Sunday, January 10, 2010


The dictionary definition of a pushover is someone who is easily taken advantage of.  Now, usually I would not describe myself in these terms, but looking back on past friendships and thinking about future endeavors I have come to realize that I can be a HUGE pushover.  And you know what, I really don't like it.  It is something that has been with me since I was young, afraid of loosing "friends" if I stood up for myself or put my own needs first.  As a result I learned to put on a tough exterior to those I did not know, but the few that I allowed myself to get close to I cowered and allowed them to use me as a dumping ground for their own problems and emotions.

Well, I figure if I really want to take back my life and make it the best one for me then I can't keep doing this.  Really, it comes down to me taking a good hard look at myself and realizing that I am good enough.  Ah, now memories of Oprah and her "self love" days come back to mind.  While I won't go hug myself and say "I am special, I am worthy" (although I can be a little special now and then) I am going to stop investing so much time in people that can't return some of the investment back.  I mean I figure that is what a friendship is - mutual caring and understanding for another.  More than that I realize that as I get older I need to start believing in myself.  I don't know, graduate school on one hand has torn me down and made me have to stand strong to my thoughts in order to survive the back stabbing, idea stealing, ego-centric world that comprises academia.  Yet, on the other hand it has also made me doubt more and more my own self worth - which is just not cool on all levels.  I have found that I am more cautious then I need to be, trying to make sure I have someone agree with me or not make to strong of an assertion because I will be shut down automatically or people just won't like me.  It's funny I can get so passionate and strong willed when I start to talk about issues of race, nation, injustice, education, politics but then I can be such a flippin wimp when a "friend" decides to "confide" in me about all their problems and tell me all their dramas but could care less to hear about my life.  It is so emotionally and physically draining that I just can't do it anymore.  The power of "No" has to enter my mind and come out my mouth, so I guess this is my New Years Resolution a few days late.  And really, I don't need everyone to like me or I like everyone - just respect and mutual understanding is really all one can ask for.

Honestly, this is hard to write but sometimes facing yourself and your own demons/issues/problems is a bitch.  But, it is necessary and after last years wave of depression and self deprecation I don't, and can't, go down that road again.  I am sure all of us have gone through waves of this in some form or another.  I think this is why I needed to get out of Michigan, start fresh, and realize I can make friends outside of a preconceived academic environment, that I can be fun and not have to rely solely on my "intellect", and that I am overall a good person who happens to be a little too nice sometimes.  That is not a bad thing - I just need to remember my own interests and social, mental, and physical health.  So I guess it comes down to balancing self-care and remembering that nice doesn't have to equal pushover.


Meg said...

i've never thought of you as a pushover--i've always thought you were pretty damn strong! you wouldn't be where you are today if you weren't pretty damn strong!

Nicole said...

Thanks Meg - I am strong in most areas but can be weak in others so trying to balance it all out. But thanks for reading!