I angry-cried today.
I’m not usually a crier, at least not in the past few years. I save my tears for heartbreaks, lost friendships, disappointments. But today, I was angry. I was sick-to-my-stomach angry. I was fists-clenched, lips-pursed angry. I barely made it up the stairs before collapsing on my knees into bed, and I trembled in red, hot anger, and let the tears fall from my eyes without a sound.
I have always felt that I have been taken advantage of, taken for granted, and generally disrespected. But this year has been particularly aggravating for me.
I applied for nearly 200 jobs, using my brandy-new bachelor’s degree, and acquired a total of three very-part-time positions. Each of which paid me as little as possible, of course, but just enough to make it worth my while.
I also went on about a date a month, using my new-found confidence, and acquired multiple part-time lovers. Each of which gave me as little of themselves as possible, of course, but just enough to make it worth my while.
And boy, did I just keep getting disappointed!
I couldn’t believe that these people had such a hard remembering that I was a Fellow Human Being, one with Thoughts and Feelings, Bills and Goals.
I wish I had someone counting how many times I said “this is fucking bullshit” this year, because, damn, has this year been fucking bullshit. And this time it wasn’t even for lack of trying. I goddamn tried. I’ve never tried so hard in my goddamn life.
Both my dates and employers will tell you how great I am, how nice, smart, and genuine I am. If I am so fan-fucking-tastic then why is it that I am so consistently being under-valued? Love me more, then. Pay me more, then.
And I know this sounds like I’m being conceited and maybe even a little entitled, but I’ll tell you h-what, it’s a lot healthier than the depressingly low self-esteem I used to have! Recognizing my own value as not only a human being but like a pretty good one, has been life changing.
So, where are you going with this, Andria? you might be asking. The point I’m getting to is that we should all be standing up for ourselves, and doing so consistently. Because while everything in this world is definitely a bunch of bullshit, change will only happen if you do something about it. Those men that under-valued me? Dumped. Those jobs that are under-valuing me? They’re about two weeks from being dumped, too.
Power is not given, it is taken. You will constantly be taken advantage of if you never say or do anything about it. Start saying no. Start speaking up for the injustices in your life. Don’t take bullshit excuses for an answer. You simply cannot let people walk all over you, or you will be trampled.
And this advice isn’t just for jobs and dating, it is for friends, family, strangers, even the government. If you feel you are being treated unjustly, speak the fuck up. Your voice is more powerful than you think, and your actions are even more so.