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Hey, you! You, reading these lines. How was your day today? You’re probably extremely anxious about something, as we all are. It’s either your job or your significant other, the rent or the cable bill… and the list goes on. You wish you were younger, when life was less complicated. But what made it so is one crucial element. A very important variable that slowly disappeared as years went by and you “matured”.

You used to speak up.

When we were young, and someone was rude or aggressive to us, we used to react. I remember when I was four, a friend of mine took my toy and I bit him. He also beat me back, but let’s not miss the point. As we grow up, rules are imposed on us regarding behavior and turn-taking in discourse and all those interesting things that dictate our adult lives.

Somewhere along the way though, probably right after we learn the meaning of compromise, we think that this will solve all of our problems. We tolerate misdemeanors from our friends, our significant other, and all kinds of comments from our boss at work.

The worst thing is that, sometimes, we think we deserve it. We all crave a bit of self-punishment. We like to convince ourselves that we had it coming.

Well dearie, I have news for you.

Not everything is your fault.

The person sitting right across you will not change their attitude on his/her own. If you do not point out what kind of behavior makes you uncomfortable, then do not expect it to change anytime soon. Do not expect the problems in your relationship to magically disappear one day, no matter how magnificent the sex between you two is, or how well (s)he cooks.

And yes, a job is hard to come by nowadays, and surely the salary you get is quintessential to your independence. But that does not mean your boss can be a prick to you, or even that you have to continuously, politely, decline their advances towards you.

As for that person in the bus that gives you funny looks just because you do not conform to the norm – what the hell do they have in their head? Well too bad for that person, you can be and look however you want!

One of the first things you’ll notice when you start speaking up against anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or irritated, or even scared, is that some people in your life will not be able to handle it. You will be immediately considered snobbish, weird, and rude and people will start disappearing.

Right? Well, that’s the ugly part. The job you’ll lose for being honest, the partner that will leave because they thought you were different, and the friends that will tell you that you’ve become asinine.

The beautiful part is that the new you, the REAL you, will radically change. You will be more confident, and will probably realize that, up to that point, you did not actively seek what you deserve, because you lacked the resolve to actually ask for it. Yes, you won’t actually get it all the time, but then again, who does?

You will at some point stop caring about what people say about you. You won’t give a single fuck; all because now you don’t need to sugarcoat anything that comes out of your mouth. Be careful though! The line is thin between being yourself and being a prick! Remember sincerity does not mean offending anyone around you. In other words don’t be me!

And last but not least, your attitude is bound to attract all the right people in your life. It will immediately reveal how much all of those people that stuck around truly love you and want to be in your life. A new job will come by and your new and old friends will now know how to treat you.

Oh, and who knows? Maybe one day a person might talk to you in a way that will make you feel so good with yourself that it will all make sense. You will even wonder how many years you spent not being yourself.

Welcome to my Pawn Shop. I can be a dick sometimes, but no worries.

You’ll get used to that.

Author: Michael Poe

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