How Not To Give a F*uck…

…..best title I could come up with for today’s post. Not that I’m sure anyone is actually reading this besides me as I type it.

The “poem” for lack of a better word that I posted in my previous post is one I wrote back in July when my depression was at an all time high. All of the triggers I have had been flipped and I was floundering…for lack of a better word. I started keeping a journal then and some of my thoughts wander over here. The ones I feel comfortable about for public consumption.

Because of this I’ve been looking inward a lot and wondering what is wrong with me. Why do I care what people think of me? I mean let’s be honest, I doubt I cross anyone’s mind at any given time. Why do I feel like people make fun of me?  I mean, for the most part, I’m an “invisible person”. I’m not someone who stands out in a crowd.  I’m average, well if even that. Over the years I’ve mastered how to just blend in and fade away. I’m not the one person you see who all attention goes to when they walk in a room. I’m the one who people are startled to see when they realize I was there.  I know this all sounds like I’m coming down on myself and I am, but I’m just trying to put it all out there and maybe…once I say it all out loud, things can change.

So back to the title of this post. I stole it from an online article I’ve been reading “How Not to Give a Fuck.” It starts by saying that no one really cares. (funny, I think that about everyone in terms of me). The article states :

study done by the National Science Foundation claims that people have on average 50,000 plus thoughts a day. This means that even if someone thought about us ten times in one day, it’s only 0.02% of their overall daily thoughts.

I never really thought about how many thoughts we have on an average day. All mine seem to be too sad and twisted to count.

It is a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think of most things relating to “me” or “my.” This means that unless you have done something that directly affects another person or their life, they are not going to spend much time thinking about you at all.

I completely understand that fact. But why do I not acknowledge it? Why, if I can understand it, do I not apply it?

Worrying too much about what other people think can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the way we think starts to become the way we behave. These individuals become people-pleasers and overly accommodating to others, thinking it will stop them from being judged.
In fact, the opposite is true. Most people don’t like push-overs and are turned off by it. The behavior we use in an attempt to please others, can actually cause the opposing effect.

Okay, so if I think I’m a looser and people make fun of me behind my back and no one believes I can accomplish anything…that I’m not worthy of being anyone’s friend, does that mean I will become all that? Have I already become all that? I don’t consider myself a push-over, but am I? Am I always trying to do the right thing just to make someone happy?

The article goes on to give some pointers.

1.) Know your values – what is important to me? Well, what is important is my family, my health, and my job. Basic values I must say.  What matters to me is that my family is happy and healthy and cared for. I want my health to be the best possible it can be. I want to be strong and healthy…skinny isn’t something I want any more. I want to live up to the challenges I have set in front of me and do them the best that I can. My job is solid and I know I’m good at it.

2.)Put yourself out there….Well, it suggests a blog….and here I am…that and my journal. I’ve also written several letters to people … well, I’m in the process of doing that…that may or may not get sent. Letters to them telling them how I feel about them and their place in my life…good or bad.

3.) Surround yourself with pros: No, not that kind of a pro. Surround yourself with people who are self-assured, and live life without comprising their core values. These people will rub off on you quickly. I do know some people like that and I hope they would consider being part of the people in my life I can trust and be surrounded by.

4.) Create a Growth list…now this is where it gets real A Growth List is comprised of all the things in life that make you uncomfortable. These are fears, insecurities —anything that gives you the jitters. Holy hell, what would I have on that? I mean to some degree I’ve started this already and not realized it. I mean I knew I was stepping outside of my comfort zone; I don’t think everyone knew how far out of my comfort zone I was stepping, but I was. I’d have to really put some thought into this. People say doing things alone is outside of their comfort zone. Doing things alone doesn’t bother me much.

