This is the first and only time I’ve changed someone’s name in a blog post. If you know me, you can probably guess who I’m talking about. It’s not hard. But some people have grown-up jobs, so out of respect for those grown-ups and the desks they work at, I went with a name change. Cool? Cool.
“Look at you!!”
I was standing in Stacey’s apartment, ready for a quick run around the monuments. I was dressed in a faded t-shirt and Nike shorts I’ve owned since college, and home girl was dressed to the nines. She was black-on-black-on-black, with a blazer that fit perfectly and pants that made her ass look like, whoa.
She threw her arms out wide like every stance on every motivational poster, ever. “I feel like this is the way I was born to look!”
You’re probably wondering why you should give two flying fucks about how my friend dresses for work. Funny you should ask.
I’ll address that little sentiment now.
That tailored blazer and those butt-hugging pants represent one decision Stacey made six months ago: To stop putting up with crap in her life. She sold the condo with a nightmare commute. She dumped the boyfriend who couldn’t show respect. She quit the job lacking the career ladder she aimed for.
She rented an apartment in the most coveted neighborhood in DC, flirted her butt off, and went balls-out negotiating her offer letter. She has yet to tell me her salary, but I’m sure she’s quite…comfortable.
“So how’s work going?” I asked.
“Oh my God,” she started, “It’s so great. I truly love it. But one week in, we’re already having Game of Thrones throw-downs.
“First, they put me in a cubicle. A cubicle! Then, I got a pretentious email from a colleague with the same seniority as me, describing how he planned to enable me. I read it once and was like, oh hell no—FORWARD.”
You won’t get what you want without asking for it. You’re an adult—speak up and defend yourself.
In the sentences that followed, my jaw dropped lower and lower as Stacey described her defense-to-offense attack. She marched straight into the managing director’s office. She demanded an explanation. And when her boss assured her she was in the right, she didn’t let him off the hook.
“And so I said, ‘Then hold up your end of our bargain. Make me look like a strategic hire so I have the leverage to execute our game plan. Don’t stick me in a cubicle next to my peer’s corner office.’”
“DAMN!!!” I wouldn’t have the guts. I know I wouldn’t.
“I’m done playing nice. I took this job to be a decision maker, so I’m setting expectations from the beginning,” she waved one finger side to side, “The moment I see warning signs of corporate bullshit, I’m like nuh-uh.”
And you should do the same. You should hold up one finger to everything and everyone giving you crap in your life. A particular finger, actually.
Sticking up for yourself does not make you entitled. It makes you assertive.
If you have been turned down for a promotion, go ask for it. If your boyfriend talks down to you, break up with him. If you don’t get paid what you’re worth, increase your rates.
There is nothing wrong with demanding more from your life. If you are sick and tired of putting up with crap, stop accepting crap. Stop tolerating people who speak down to you. I don’t care who they are—a boss, boyfriend, roommate, or friend. Eliminate all unnecessary poop-filled evils in your life. If you hate your neighborhood, move. If you hate your car, sell it. If you hate your damn hair color, color it.
Those “reasons” for why you can’t do something are not reasons. They’re excuses.
Who cares if you dropped $100 at the salon last week? If you cringe every time you look in the mirror, go back and change it. Is your car insurance really that much cheaper than Uber? And are you one hundred percent positive, that in the history of the world, you are the first person to wiggle your way out of a lease? Didn’t think so.
There are very, very, very (seriously, it’s not many) few things about your life you DON’T have the power to change. Instead of continuously swallowing whatever vomit-inducing crap you continuously force down, go change it.