What in the world am I going to wear today?
Should I eat those two cookies for lunch or like, a turkey sandwich on Ezekiel bread?
Should I go to that event?
Should I try yoga?
Should I say yes to that coffee date?
Should I start a podcast?
Should I be a comedienne?
Some decisions are as clear as crystal. Others are as clear as my shower water after a spray tan. Some require much thought and deliberation. Others are no-brainers.
Knowing which is which is the hard part. Let me throw out this disclaimer: THIS BLOG POST DOES NOT HOLD THE ANSWER. In fact, it may even confuse you all the more. What I can offer you in this writing, however, is companionship. You are not alone in your efforts to decipher the yes and the no – the should or should not.
I get it.
I get you.
Sifting through the sand to find the gold is an exhausting process, but I recently read a book that is helping me weed out the rocks. I have a feeling I am about to be judged harshly, but do your worst, I don’t give a…crap.
The book: THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*** BY MARK MANSON
I’ll pause here for you to process the fact that I consciously purchased and read the entirety of this book knowing it’s title, and content for that matter, involves a curse word. We good? Ok. Moving on.
I love people. I value other ideas and thoughts and I love to please, and I know these are good qualities to have. But sometimes I have a tendency to lose myself in each of the things I just listed. Sometimes I get more concerned with what everybody else thinks about me, wants me to do, thinks I should do, or believes is best for me, that I forget to do what I want to do, think I should do, or what I think is best for me. I become robotic and beat down – not by other people, but by my own sentencing. My resolution to succumb to the will of well-intending others, and my own lack of gumption to speak up for my own life, creates a pathetic lie of total dependance that circulates my brain until I have convinced myself that I am a victim, when in fact, I am not.
Case in point:
“I am so miserable since I’ve gained 10 pounds. Eating on the road is killing me. I can’t get it off.”
Miserable? Yes. Eating on the road is killing me? MY CHOICES ON THE ROAD are killing me. I can’t get it off? Umm, no. I CAN get it off. I’ve gotten it off about a million and one times now, and I can do it again. This is where I tell all you sweet people NOT to send me ideas for weight-loss. I don’t care. I’m already on it. Thanks in advance. I digress…
This simple example has been the the type of repeating tape that has played in my brain over the course of my whole existence. It is the fight, the struggle, that each one of us has to win. Apply it to anything and everything that offers confusion and creates a victim mentality in your life. It’s valid. And it’s not about the weight-loss or the thing. It’s about us.
I have been frustrated lately about the lack of control I’ve felt in my own life. Work, play, weight, the skin damage I’ve created from my excessive consumption of sunshine over the past three decades…you name it. But yesterday I had an epiphany after completing the entirety of Mark Manson’s book and speaking with my best friend on this very subject. I am giving way too many “craps” about way too many things- about the wrong things. I’m giving so many craps, in fact, that I’m talking myself into believing the lie that says I have no control over these things – that I am but a victim of all the things in all of life. That’s enough to overwhelm even the likes of Brené Brown.
When I finally sat down and said, “What’s bothering me?” I took mental notes and asked myself, “What in this situation can I change?” And guess what, in almost every situation, there was some physical act I could contribute. And guess what else? For a few things that I could not, there was still something I had to offer – how I view and respond to that situation. No matter how much physical change I can actually offer – whether or not I can get enough laser treatments or slather enough cream on my sunspots to make a difference, I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. The questions become, will I try anyway? And how will I view myself and this situation?
What will my attitude be toward the thing – whatever it is?
And just how many “craps” will I give?
What’s important here? Who is important here?
In answering these questions and finding my contribution, do you know what I found?
And guess what else I found?
ME. Ahh…there she is. There’s that girl who cares about the important things, who lets the less-important fall away, and who believes, above all else, in herself.
Here I am.
I am not a victim. I am in charge of me. I am in charge of my life, my brand, my attitude, my outfit-of-the-day. I am not incapacitated by change or hurt or fear. I can be. I have been. But I refuse.
With this rebirth also comes the burden of knowing that I will make wrong choices, and that with those choices come responsibility and consequences.
The fear of this can be gripping. I have lived with it and it tries to wrap its hands around my neck frequently. But with every prying-away of its claws, I remember who I am. That I am strong and capable.
Capable of making mistakes but just as capable of owning them.
Equally, I am capable of making good, sound decisions and humbly owning the fact that I have what it takes to continue doing so in my future.
I may not have the ability to open every door or bucket-list my way through every single day of my life. But I do have the ability to make my own way – to see what’s coming and to know whether or not it’s a door I want to walk through. I have the ability to choose.
To wear the thing (or not).
To go to the event (or not).
To do the podcast (or…yes. I’m doing the podcast).
I also have the ability to decide how I will see the things I cannot control. Some things are not of my choosing. Some things that are for the good of the whole aren’t always the things that feel best to me. But I still have a choice.
And in case you were wondering, so do you. You have a choice in how you view that thing – in how many craps you give and what you’re giving them to.
You have the capacity, the bandwidth. You may feel overwhelmed, but you are not.
You are strong and brilliant and brave. You are independent and beautiful even with your sunspots. You are capable of holding that warrior pose even though you fell the first 400 times you did it. You are. You can. You will.
Lose your ten.
Do the podcast.
But most importantly, be confident. Be unapologetic. Be you.