  • Doing the Tough Mudder this past August was a HUGE step out of my comfort zone. I was completely out of my element and the result was FAR from what I had expected. Several times before the race I wanted to back out. I was afraid of letting the people on my team down. Since that included my trainer and my running coach, I worried more about what they would think than what I should focus on.Also, I invited the entire team and their significant others to stay at my family house in NH. It may not seem like an out of my comfort zone thing, but it was. I think I shocked my own cousin when I told her I did that. If you know me and know me well, then you know I’m an introverted person and inviting people I’ve only heard about to my home to stay was another huge outside my comfort zone thing.
  • Running is another outside my comfort zone thing. I’ve been attempting it lately with the help of my running coach James. I’ve had okay sessions, not okay sessions and better than okay sessions. I’ve had a massive anxiety attack during one that made me question going back to another session out of fear of his opinion of me after I had it. Just to answer that question, yes I went back and had a better than okay session.
    • So what would be on my Growth list? 
      ~My 2nd Spartan Sprint on 11/12 at Fenway Park. Why is this on my Growth List? Well, I’m doing it alone. I was going to form a team, but I want to do this alone. Yes, a Sprint is a team thing, but I’ve learned from doing it before and from the Mudder that everyone helps each other out when they do these races. I fear only two obstacles…the climbing rope and the 12′ wall.
    • ~Climbing that rope at the Spartan – fear of heights and all. The 12′ Wall, well if there is no one there to help me over it…..I mean I am only 5’3″….then I’ll burpee it out.
    • Letting this blog publish to Facebook. Right now it’s not because of the amount of my family on it and I don’t want them to be upset by some of the things I write and admit to. This blog, my writings are all my own thoughts. I would never intentionally hurt someone with my writing.
    • Running a 5K. This comes from my running coach. Before the Spartan he wants me to run an actual 5K.Running in public…scary.
    • Stop thinking people see me as a joke
    • Finish writing a book
    • speak in sign language for a full day
    • Work my way back to doing the Tough Mudder again
    • Volunteer on my own – technically doing that…volunteering at the Spartan Sprint the day of my Sprint…going alone
    • I think I may have to come back to this list after I’ve given it some thought. I may create a separate post just to list it all out.

I’m not sure where all this will lead me, but I hope..if anyone is reading…maybe you’ll follow me along on my trip.

What Does It Feel Like?

What does it feel like?

In my head right now; I’m drowning.

No one is there to save me

I’m struggling, I’m reaching out

But no one is there

I’m falling off a cliff

Reaching for branches and roots

But no one is there

A tornado has gripped me

And shows no mercy

It flings me around, I reach for a hand

But no one is there

No one will come to my rescue

I am alone

I’ve let so many people down

I am alone

I’ve reached out and called out

I am alone

I am drowning

I am falling

I am being ripped apart

No one hears my cries

I am alone

I’m sorry I let you down

I’m sorry I’m not what you thought

I wish I could be stronger

I wish I knew how to be

What everyone expects me to be

But I’m not

I’m drowning

I’m falling

I’m being torn apart

No one is there to save me

They’ve all left me behind

Letting go is hard….

Harder than I thought.  I’ve been reading about how to not care what people think of you and just leading your own life. The problem is, I care to damn fucking much. I wear my heart on my sleeve….and what the fuck does that mean anyways…wearing your heart on your sleeve?

Wearing one’s heart on your sleeve” is not something that you want to do. This idiom means that a person is overly sensitive and easily hurt by minuscule things. Or, it means that the person has no control of emotions and shows or acts on his/her feelings too readily.”

 

Ooooohhhhhh…okay, yeah, that’s me in a nutshell. I am overly sensitive and I do get hurt by minuscule things. I do show my emotions too quick and often have no emotion over them. But I’m trying. I’m trying how to not let what others think of me affect or bother me. Problem is, it’s easier said than done.

To do this, I’ve had to construct these walls. I wish I could draw so you could see the little stick man I’ve created in my head who runs around with these stick blocks and builds walls around things that I need to keep inside. Poor little guy has been running his poor little stick feet off recently. In order to stop caring what others think, I’ve had to block up some emotions and feelings that have plagued me for a long long time. I’m not talking weeks or months, I’m talking years. It’s not easy.

Someone once told me in grad school that I let things just roll off my back and actually a member of the higher ups in the school administration said that to me in the first weeks of school…that she appreciated how I just roll with the punches of things that are thrown at me. Well either I’m an amazing actress or it’s just things in my personal life that I have a hard time rolling with. By personal life, I’m not talking my husband and children. I know I can let a lot of things that life throws at me roll off. I’ve done it with my husband’s MS for over 23 years now. I take it in stride and just put one foot in front of another. My children – the two things I can take an amazing amount of pride in – are awesome children who I know we’ve raised right because they are open and I never let the little things stress me out…the big things we take and cross the bridge when they come.

So obviously, anything that affects me personally, be it emotional or physical, I wear it on my sleeve. I’m trying really hard to put that sleeve out of business. It’s not easy at all. Things that have bothered me I have to swallow hard and keep inside…Some of it comes out in here in one form or another. Stuff I don’t want to make public, goes into another form of writing.

I know in the long run, letting go of what people think of me is for the best. If people don’t like me or what I’m doing then it’s on them. I can’t control anything  but my own actions.

