Cheez-Its Over Fettuccine Alfredo

It has taken me 37 years to finally stop choosing Cheez-its over Fettuccine.

I don’t quite know when I even started choosing one over the other.

What I do know is how stupid I have been.

(If you know me in real life, then you know this is a bald-faced lie. I would never choose cheez-its over fettuccine, but stay with me….)

What I’m referring to is how much time I’ve spent working so damn hard trying to prove myself.

Prove I’m worthy.

Prove I’m enough.

Prove I’m capable.

Prove I’m smart.

Prove I’m destined for great things.

Prove I wasn’t born to simply stay in the shadows of others or be somebody’s sidekick.

I’ve been working so hard to prove myself, but, damn bruh, sis be TIRED.

Many years ago, I remember when a “friend” pushed me to confess that I had a crush on a boy — to the boy himself. My gut kept saying, “No, don’t do it… don’t do it…” but I trusted this friend. Since I was so hesitant, the friend offered to make it “easier” and less “uncomfortable” for me by telling the boy themselves — as a favor to me.

Such a good friend, right??

The friend told him, and we lived happily ever after.

Ha 🤣 Yeah, right 🙄

The boy didn’t reciprocate my feelings (story of my life). The friend told me a long time later (when said friend was actually dating the boy) that on that fateful day the boy confessed to liking my friend and he was surprised that the friend was telling him about my feelings, when he expected the friend was confessing their feelings about him.

Ah. The young and the restless, right?

That’s just a very trivial, insignificant example of hundreds of moments of my life where my instinct was telling me that what I was experiencing was NOT OKAY….but I pushed those thoughts aside because I needed to make sure I continued to work hard to prove I was worth keeping in their lives.

I remember thinking that day, as I was wracked with nerves, “this is F’d up, right?” but my loyalty and desperate need to be accepted and have friends allowed it.

Not only did I allow it, I gave it a home to live in, a bed to sleep in, and clothes to wear.

I so desperately wanted to prove that I was a good friend and that my love for my friend was steadfast.

I was their ride or die.

Whether they were mine or not.

So many of us are guilty of this, aren’t we?

We make plans, we beg them to hang out with us, we buy “just because” gifts, we make sacrifices, we change ourselves, we bend over backward, we make allowances — all to prove to someone that we are worth keeping.

We just want to be needed, loved, validated, accepted.

But, y’all….I AM TIRED.

And not in an angry, fed up sort of tired.

But in a, I-just-worked-a-12-hour-shift-and-I-am-exhausted, kind of tired.

So I am done.

I’m done trying so hard.

Not because I can’t, or I’m out of resources to try, but because it has suddenly dawned on me —

The problem isn’t that I’m not enough…

Think of it this way:

One day I don’t bring lunch to work. When the time for lunch comes around, I just eat a bag of cheez-its to tide me over. But, by the time I come home, I am so famished, so I eat a big meal.

Those cheez-its were good for that little amount of time. Eventually, though, I can feel it wearing off, and I am still left feeling empty and hungry.

But, that meal I ate when I got home? That keeps me satisfied all evening, and until the next morning.

That’s what I equate these people to.

I have been starving for people to see my worth, my potential, and my abilities.

But I have been given options: I could eat one of the meals at a table FULL of the most delicious food — food that could keep me full and satisfied for a long time or rely on the snack size bag of cheez-its.

All my life I ignored the delicious, satisfying food and chose that dinky snack-size bag of cheez-its because I convinced myself that was all I deserved.

Now, 37-year old me is like…..

Why am I settling for someone’s scraps, like a dog, when there are people who are making plates full of food for me…with the choice of going back for SECONDS!?

You want me to choose your stale ass CHEEZ-ITS because you think that’s all I should get or because that’s all the effort you’re willing to put into this, over this person who is sitting patiently and lovingly offering to let me sit in my pajamas, and eat FETTUCCINE ALFREDO while watching Jane Austen movies?!

Bye, Felicia.

Something my therapist said to me the other day about this topic was: “Why worry about the people who are sleepin’ on you? Let them sleep.”

She’s exactly right.

If these people didn’t (or still refuse to) see my worth and potential, then I’ve got to keep it moving.

Whether they wake up or not isn’t my problem.

I got things to do and places to go. Y’all stay asleep and snuggle-bunnied in your beds…

I’m going to go do some epic 💩 while enjoying my delicious plate of Fettuccine Alfredo.

38 year-old who just quit her job as a teacher of 14 years — — trying to figure out who she is and what in the F word she’s supposed to do with her life=)