make such a drastic change. And then it hit me and all that changed. 

Actually, I’m so grateful for my son because it was while I was pregnant with him and ever since then that I really started to learn lessons about people. If not for that timing, I would have a whole lot of people taking up unnecessary space in my life. Thanks boo. 

But yeah, the realization was that I had fair and understandable expectations for establishments that were paying me for my time but did not require the same out of people who were getting the benefits of me for free.

Please, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, I don’t want my family and friends to pay me simply because I am in their lives, *rolls eyes*, however, I do have fair and understandable expectations. 

I don’t subscribe to only hearing from someone when they want me to do something for them but can’t also just check in to see how myself, and my family, are doing. I don’t subscribe to someone who only reaches out to me when they have an issue that they need some talking through but yet, they are unavailable when it’s the other way around. I don’t subscribe to those who have shown me, blatantly, that they couldn’t care less about what I’ve got going on over here but expect me to care about what they’ve got going.

I will go on to say that this applies to everyone in my life. I don’t care if you’re “family”, which is a concept we’ll discuss at a later date, or “friends”. I put these words in quotations because if you were truly either one of those things in the first place, this would be a non issue. Sorry. 

Let me tell you, since I’ve made that change, it’s been great. Getting that type of negative, unsupportive, self-serving energy out of my life has been refreshing. And now, I’m able to focus my time and energy on the people who matter. I have more to give to those who are giving me the same energy back.

It’s tiring and exhausting continuing to pour into someone who is not returning the sentiment. If one keeps at that rate, you’ll be depleted with nothing to give the ones who deserve it.

Soooooooo, that’s what I mean by free rides, and there will be no more of those!

Ahh, that felt so good to finally finish this post! I have been trying to complete this post for weeks. Girl, it’s been a struggle. I’ve been a little discombobulated. But as I mentioned in my last post, I’m getting it together!

Thanks for being patient and hanging in there with me, y’all!

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26 Comments

  • Celesha Best

    Yesss all true!! It can definitely be hard to let people go but it’s more painful to keep giving without getting anything back. Thanks for sharing 😊

  • Cherrell

    Girl, I swear it’s like you’ve been reading my journal!! I’ve been dealing with this issue for years and realized that it was time for me to be my own lover and best friend before I could be that for anyone else. I couldn’t keep giving my all to others without question, but they gotta think about it for a minute when it comes to being available for me. Thank you for sharing!

  • Nkem

    Gosh, there are so many thoughts in this post that hit home for me. I love the linkage between how we act with situations at work and how we act with people and situations outside of work. I actually recorded a podcast episode recently on protecting your energy and we discussed exactly this! Sometimes you come to a point and realize there are people taking up unnecessary space in your life and that’s when you need to snip snip! Loves this!

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