How does one come to no longer give a shit?
I'm not exactly sure when it happened - if I awoke from a dream or emerged from some type of feverish state, but this year... my 35th year of life... has been a banner year for realizing that
I don't give a flying shit about what other people think of me or what I do with my life.
I'm not breaking any new ground with this concept. Mark Manson eloquently referenced it last year in his essay, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, George Carlin, may he rest in peace, discussed the importance of not giving a shit in a 2011 Emmy TV Legends Interview, and Howard Stern built an entire career on the premise of brazen authenticity. No, this is not a leap of consciousness for humanity, but it has been a leap of consciousness for me. The sensation of not giving a shit registers in my brain as a delightful opiate, flooding my experience of life with the same free-falling bliss as eating a doughnut or having a jaw-shattering orgasm. It's entirely addictive, and I unabashedly want to slam more of it into my veins like cheap street crack.
I can't recall the exact moment of metamorphosis. Maybe it was in December when I almost went Thelma & Louise off of an icy cliff on my way to a job that didn't pay enough. Perhaps it was in February in response to having a good friend drop dead at the age of 39 from a heart attack. Come to think of it, it was probably in April when I participated in a 4-day transformational workshop that had me inquire into how often I'm inauthentic in my life. Yes, I believe that was the beginning, when I realized that I'm inauthentic, full of crap, passive aggressive, lame as shit and totally fake a lot of the time.
From there, not giving a shit expanded and swelled like a rampaging rhino bitch of unbridled ferocity that wasn't slowing down for anyone or for any reason. Don't get me wrong, there's kindness here. There's goodness and gentleness and I do care about people and things in the world. I'm not a total sociopath. I'm a kind, good-hearted, generous and thoughtful person, and on and on and on until you barf, but it's fucking true. I genuinely own all of that. The goodness and the kindness hasn't gone away, it just expresses itself in a far more genuine manner than ever before. I no longer do things that I don't want to do out of a sense of obligation. Nor do I bend myself into origami knots of resentment doing things that just plain and simply don't feel right. I don't say things that you're "supposed" to say anymore. I don't withhold things that you're "not supposed" to share. I don't bottle up feelings that are "impolite" to express.
I go for it. Balls out.
If people disagree with me, that's not my concern. If people want to spend time with me and I don't feel that it's in my best interest to spend time with them, that's also not my concern. What I've realized is that there's a whole universe of things that are not my concern, and dropping them feels like, well, dropping a huge load... which you can interpret in whatever way you'd like, because again, not my concern.
Life for me is perfectly and ironically juxtaposed with the most exquisite bullshit and the most obscene privilege. I don't deserve any of this privilege, not even for a millisecond, and this truth has become a type of mantra. I'm not special. I'm no better than anyone else, anywhere, and newsflash - neither are you.
We all shit brown and we all bleed red. Period. Pun intended.
For me, not giving a shit is like having an existential, spiritual communion with the truth. I'm not interested in harming others or intentionally being an ass. I don't get off on hurting other people's feelings or poking the bear in the zoo by purposefully digging into someone's deeply entrenched beliefs, regardless of how idiotic they may be. That shit's no longer worth my life force, which brings me to my 4 helpful tips:
1. We're All Going to Die
Roll that one around for a sec because it's true. We. Are. All. Going. To. Die. So who fucking cares about what some asshole thinks about you or what you said or didn't say, or what you did or didn't do? I promise you, either today or tomorrow or a week from now or when you're 39 or 44 or 56, 61, 72, 83, 97 or 101.... you're gonna croak and die, so stop living like people's approval of you actually matters. It doesn't, because they're as good as dead, too.
2. Nobody Actually Cares
Another reason you shouldn't give a shit about what other people think of you is that they're most likely totally and completely and utterly consumed with their own psychosis of wondering what YOU are thinking about THEM. They're not listening to you, pretty much ever. ATTENTION! We interrupt this broadcast to let you know that They, otherwise known as everyone on the planet, are devoutly listening to their own internal transmission... the beepity beep beep beep of their precious and dramatic life saga. Your story is merely an unimportant distraction. Sorry.
3. Everyone's Projecting onto Everyone Else
As a bonus, when someone's judging you, which feels ever so special, they're really just using you as a whipping boy for their own emotional projections. Repeat after me children, "Projection." Learn it, know it, live it, and then cease to give a shit in its midst.
4. And Why the Fuck Not?
To put it succinctly.... why the fuck not live authentically? Why not just BE you and DO you to fullest extent and let the chips fall where they may? Why not let people deal with you in your most unapologetic form? Why not live and be and embody and own everything your gloriously unique mind, body and spirit demands? Why, I ask you? And I demand that you ask yourself... Why?
I'd like to invite you all into the Nirvanic ecstasy that is no longer giving a flying shit. As mentioned above, you have no idea how long you've got in this joint. You could develop a sudden and inexplicably life-threatening allergy to something random tomorrow or you could be vehicularly slammed by a texting yoga mom on your way to a movie. There's no way of knowing, there are no guarantees, nobody knows a thing about what's actually going on or what's actually going to happen, so allow me to extend a dainty, Victorian lace-gloved hand in your direction, inviting you to please, knock that crap off - stop caring so much about what others think of you and no longer give a flying shit.