I remember being 16 years old and reading the line, “We accept the love we think we deserve,” from the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I thought I knew what that meant. I liked the way that line sounded; it was kind of poetic. It became every teenage girl’s fake deep caption on Instagram and Tumblr (including mine). But I had no idea what that really meant.
Isn’t it strange how sometimes the lessons we thought we knew end up getting re-learned? I’m almost 24 years old now, and I haven’t read that book in nearly eight years. But recently that line has been on my mind and I’m finally grasping what it means.
So why I am I re-learning this lesson? Because as I grow older and enter adulthood, the world keeps telling me that I deserve to be paid less than I deserve, to be respected less than I deserve, and to be loved less than I deserve.
But I’m not listening to the world, because If I did, I would always have a job that never pays me enough. I would always have people that take advantage of me. And I’d always reply to the “wassss6upppp” text at 12 a.m. I’m more interested in listening the increasing volume of my own voice that tells me I deserve more, because it’s the truth.
That quote isn’t about romantic love, it’s about self-love. It’s about knowing my worth in a place that tries to tell me I’m not worthy. This isn’t a fake deep Instagram post, it’s me saying, “Fuck the world, I choose myself and I don’t care what expectation is.” Because I have to tell myself I deserve more even when I don’t want to believe it.
If this is true for me, then it’s true for you, too.
I hope we choose ourselves, even when we don’t want to.
I hope we know we deserve more, even when that’s hard to believe.
I hope we get the love we deserve.