Don’t be afraid to show who you really are…

….because as long as you are happy with yourself, no one else’s opinion matters. (Quote from Kushandwizdom)

I found this quote today on Tumblr and it interested me. I mean since people’s opinions matter to me, that must mean I don’t show who I really am and I’m not happy with myself? Well, I know that I don’t truly show myself to everyone. I’m careful with that. I’ve tried being honest and letting people see me, but the results aren’t always pleasant. So that leads me to “am I happy with myself”? Hmm, that’s the million dollar question.

Define happy. I’m not completely happy with my life. I guess I’d say that I’m okay with my life. That’s not saying I’m not happy with it all the time; it’s just right now, as I write this, I’m just okay with my life. More often than not, it’s just me…my part in my life that I’m not happy with. Maybe that’s why people’s opinions matter to me. People’s opinions of ME matter to me. I don’t live or die by their opinions, but I find that they are important to me.

Being me, I Googled “why people’s opinions matter to me” and was given several articles that tell me why their opinions shouldn’t matter.

1. It’s Not Their Life – No, it’s not their life, it’s mine to live. Yes, I know that. I also know I’m the only one who has to approve of my choices. But I need validation on my choices. I don’t know why or how to end that cycle.

2. They Don’t Know What’s Best For You – True. I know what’s best for me and I learn from my choices and my mistakes. But I can’t help thinking that those I trust the most and who love me would have an opinion I trust and find helpful.

 

3. What’s Right For Someone Else May Be Completely Wrong For You-This much I know is true. I say that to my students all the time. Everyone is different. Different thought patterns, different styles of living, different body types, or different emotions.

4. Be Independent Of The Good Opinions of Others – The response to this in the article is a bit too spiritual for me to go into. I’m going to just leave it as I saw it.

Spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra writes:

“If you’re really spiritual, then you should be totally independent of the good and the bad opinions of the world…you should have faith in yourself.”

This is one of the wisest teachings I know. You see, often the people who give you their opinions (and even commands!) love you and have your best interest at heart. They are telling you what they believe is best for you. They have good intentions and thus their opinion is essentially good, since they are telling you what they believe is right. However, even if their opinions are coming from a good place, you still need to be independent of them. Inside all of us is a deep intuitive knowing that gives us solid information on what is best for us. When you listen to that deep knowing, you will feel a sense of joy, expansion, and deep peace (even if the choice is a little scary and out of your comfort zone). The wise teacher is inside of you. At the end of the day, you must choose what is right for you—even when others’ well-intended opinions differ from your own.

5. You’re The One Stuck With The End Result – one of my favorite expressions is “Not my Circus; Not my Monkeys”, but in this case, my life is my circus and my monkeys are my own opinions.  I have to live with the consequences of my actions. I may not like what I have to do, or what I’ve done, but I have to live with it and understand how it affects me.

 

6. Your Inner Guidance Matters – Going with this means my gut feelings or how I read someone. Recently I had my core shaken when I realized I read someone/a situation wrong. I got slammingly hurt by it and I think it shook my reading or gut meter.

7. Trust Your Ability To Make Decisions – I can make my own decisions. I may overthink them and put too much effort into the decistion when it’s a simple black and white choice and then I blow it out of proportion. I often ask people I trust if I’ve made the right decision and let their answer sway what I have done. I need to stop that. I need to stop asking people if I did the right thing. I need to know that hearing “I wouldn’t have done that.” and take it as that was their choice. Mine was different. Like opinions. There are different ones and they don’t always match up, but everyone is entitled to one.

 

8.  Live With Integrity– Going to leave the article’s words to speak for themself.

When you live life by your terms and with your approval you are living an authentic life. Alternatively, when you live searching for others’ approval, you end up living a lie since it is not the life you truly desire. Living with integrity means acting in alignment with what you feel is right. When you live by others’ standards you are not living a true life, nor is this a life of integrity.

9. Others Don’t Care As Much As You Think-That realization kind of threw me. Maybe that I know I care about people I take this as people don’t care about ME as much as I think and that one threw me. I do worry what others think of me and I was shockingly told that people don’t think about me that much at all. I know I’m not the center of any universe and that we are all planets hovering around each other, worried about our own thing and what’s going on with our own planet. I do know I need to focus on what I approve of and making sure I approve of what I do.

 

10. The Hard Truth: It’s Impossible To Please Everybody

The fact is some people just won’t like you, and some people will never approve of what you do. So you might as well get on with what you feel is right. Whether it’s regarding what you are wearing, a business decision, or career decision, not everyone you know—from family to clients and co-workers—will approve of what you choose. It’s just the hard truth. But that’s part of the saving grace in all of this. Simply knowing this gives us the freedom to act honestly in our lives. At the very least, you’ll be able to sleep at night with peace, knowing that you approve of and are pleased with your choices.

