I was walking downtown with a friend once, who had something troubling on their mind and they were feeling stressed out. It may have been school-related, work-related, I can't remember now. After venting about it, this person said: "Oh whatever, I don't give a fuck."
The then- optimistic/glass-half-full/high-off-of-a-successful-debut-production Shannon turned to this person and said: "Don't say that. The world is full of people who don't give a fuck. Always give a fuck."
We laughed, and this person said that was good advice, and I even joked that it should be written on my tomb stone:
"HERE LIES SHANNON CHARNOCK:
SHE ALWAYS GAVE A FUCK."
I have since learned about myself (in the painful, self-image crushing way that you realize things about yourself in the wee hours of the morning) that I always give a fuck ... about the little things. Like what people think about me. Or, rather, what I want people to think about me. And I work so hard to create this image of "me" that I want other people to respect, and like, and appreciate, and even admire. But there are moments (such as this one at 2:55 a.m. on a Monday morning when I'm so stressed out I physically cannot fall asleep, let alone allow myself to sleep) when I realize I really shouldn't have given a fuck about that.
I always bite off more than I can chew. Ask anyone, especially my parents, and they will tell you that I am not happy unless I am busy. That is true; I like being busy. I do not like stress. Some stress is healthy and, for the most part, the stress that I have brought upon myself in the last year has been healthy. But at the moment, I think that this time I really did bite off too much.
Carrying on that metaphor, let me share a little story from my childhood. When I was a kid, I had a sweet tooth. Who the fuck am I kidding, I still do. Anyway, when dinner time came around I didn't want to eat dinner. I just wanted dessert. So when my dinner plate was put in front of me, I would stuff so much food into my mouth that I could't chew. Then I would say to parents, speaking through my food-filled mouth (I know, what a vile child!), "I put too much in my mouth and I can't chew it" then I would go over to the garbage and spit it out. This maybe worked for two dinners, until my parents caught on to what I was doing. That is, I would "clean my plate" by biting off more than I could chew to get to the good stuff: the dessert.
Have I approached life with the same kind of logic? Take on a lot of stuff at the same time because that brings you closer to the reward (whatever that may be)? This time, though, I think my own tactics have bit me in the ass.
I cared too much about "A" and "B" so I took on "C" which, I thought, would result in "D" - dessert. I didn't realize at the time I started "C" that "B" is one of those things that I shouldn't be giving a fuck about. And when I realized that "B" won't be changed by the successful outcome of "C", it made the "D" a whole lot less sweeter.
I've realized that I've been doing something for (primarily) the wrong reason. Had I decided to do "C" later, after I'd given myself a break from all the other chewing I've been doing lately, I think I really would appreciate it more. I could have savoured it, like a classy, thoughtful person would, instead of like an instant-gratification seeking binger. I'm not always like that, I should mention. I have, in the past, worked hard and dedicated myself all throughout the experience; and that is what makes the dessert sweet.
I guess the moral of my little rant here is this: figure out what you should give a fuck about, and really give a fuck about it. All that other stuff, like "B"? Tell yourself to leave it the fuck alone. It's not important.