I’m happy to, finally, be sticking up for myself. Lately, I've found myself actively avoiding negative people, protecting myself from being a sponge for their judgment and insecurity. I don’t think negative people are bad, rather that they are in unhappy and unhealthy place in their lives. I’ve been there too, of course. But now that I’m finally happy, I need to protect this sacred space. I need to preserve it. I won’t let anyone’s negativity poison my happiness any longer. I realize some people will dislike me for my happiness. I understand that too. I hated happy people when I was unhappy. But I’ve finally found that I’d rather be happy in isolation with my fellow joyful ones, than to be able to relate to and befriend the unhappy.
I’m proud that I’m sticking up for myself in other ways, too. It seems like a silly little thing (those small things are what add up to big change, right?), but I was excited to recognize my reaction to opening a tainted jar of mayonnaise yesterday. It was a perfect sunny summer day, the kind on which I always crave potato salad because it is the food-symbol of summer for me. So after I added up all the ingredients I’d need to make potato salad and compared them to the ingredients I had at homes in my head, I realized I was almost out of mayonnaise. I went to Whole Foods on my way home and picked up a jar of Vegan Mayo, “Nayonnaise.” When I got home, I used a pair of scissors to slit the plastic seal and underneath the lid was a fuzzy dark blue clump of mold. Disgusting. In the past, I would have thrown it out, or maybe just scraped off the mold and used what was underneath. But this time I decided I’d demand a refund. This is not something I’ve done before. I’ve never sent back food at a restaurant or returned something for being beneath my standards for quality. Plus the mayo was only, like, $3.50. But I decided I wouldn’t take it this time. Whole Foods wasn’t going to rob me, damnit! They’d taken enough of my money over the years for overpriced cheeses and hot bar soups. I wouldn’t stand for it this time. So this morning I went back. I ran through the pouring rain in the parking lot to the monstrous and majestic brick building and asked for my money back. I received a refund of $3.48 on my credit card. Along with that, I received my dignity.