I settled in high school, big time. I settled for being ignored. I settled for being used; emotionally and physically. I settled for people who didn't actually care about my wellbeing. My emotions, my opinions, my preferences- they were irrelevant. I settled for girls who tolerated me, just because I idolized them. I settled for guys who made me the butt of every joke, just because they were the "it" crowd. I settled to be around people who forgot about me constantly and did nothing but use me. I was used when they wanted someone to blame. I was used when they wanted someone to make fun of. I was used when they wanted someone to organize get-togethers for them. (I swear if I hadn't organized them, I probably never would've been invited.. but I'm not bitter.)
It wasn't until years later that I realized how much I was actually worth. It wasn't until I met people who wanted me to spend time with them- no strings attached- that I realized what a real friend was. It wasn't until I met people who called me if I went MIA, or who just wanted to make my day, it wasn't until I met those people that I realized I had settled. When you're in the middle of a situation and you're going after something you've always wanted, it usually takes being removed from it to realize how bad it actually was.
I used to feel really bad about myself, because I knew I was being used, but those people convinced me I wasn't worth more than that. They took situations where I had reacted a certain way, or things that I had said and almost made it seem like they needed to punish me and hold me "accountable", and therefore treated me like I was their assistant. I slowly started to put on the title of the "get-it-done" girl, the "planner", the "mom". I put on that role because I thought that was the only role I was allowed to have, the only role that would secure my spot in that group of friends. I felt like that as long as they "needed" me for something, they wouldn't ignore me and kick me out. But the reality was, that as soon as I did what they wanted, or what I thought they wanted, they would just go back to ignoring me and making fun of me. Honestly, it was horrible. For the rest of high school and even after, I bounced back and forth in this cycle of thinking that I wasn't enough or that I didn't do enough. I was associating my worth with how much I could do, accomplish, say, or make someone feel. Not to say that everything I did wasn't genuine, a lot of it was, but I was always hoping for somewhat of a reward. In that case, the reward of having friends.
The reality was, they were never my friends. I kind of always knew that, but I didn't want to admit that, because I was emotionally attached to them. Thinking about it now, it breaks my heart to know that they're hurting so badly that they would treat someone like that. It breaks my heart that I allowed them to treat my heart like that and I allowed them to use me. I know that I am the only one that allowed them to do that, but it's because I was settling. I was settling because I didn't think that I was worth having other friends, because I didn't know what a real friend was. I settled because I was afraid that if I didn't work for people, they wouldn't want me. I settled because I associated my worth as a friend with tasks instead of genuine love and friendship.
So I beg of you, don't settle. You are worth being loved. You are worth having friends. You are worth someone getting to know you. Your likes, your dislikes, the good parts, and the bad- you're worth it. Don't ever let anyone take something you've said or done and label you as that. You only wear the labels that you choose to wear. So don't allow it. Be the person you want to be, not the person people expect you to be. You are incredible, so don't settle.