Learning to Not Accept the Pickle Juice [Confessions of a Twenty-Something]

Is anyone else’s mind blown that another calendar year of complete and utter madness has come and gone? I’m baffled by the fact that an entire 365 days have ticked by slowly but super fast at the same time. 2012 was filled with a lot of ups and downs for me—a lot of accomplishments, a lot of mistakes, a lot of growing up and a lot of finally putting my foot down. I spent last New Year’s Eve in my basement with one of my best friends, Carolyn, drinking wine and sending creepy Facebook messages to cute news anchors that we were watching on TV. It was low key and calm. This New Year’s Eve, I will jet off to Washington D.C. and party all night with my wonderful friend, Kelly, and her close and personal friend, Barack Obama. Just kidding. I wish!
2012 was an interesting and wonderful year for me. I learned a lot about myself, the people I love in my life, and the world around me in general. Every single year of our lives contains defining moments and revelations that help us build a sense of who we are or who we eventually want to be. 2012 was filled with many moments that taught me a lot of about myself and how I want to present myself and treat myself. I really don’t want to get super cheesy with this post, but I grew up in 2012.
I learned to form my own opinions about politics and social issues rather than just piggybacking on the opinions of my parents. For years our opinions and viewpoints are molded by what our parents tells us and explain to us. We’re too young and naive and apathetic to really care about what’s happening in the world. This year, this all changed for me. I learned that my views do not in fact match up with my father’s, which was heavy to deal with at first and awkward and sometimes fight inducing, but also eye-opening and fulfilling. I took matters into my own hands. I did my own research and formed my own opinions. In 2012, I voted and made a choice on my own accord without the influence of anyone around me. There I was — growing up.
I also learned that twenty-three is not old! Sometimes I felt so burned out from school and working and writing that it was tough for me to maintain a social life because I was so tired all the time (and so were all my friends!). Somewhere along the way in 2012, we changed all that. We roadtripped and traveled. We went to concerts. We drank lots of alcohol. We stayed out until 5 AM. To put it in layman’s terms for you kiddos: we YOLO’d. I decided to start doing instead of just talking about doing. Now that I am a college grad, that “doing and not talking about doing” thing is going to be a very important piece of the Life Puzzle that I am going to take with me into 2013.
Most importantly, I learned to respect myself. 2013 will be the year of not accepting any of the pickle juice. Now, let me explain this please.
My friend and I have been joking around lately and trying to come up with our new slogan for the New Year.  She prefers, “Get paid, get laid, and relax in the shade,” which I find to be hilarious and amazing, but I’m opting for something a little different. Awhile back, I watched this Nicki Minaj documentary where she went into this crazy rant about how she’s often perceived as this high-demanding diva just because she doesn’t accept low quality amenities (“fifty dollar clothes budget and sliced pickles on a plate”) and service at her photo shoots.  As I watched and listened intently while this woman with a bright pink beehive of hair on her head explained her peeve, I was inspired. She didn’t want to settle for anything less than she knew she deserved. She wasn’t a diva or a bitch. She just knew what she wanted. She wanted high-quality service because she puts high-quality effort into what she does.
And then Ms. Minaj said the most amazing thing I have ever heard in my entire life, “Had I accepted the pickle juice, I would be drinking pickle juice right now.” If Nicki would have been cool with the small budget and the pickles, that is what she would have kept receiving  That would have been her standard — her normal — and she wasn’t about that. She wasn’t accepting any of the pickle juice. And there is my 2013 motto, people. I am not accepting any pickle juice this year. I know I am worth more than the pickle juice.
In 2010, 2011, and sometimes even in 2012, I was gladly slurping down that pickle juice with a forced grin on my face. No more of that. Ex-boyfriend texts you that he still loves you at 2 AM and you respond? Take a shot of pickle juice. A friend has bailed to hang out multiple times and then you still pick her up from the airport? Take another sip of that juice. Your boss refuses to give you that raise yet you continue to work weekends? Yummy, pickle juice! Down the hatch! That was me, guys. That was me — until now. Thanks to Nicki and my inner diva, 2013 will be the year that I say goodbye to the pickle juice, and say hello to demanding more for myself and of myself. It’s time to appreciate and cherish the people and things that make me feel good about myself and to do away with anything and anyone who does not.
I really hope you all take some inspiration from Nicki and from my writing and agree to not accept the pickle juice. We’re all worth so much more than that. In 2013, don’t answer that drunken text from an ex-boyfriend. Don’t put up with that shady friend. Take a stand, let your voice be heard, and know you’re worth.
Happy New Year, my babies! Cheers!
For more Confessions of a Twenty-Something, check the archives!
Katie has recently finished her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks incessantly about Ryan Gosling and hummus here!

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