(Caution: Many f-bombs ahead)
Despite the fact that in many things I’m a moderate person (drink in moderation, eat sugar in moderation, indulge myself overall in moderation), my feelings of self-worth occupy opposite poles.
On good days, I feel strong, confident, reasonably comfortable in my skin. I am inner-directed, rather than focusing outward, and my self-acceptance is at an all-time high. During these times, I think, “I give zero fucks what people think of me.”
Then, for whatever reason (or sometimes no reason at all, simply because my brain wiring is screwy), I drift to the opposite extreme. Those are the times when my long-gone mother’s ghost natters in my ear like a relentless mosquito. “Don’t say that (do that, look like that, act like that, wear that, etc., etc., ad nauseam) — people will think you’re weird.” (God forbid, right?) And that’s when I think, “You’re a fraud, Erica. You give ALL the fucks about what people think of you.”
These down times are particularly insidious when they come at the end of something fun, something exciting, because life seems even drearier than usual in comparison after them. The drop is real.
I think what I need in this instance is balance. Giving zero fucks is unrealistic. Giving all the fucks is overwhelming. I need to learn how to give some fucks. In other words, be selective about my fucks-giving.
So who should get them? Who should be worthy of taking up space in my brain and my heart and my mercurial feelings? The people who care about me. Who love me. Who accept me, even when I’m being weird. (Which is pretty much all the time. Because come on — normal is overrated. So there, Mom.)
John, for example. For another example, the friend who drops me an email nearly every day; who, despite whatever is on her plate, always cares about what’s on mine. Or for yet another example, the friend who, after reading my tweet this morning about feeling blech again, texted me this:
Which made me cry. But it was the touched kind of tears, not the hurt kind.
The gestures don’t have to be grandiose. I am appreciative of all of them.
People who remember my birthday.
People who notice when I haven’t been around and check in.
People who surprise me with special little treats (you know, like chocolate, champagne… 😉 )
People who make me laugh.
People who, even for just a few minutes, lighten my spirits and make me forget about The Putin Pleasin’ Treason Boy of Company Pee. (Thank you for that one, Bette Midler.)
Thoughtful, kind, caring people. People who bring out all the good in me, all I have to offer. Who make me want to be the best me.
These are the people I need to focus on, whose opinions I should value, whose thoughts and feelings I should care about. Balance.
So that’s my goal. Keep in mind those who are give-a-fuck worthy, and give them their due. The rest shouldn’t matter.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a lot of fucking work to do…