I just need someone to….

…hug me and tell me I’m not as worthless as I think I am. I need someone to tell me that I’m not the butt of jokes. That I am worthy of friendships and compliments. Do you know what it’s like to walk into any kind of room and think that people smile to your face and snicker behind your back? That they watch what you are doing and make fun of you for trying your hardest?

Do you know what it’s like to walk into any kind of room and think that people smile to your face and snicker behind your back? That they watch what you are doing and make fun of you for trying your hardest?

Do you know what it’s like to think that you are disposable? That you don’t cross anyone’s mind at all and if you do it’s in such a fleeting way and dismissive? That you are invisible? That the shadows have more presence than you do?

Do you know what it’s like to have promises made to you and discarded like they are nothing? Do you know what it’s like when no one notices your tears…your sadness…your pains? No? How about when all they notice is your mistakes? Do you know what that feels like?

Do you ever wonder how much you exist in other people’s lives? Do people ever think of me when a certain song comes on or when they see a picture or a certain book? Do I pass through anyone’s head during the day?

Do you ever wonder why I don’t really have any friends? Do you ever notice that I’m really friendly to people? I like being there for them, even if it’s a stranger.  Do you ever notice that the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy? Did you know it’s because they know what it feels like to feel absolutely worthless and they never want anyone to feel that way ever?

Did you know I know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless? Did you know I’m used to being cancelled on? Did you know I’m used to being left out or the second option? I’m used to being ignored and getting the blame.Did you know that I know what it feels like to find out you aren’t important?

 

Did you know I need someone to hug me and tell me I’m not as worthless as I think I am? Because I do.

One of the Good Ones

I just went to my neighboring town’s Stop and Shop – they sell liquor – and had the most unexpected encounter. To start, the lines were wicked long today. I found the shortest one I could and went off to start my wait. After about 5 minutes; this older woman dressed head to toe in lavender with the most AMAZING hat came up to my carriage. She commented on the long lines and how busy it was. I looked into her carriage and noticed she only had a container of grapes. I let her cut me in line because I had more than that. We proceeded to talk. This woman, who’s name I never got, is 90 years old. I know she had 3 children, the oldest is 65. She told me about taking a cab to go grocery shopping when her children were young and in school and how it is so hard to find balance in life now. She asked me if I worked and I told her I was a teacher. She smiled and said, “Oh, you’re one of the good ones.”

She went on to explain that when she was growing up in the Depression, her father told her and her siblings to always say a prayer for the good ones. The ones who care. By that, he meant Policemen, Firemen, Doctors, Teachers, and Scientists.  (Wow, I’ve never been grouped with Scientists before – that’s a first). She told me that she had wanted to be a Third-grade teacher but during the Depression, only rich people could send their children to school. She wanted to know where I taught. Well, surprise – surprise….she grew up one street over from my school – now I know this because she told me the name of the street and it is right and that when she went to the school I teach in it was a Junior High – which it was for many moons.

I spent a wonderful 20 minutes or so talking to her about her life and her love of the grapes she was buying and I hope that when I’m 90, I can still be able to take a bus and go to the food store. And if anyone wonders why I teach…yes, I love kids…no I’m not going to be rich….but being called “One of the good ones” is now officially on my list.

 

**edited to add..she told me how also how when she had been in the store the day before, she saw there was a newspaper that said Robert Wagner had been arrested for the murder of his late wife Natalie Wood. I told her it was probably a lie. She got good and mad and told me how wrong they were for thinking he would have murdered his lovely wife and how in love they were.

I’m an Overthinker

I hate that I am. I make the biggest deal out of the simplest of things. I take things personally when they aren’t at all. I create problems within my own head. I criticize myself ALOT. I get all worked up over nothing. I expect the worst. The oddest of things will hurt me and then they get stuck in y head where they will play over and over on an endless loop. This only makes things worse than they really are, that is if they were, to begin with.

I hate that I am like this. That I never feel 100% certain about … well about almost everything. I feel like my brain never turns off. Forget about falling right to sleep, That loop begins to play louder and louder.  I wish I could stop overthinking things.  I wish sometimes I could not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess and turn it all off and have faith that things will all work out right.

Most of the things I worry about never happen. They are the result of the domino effect in my head from overthinking added to the doubts and negativity. I’ve learned that overthinking is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but in the end it doesn’t get you anywhere.