When I was younger, all I cared about was being liked. (Can I get an AMEN from my Yes Gals?)

That sounds a little dramatic but you can pretty much track most of my developmental years by seeing which thing I was trying out to discover, “Does this make me likable?”

I was a good student so that my parents and teachers would be proud of (like) me. I made snarky jokes so my friends would laugh with (like) me. I was the cheer captain, the student council president, the drum majorette so that people would notice (like) me.

I’ve come to a new conclusion: F*ck that.

I am immensely likable. I throw incredible parties and if I love you and you’ve done an okay job of loving me back, I’ll probably throw one in your honor. I love giving gifts and I regularly have a wrapped present on my desk at work and there is a good chance it might be for you. I think up excuses to send people hand written notes. I make really tasty banana bread and I always bake enough to share.

The point of this is to say that I have enough proof that I am likable. You should like me. And if you don’t, or if you did and decided that I wasn’t your cup of tea anymore, then you’ve just got bad taste. Bless. I am sincere and I care about you and if I’ve upset you and hurt you, if you are brave enough to tell me about it then I will be brave enough to apologize. I love to learn and be challenged and if I said something that you think is ignorant, if you are sensitive enough to call me out in a productive way, I’ll be generous enough to listen. If you just jumped on the Amanda Train and there’s something about me you want to know, and you ask me without agenda, I will tell you that story.

I don’t think that worrying about being liked has served me much. I think I have hung on to that litmus test (“Does this make me likable?”) for entirely too long and I’m letting it go. Today I get to celebrate 3 years of marriage and 8 years of happiness with Brett and I can tell you one thing: There was a time in my life when I didn’t think I deserved love, when I was insecure and alone and certain I would always be that way. I was entirely wrong and Brett proves it to me everyday. He loves me abundantly and he sure as hell likes me.