Okay I’m already lying I still give a shit. I give a lot of shits actually- just not the same shits I gave before.
Once upon a time I was so worried about what other people thought of me I would go so far as to not even post certain things on Facebook in fear that the readers of my feed would think me unusual. I was on a constant people pleasing mission, bending over backwards for other human beings. People I was not even close with. People I didn’t even enjoy the company of! I wanted absolutely everyone in the entirety of the human race to love me. Plain and simple.
When in conversation and a topic I did not agree with came up I would nod my head and agree in a mindless, spineless and spiritless fashion. I felt as though my opinion was not valid. My voice just never seemed important enough to speak up over the crowd. I gave myself no credit when it came to my freethinking mind.
I reflect back upon it now and feel saddened for all the years of wasted time.
And when I say ‘wasted’ I mean it. I misused so much time. Hours upon hours I would lay awake at night dwelling over something someone had said to me that hurt my feelings. My mind constantly reeling over why that person might not like me and what I could do to change myself if they didn’t.
Today as I write this I realize how far-reaching it all sounds. The story doesn’t sound tangible…Who in their right mind would go to such lengths to please everyone?
It didn’t seem so drastic back then though. I never realized what I was doing and I certainly didn’t think I was harming anyone. But in reality I was damaging the most important person- myself. I inadvertently put my own feelings and well-being on the back burner so to speak. I craved that cheap thrill of a pat on the back and the words ‘good job’ slung at me in a half-hearted way. I was forever searching for that approval; those meaningless words that for no reason other than my own inflated ego told me that I was doing right. In truth I was doing right by all the wrong people.
Time can do some very beautiful things to a person though. It gives us knowledge, strength, confidence and ability. And time does all of this in the slyest of ways- gradually and unbeknownst to us.
So there I was once giving all kinds of shits about all sorts of idiotic things. The clothes I wore and whether a pair of pants gave me a muffin top because God forbid that my fat insult the eyesight of someone walking behind me. I wrote with a bias hand always censoring the words I placed to paper, in fear I would offend some stranger I may never meet. I tread lightly in situations I was unsure of, promising not to rock the proverbial boat because people do not like boat rockers and I wanted all the people to love me. All of the people.
And that was the first thing when it came to giving a shit that time had taught me…Somebody will always dislike you. Sometimes people will go as far to say they hate you. And more times than not these people and their negative feelings are unavoidable, but they are also unquestionably commonplace. Rather than getting all up in arms about such an ordinary, everyday undertaking I was beginning to find catty remarks and rude comments just plain boring. Slowly but surely I came to the conclusion that I may as well be myself because if people were going to find things to loath about me they should probably be loathing me for my true traits rather than my tip toeing alter-ego. It is an utterly exhausting task to constantly worry about what others are thinking of you. EXHAUSTING I tell you! So I decided it was time to throw in the towel when it came to my shit giving ways.
And this is how my journey into shitlessgiving began. Yep…Going with that.
I won’t tell you that it is stress-free dropping all the shits one used to give. Quite easily it was a way of life that I lived for far too long. And sometimes I still find myself hovering skeptically over the publish button. Sometimes confidence still fails me and I worry my voice is not good enough. Sometimes I am still burdened with the falsity that I am not good enough.
But in these times of uncertainty I remind myself of all of the wonderful shits I still have to give.
I give a shit about my work. I give a shit about feminism and equality for the sexes. I give many shits about creativity and moving forward into the unknown. Of course I give a ton of shits about my amazingly selfless family who have helped me so much along the way. And for my friends, the people I know I can always count on. And most importantly I give the most shits about my wonderful husband and our two beautiful children.
When it comes time to really sit back and think about the greatness that this life has to give it is then that we can truly realize what shits are not worth stressing over.
And that is how starting to not give a shit changed my life forever.