Bombarded with phrases meant to keep me humble (you get what you get, it is what it is, that’s the way the cookie crumbles), or inspire loftier aspirations (life is what you make it, you’re only as good as your last haircut, success isn’t going to crawl into bed and snuggle unless that’s your job or whatever), it can be difficult to find that place where I’m sincerely engaged with contentment.

I really hesitated when using the word “deserve” in this prompt. It’s a deliciously double edged sword of sentiment because being granted the life one deserves might not look exactly as one might hope it will.

Saying, “I hope you get what you deserve” to the villain in a story suggests a less than ideal outcome, from the villain’s perspective, especially if one considers that who we might have cast as the bad guy doesn’t necessarily see the story unfold from that viewpoint. Does the evil-doer see themselves so? Or are they just someone who was mistakenly maligned by circumstance? Why should any one get to decide what another one deserves?
I’m not talking about real heinous acts of malicious intent, of murder and harm that goes beyond reason and sense. I’m speaking of those grey areas where context is key, and motivation plays a major role.

But enough distraction. What does it look like to me, this “life I deserve”?

It means one where I have room to breathe, space to grow, the ability to get out of my own way, to encompass the necessary changes required to evolve within my own realm of existence.
It’s not about stuff, it’s about liking myself enough to acknowledge that I deserve to choose good habits, to maintain a lifestyle that benefits me in the long term, regardless of how long that term is.

I’ve spent years having a dysfunctional relationship with myself, prolonging the narrative that the kind of love which best suited me didn’t exist so I was likely unlovable, that I didn’t warrant healthy choices so I may as well spiral deeper into the bad ones, that I didn’t deserve kindness in the form of support because if I can’t do it myself, I shouldn’t do it at all.

I deserve better.

Somewhere between the exercises in humility and the striving for the stars is a happy medium of contentment. It’s a place where I show up for myself, where I agree to put in the time, make the effort, do the work, knowing that the dividends might not show themselves immediately, or even any time soon, but knowing that I’m working toward an existence both sustainable and satisfying.

The life I deserve is one where books get written, finished, published, read.
Where distraction takes a backseat to focus, and dickbrain starves for lack of fuel.
Where a poverty mindset finds no purchase in this realm of daily abundance.
A life of tea parties, dance parties, roadtrips, and adventure.
Of quiet nights, and coloured lights, of the calm before, during and after the storms.
Of fearless feats of creative expression, and shoeless feets of barefoot sessions.
Of money earned, time valued, leveling up, and prosperity the standard order of things.
Where love is the rule, not the exception.