Wednesday, August 1, 2018

But also, who cares?



Back in L.A., I was seeing this great therapist next to a car wash in Playa Vista who didn’t wear shoes and had a cute husky puppy that was sometimes in the office with her.

When I was debating if I should stay in L.A. or move back to Boston, she asked, “What is keeping you in L.A.?”

“I have no idea.”

“What’s holding you back from moving?"

“I think a lot of my friends would make fun of me, or make me feel bad about it.”

 “Well, they sound like shitty friends. But also, who cares?

For a long time, I believed that. I thought, “Man, I’ve surrounded myself with the world’s meanest friends! They call each other out for everything and make fun of each other and never consider that people might be going through something…”

But it’s not true. I mean, I did it too. I judged people for no reason whatsoever.

“I don’t know why anyone would move to New York when they’re just going to move to L.A. eventually,” I said as if I had any idea what I was talking about.

The truth was that I was projecting my own deep-rooted insecurities and shame on them. They’re actually quite good friends.

Sure, they may have made fun of me. They may have rolled their eyes, spoke amongst themselves and said they didn’t understand why I was leaving L.A and that I was making a bad decision. They may have even called me a loser and an untalented piece of shit.
But, they’re human. But also, who cares?

I was also just making assumptions, based on previous experience of judging people with them but assumptions nonetheless. Of course, they didn’t say anything to me about moving, other than supportive statements or telling me they would miss me. I was just afraid of what they might possibly say. Things like:

I was giving up on my dreams. 
I couldn’t hack it.
I was stupid.
I was settling.
I was naïve.
I didn’t even give it a real shot.
I was a loser.
I wasn’t talented enough to be out there.
I moved to LA and all I got was this HR Manager hat.   

Some of that might have been true. But... who cares? What does it have to do with them? It would just be an assumption or a quick judgment that they were making. And I was living my life to avoid being judged by other people.

A judgment I didn’t even KNOW FOR SURE would be made. Just something I ASSUMED.

God, how did I make it to 32? I’m fucked up, man. Shame is a bitch.

Brene Brown, the doctor/researcher/author of many great books, said in her Ted Talk, “Guilt is saying ‘Sorry, I made a mistake.’ Shame is saying, ‘I am a mistake.’”

And that is exactly how I’ve felt for a very long time, and how I felt when I moved back from L.A. It put me in a deep depression, as I’ve talked about here before. I told myself that I was, in fact, an untalented ass clown who gave up on her dreams because she couldn’t hack it in L.A. so she was settling in Boston with nothing to show for her time in California but an HR Manager hat.

Who needed friends to judge me behind my back when I was doing it so well on my own?

Dealing with shame has been a process, one that I’m still working through. But I have begun to understand that I can’t resent other people for something I’ve created in my own mind. Until it’s a reality, and I hear it first hand, then I can’t be upset with anyone over something they never officially said. And even if they did, it doesn’t matter. Just because they voice an opinion doesn’t mean it’s real. But also, who cares?

More importantly, I realize that I can’t live my life to avoid being judged. It has held me back from SO MANY THINGS. I didn’t go to a workout class until I was 31 because I was afraid people would laugh at my inability to keep up.  

I have never spoken up for myself (like asking for a raise or telling someone I was offended) because I was afraid of rubbing someone the wrong way.

I wouldn’t wear something I wanted to wear (like the beautiful leopard print faux fur coat in my closet) because I was afraid everyone would make fun of me.

I’d delete many an Instastory because I was scared people were making fun of me or unfollowing me for posting another picture of my face, or video of my cat.

I'd apologize for EVERYTHING. Like being bumped into, or having plans when someone asked me to hang out, or for texting sweet nothings to someone I had a consensual romantic relationship with while they were busy, or sleeping. 

I put myself in dangerous and uncomfortable situations because I was afraid that if I said “No” then I’d upset the person. (And I’m talking really dangerous, uncomfortable situations.)

Like I said, I’m still working through it. But while this year has been annoyingly self-reflective for me, it’s also been extremely freeing. 

It feels amazing to put on a quite short denim skirt and not be afraid that someone thinks I shouldn’t be wearing it. It’s awesome to work out almost every single day because I don’t care if someone judges me in their mind for using the 2lb weights during barre that day. And it feels GREAT to say “NO” when I don’t want to send someone a picture of my junk, or accept a drink on their tab, or follow them to a bathroom to give them a blowjob (yup, that was asked of me), or receive an unwanted kiss.  

Doing new things, and putting myself in scary, vulnerable situations is all of a sudden very exciting. I don't assume people are thinking anything at all about me. The world doesn't revolve around me, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. (Don't tell my parents.) 

But even if I were confronted with a situation where someone was judging me, or assuming something about me, then I'd just ask myself the ultimate simple question... 


"WHY DON'T THEY LIKE ME?" 

Just kidding. 

"Who the FUCK cares?" 

I used the F word. So you know I'm serious!!! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ahhh.....my beautiful, talented, funny, little cuzzin....yes, you Patricia! You just described being a Barrett.....we ARE our own worst enemy. ..it's in our DNA, we were born this way! As I read each paragraph (except for the bathroom invite, lol) I'd say to myself "OMG, that's me!" ...and I'll bet most of our Barrett relatives feel the same way, with the exception of the few that managed to dodge that bullet! That pesky little gene that wreaks havoc on us! Yet, on the flipside, whenever our family gets together, all we do is laugh...so, as you said.... "Who the Fuck cares!?"

♡ Cuzzin Cheryl (aka Unknown, go figure lol)

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