Stop giving a fuck.
I've been thinking of writing this for the past week or so - mainly because I ran across a subreddit aptly called howtonotgiveafuck and around the same time, I also came across this TEDtalk. It seemed as though the world was trying to push me in a certain direction that I feel I've been neglecting for sometime.
So, yeah. This isn't a brand new concept. Forgive me for not reinventing the wheel.
Let's start at the beginning.
I've never been someone who gave an excess amount of fucks. I don't think it's really a part of my personality to get too caught up in who likes me, what people think about me, what I should or shouldn't do, etc. I tend to do what I like, when I want, and usually unapologetically. When I was a kid, I was fairly rebellious and I didn't really follow anyone's rules but my own. I had teachers that hated me and I openly hated them back. The same went for other students. I had a very "take-me-or-leave-me" mindset and, to a certain extent, I still have that.
However, for the past year or so, I've fallen into a pathetic pit of jealousy. I have started to give a fuck. A lot of fucks. Pretty much all of my fucks.
Every time I go onto Facebook - someone is getting engaged, getting married, having kids, getting promoted, traveling, etc. I'm looking at their sparkly achievements and then looking at my life and going, "Hey! Why not me?!" I start giving a fuck that I'm not "Where I'm supposed to be." Never mind that I'm not even actually sure I want children and I don't even want to own a house in Vancouver because I don't want a 50 year mortgage. Never mind that I would never want a super stressful promotion or a huge wedding. Never mind that I have no idea how these arbitrary experiences became stepping stones to being a "real adult." (I've lived on my own since I was 18 and I lived in another country for a year alone. But I'm not an adult until I own my own house? OK, got it.)
But, hey, if they all have that, I want that, too.
And it's fucking toxic. That mindset is fucking toxic.
And that occurred to me pretty much as soon as I finished that TEDtalk above. I am infinitely small. We are infinitely tiny in the scheme of things and our lives are pretty much....well, worthless. Money is worthless. Houses and cars and yes....even people, are worthless. There are only two things that matter - time and the meaning -I- assign to things. Yeah, you read that right. I get to decide what matters to me. Society doesn't get to choose, my Facebook friends don't get to choose, my family and friends and boyfriend don't get to choose what I care about. I do.
To some, that may seem depressing, but, to me, that sounds like freedom. That opens doors that weren't there before. I don't need to fit my life neatly into a box. I don't need to have a huge house. I don't need to worry if one of my students doesn't like me. I don't need to worry if people hated my recent sex article I posted on Facebook. Why? Because, in 2 billion years, you think anyone will care about lil-old-me? Not likely.
But, you know who cares about me?
I care about me a lot.
And giving fucks about all the things I'm 'supposed' to do/want/be makes me miserable.
And NO, I don't believe that someone can be happy all the time. I'm not completely delusional. But what I'm talking about is that slow, crushing struggle when you are doing things TO IMPRESS PEOPLE WHO DONT MATTER. When you let other people decide what -should- be important to you. When you let other people decide who you should be. When you let other people decide how your life should go. When you let other people make you feel you're not "where you're supposed to be." When their opinion matters more than your own. When you don't do the things you want because you care more about their opinion than your happiness.
I've realized that I haven't been doing things because I was scared of how people would perceive me. Hell, I ran around the house before posting my sex post yesterday, frantically asking C, "OMG, CAN I DO THIS?! CAN I POST ABOUT MY SEX LIFE ON FACEBOOK?!" I was scared about what people would think of me. I wasn't considering the most important person - myself. When I slowed down and thought about it ("Do I want to post this? HELL YES!") I realized that it would make me happy. I like sharing my writing, insights, tips. I like writing this website. I like improving my writing and playing around with click bait titles and deciphering analytics. So, it was worth it to me. When I broke it down in that way, there was no question I would post it. And so I did and the world didn't end and I ended up happier. Go figure.
And so, I'm changing my mindset. I'm not going to give a fuck anymore. Or rather, I'm selectively going to give a fuck about the things that are important to me. I'm going to do what I think is right for me. I'm going to follow my own rules again. And yeah, if that means not owning a house and traveling the world, then it does. If that means skipping children so I can pursue my career, then it does. If that means posting about my sex life on Facebook, then it does. But I'm going to do it, because those are the things I give a fuck about not because I'm scared or jealous.
I'm going to do right by me and direct my fucks in the direction that makes me happy.
I highly suggest you do the same. (But, hey, you don't have to. They're your fucks to give - not mine.)