Hey Friend! I have to share this secret with you. People are not thinking about you. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just that they have to devote most of their time tending to their own lives. They simply cannot dedicate a substantial amount of brain space thinking about you. That’s great news! Oh, you’re not convinced? Let me explain. Okay, here’s the situation…
Do you remember when I told you that I discovered the blissful release of going bananas? Well, I may have overdone it a little. Okay, a lot. I overturned a desk in the classroom because two points were deducted from my grade and not my friend’s (who actually cheated off my paper and had the exact same answer). I overturned a mattress at cheerleading camp, because I overheard the varsity squad saying they feared I’d be “difficult to work with”. I became argumentative, temperamental, obstinate and just plain sucky. I really did not like the person I had devolved into, so I decided to change.
After becoming a wife and mother, it was easier to hide my rage. However, having no other form of release, I adopted the habit of crying in the closet. Or the shower. Or in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep. I could not point to any particular reason for my unhappiness. I just knew that I was not good. During that time, I did not think I could turn to anyone. People were accepting of my fits. They even found them slightly amusing. But crying? Nah. I had to keep all of that crying nonsense to myself. Nobody wanted to see the pain behind my rage.
After I decided to leave my husband, I went through several life changes. I stumbled upon the realization that people were too busy living their own lives to give too much time and consideration to mine. In short, people really didn’t give a damn. It’s not that they didn’t love and care about me. It is that managing their lives was their full time responsibility. Include factors like spouses, children, careers, bills, pets, and entertainment and you see why it was impossible for them to dedicate time to governing mine (except those who want to legally regulate how other people live, but that’s a discussion for another day).
This realization sounds depressing, but, in fact, it was the most freeing recognition of my life. Think about it. If people can only dedicate one-tenth of their day (probably less than that) to study us, why do we waste so much energy caring what other people think? Not only was this the most liberating light bulb moment of my life to that point, it was also empowering.
If you let your child eat Chipotle every night while Honey is on a business trip, no one cares. If you dance to the music in your earbuds, people may look, but they don’t give a damn. If you pick your nose while you’re driving, eww. That’s gross. I can see you. Get a tissue. Aside from me (and do you really care what I think of your car hygiene?), no one is giving your every move a second thought.
Why, then, do we become embarrassed by the idea of standing out in the crowd? Why do we prefer to dedicate so much time trying to blend into our surroundings instead of living our authentic lives? I don’t have the answer for you, Friend. You’ll have to search your psyche to find out for your self. I can tell you that not giving a damn is the most freeing feeling.
Imagine who you would be if you weren’t trying to be who you’re supposed to be. Imagine it so often and vividly that you become that. Be that version of you that makes you wake up excited to get out of bed each morning. I’ll be here rooting for you.