On my drive from Los Angeles to Seattle, I decided that I wanted to do some Audible books on my drive up. So I settled for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. To be honest, my little Corolla isn’t in tip top condition and I’ve blown out at least one speaker, if not two so it was a little hard to hear the book on the trip up. Plus, my car is a bit older so the road noises were definitely louder than what you would hear in some of the newer cars. And, my car doesn’t actually have a hook up for my phone so I’m using an FM transmitter to play my phone when I drive. I may or may not have actually listened to only about 50% of the book on the drive to Seattle. I recently started listening to the book again at work as a to better myself instead of listening to music but I find that I keep getting distracted by other things so it’s hard to stay focused on a book.
That being said, I’ve noticed that ever since I started listening to the book over the two attempts, I have slowly started to notice a change in my habits. Of course, I can’t say that this is due to the book but I can say that I have started to care less and less. Granted, I have to admit that I think a large portion of this is attributed to the fact that over the last three years, my jobs have challenged me in such a way that the only true way to survive the ridiculousness is to learn how to stop caring too much about it. By finding a way to let it go after I exit the door every day and finding a way to focus strictly on my statement of work rather than on the people that can affect me.
Regardless, I have begun to notice that my ability to care about what people think of me has decreased more and more over time. I do think it comes with growing up and I think it does come with the territory of moving from place to place. But I’ve noticed that my actions and the way I am in public has drastically become more carefree and I am actually pretty okay with that.
As I type this, I am sitting in a coffee shop in Seattle moving to the music I’m listening to and constantly staring off into space. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I realized that the table is constantly shaking since I can’t seem to sit still and I keep making awkward eye contact with people at my table. I’m sitting at a coffee shop that has communal tables so I’m not necessarily making friends, but I am definitely sitting with a bunch of strangers as I bob along to my music. Come to think of it, hopefully they don’t mind….Oops.
But I have noticed that my ability to care about how I come off to others has drastically decreased. I stare a lot more (rude, I know, working on it) but I’ve developed a love of people watching and observing who is around me and my surroundings. I’ll try not to stare as much but I won’t make any promises there. I have been caught multiple times dancing at my desk because I love my music. I have purple/blue/blonde/gray/white/pink hair right now because I got a little colored conditioner happy over the last few weeks and I am excessively loud. Also, I’m more comfortable sitting with my legs on my chair than I am sitting like a proper lady. Come to this realization has made me wonder what drives this new lack of self awareness or rather this lack of awareness around public opinion.
I think what sparked this was that I was at a conference recently where we had an end party that was amazing. There was a DJ and a huge dance floor and I got dancing like there was legitimately no tomorrow. We danced for four hours there then made our way to the club where I danced for another two hours. Let’s set something straight first though, my dancing is not sexy. My dancing is not coordinated. My body does not body roll, my arms do not look wavy but rather like sticks shooting out in different directions and my body is not fluid. I trip over my own feet often when I dance, and sometimes it reminds people of the Elaine dance from Seinfeld. I usually have one signature move that I am obsessed with for a few months and right now it’s a full body shimmy. Not in a sexy way but almost in a compulsive full body shake. And to be honest, I probably should have been more aware of myself and my surroundings especially at this party because it was a work party and I was surrounded by people who are supposed to take me seriously. The best part of all of this is that I was 100% sober because I am highly allergic to alcohol. But I love to dance so nothing will stop me.
And honestly, even though I probably looked like a fool during that party but it was one of my favorite things. Some of my favorite memories with friends is when we do dance parties and sometimes, my favorite thing to do is blast music in my apartment and jump around like no one is watching (cause no one is). But I think that this has been what started the lack of caring how I look. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life worrying about what others think of me and how I can be cool. I may not be cool, but I am happy. I am comfortable with who I am, how I look and I can focus my energy on other things like plotting how to travel more, how many books I can read in a 12 month period of time and all the delicious food there is in the entire world.
If I had to give one piece of advice for the rest of my life, it would be: Caring what others think is a lot easier than not caring about what others think. Spend the rest of your life not caring and that will be conquering the greatest challenge.