Monday, 20 August 2012

"And not a single fuck was given that day..."

"But when he looks at you, just looks, I am special.  And then I remember, no I'm not." (Leo) - Rosa Laborde

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.