* This article contains NSFW language.
Okay so I haven’t suddenly become a devout buddhist or a free spirit laughing at the rain but I have committed to a few small doses of mind re-programming. The truth is, I can be maniacal at times. I get in a bit of a frenzy with my thoughts and I stress myself out. Most times I am my own worst enemy because I have a hard time letting things go or letting things slide off my back and fade away in the rearview mirror. I take things personally. I hold grudges. I enjoy telling people to fuck themselves quite frankly. The man that doesn’t use the turning lane in front of me abruptly becomes my nemesis. The industry contact who doesn’t return my email suddenly becomes somebody I now consider irrelevant. The deepest parts of me are understanding and peaceful but the day to day versions of me looped into the never-ending cycle of days are…wasteful. I waste pettawatts of energy every single day on things that DON’T MATTER. We all do it and it might be time we start to audit ourselves.
So like all turning points there’s a trigger. Mine was a long time coming because I could feel the tension building in my bones. The final tip of the scale was simply a book. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. Now before I go any further, I am not here to tell you that this book is life changing but it is insightful, mildly funny at times and simply raises a good point that your brain is too fucking overloaded to consider on it’s own. With that said, it got me thinking and gave me some good tips on how to start my journey of not giving a fuck-ness. I am applying it to almost every aspect of my life and so far, making a little progress.
I wanted a new dog. Part of me was convincing myself not to. You have two already and a puppy is a boat load of work and the vet bills can be monumental and he will pee all over your floor and eat your favourite Nikes. I decided to not really give a fuck and do what what my heart wanted. Maybe my humanity has eroded over the years because my dogs truly are the twinkle in my eye. A week later, I write this with Fred next to me and he might just be the very best decision I’ve made in a long, long time.
Now this one goes out to the bloggers. Fashion, fitness, tech, food, travel….all ya’ll.
We’ve all been through different headspaces with what we do. In the beginning blogging is like an addictive drug. Like a new puppy that you just can’t put down. It’s a good feeling, a meaningful one that snowballs into a passion and eventually, a purpose. Then we get more savvy and opinionated with the process of creating. You know, we start to judge other’s work, compare ourselves with others, and eventually start to get a little stressed with the craft. We love it, but now it’s more than a hobby. This phase can last awhile before another metamorphosis occurs and one that sneakily creeps within us. We start to obsess with it.
The edits, our feed aesthetic, unfollowers, copycats, and on and on. Now some of us take it to extremes and really take it seriously and some of us a little more lightheartedly but nonetheless, we focus on these things. Now it doesn’t make you a bad person but it will make you a neurotic one. “Hmm…I wonder why that photo bombed…”, “damn, that motherfucker took the EXACT same pic as me” or “OMG that bitch unfollowed me!!!”. Yep, it happens to us. I gotta say, about 99% of you have an app that tells you who unfollows you. Don’t deny it. And not even the bloggers out there. Peeps with modest followings of 437 will unfollow your ass within 6 hours of you unfollowing them.
Now here’s the thing. Sometimes people just don’t want to see your shit. I get it. 24 hours a day men’s lifestyle that generally has my big fat face grinning in it isn’t for everybody so I don’t take it that personally when one decides to cut the chord on me BUT…I did notice and I did go out of my way to see who did. Not anymore.
I deleted the app. I no longer keep a side eye on my follower count, I don’t care if my newest image gets 300 or 3000 likes. Nope, don’t care. I’m tired of giving a fuck about it to be honest. It goes back to my post on content creation and remembering that although we strive for the best results, a blip doesn’t make you a failure. It doesn’t make you unlucky or doomed and I refuse to care about trivial things any longer. I care that I had the chance to connect with those 300 people and I’m not greedy for more. I care if Junior is feeling left out with the new puppy in town and needs a hug, if Fred is happy, if Joey is getting his 4 o’clock daily medication, if my partner Sara is doing okay or if my Mum needs a phone call from her son.
And so let’s talk my living situation right now (LOL). So being the odd duck that I am, I generally sell my entire furniture lineup and redesign my apartment about every 6 months or so. I just like change I guess. The process is usually swift as in I can’t seem to let even a single night go by without getting everything just perfect and finished. I’m the type that is settled into his new place at 6pm on moving day as if I’d been there for years. Yet this transition has been a little different. Both the bedroom and living room are empty and all that exists beyond my walk-in closet full of sneakers is a mattress on the living room floor and a small table where I rest my coffee and the very book I referenced in this article. This too isn’t a life-changing episode but is a token of progress for me. I let go of the rush to have everything perfect right away and I’ve taken a few weeks to think it through and enjoy the simplicity of reading on the floor with my bulldogs. I applied the craft of not giving a fuck so much and it’s allowed me to loosen up and enjoy the process and the privilege of being able to just redesign my home when I feel like it. It used to be a cruel necessity to tame my idiosyncratic tendencies and now it actually feels like a slow, steady and enjoyable activity.
Anyway, there may be someone out there reading that could use a reminder like I did to let go a little and enjoy the ride. I encourage you to dig into this book and let your brain ingest it. Not everything will correlate with your life but the key message will; to pick your spots on what to and what to not give a fuck about. Good luck, guys.