“…The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give a fuck about the rude gas station attendant who gave us too many nickels. We give a fuck when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give a fuck when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.
Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe? …”
This is an excerpt from Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”. I read this piece two weeks ago and it’s been harder to shake than a decade-old $50/day coke habit. I’ve been asking why does this article resonate so much with me and all that I could come up with is that it’s a kick in the ass reminder that I simply give too many fucks about shit that I shouldn’t. While reading it I kept thinking to myself, “Self, listen to the man. It could make your life a lot less muddled.”
“…This may sound easy. But it is not. Most of us, most of the time, get sucked in by life’s mean trivialities, steamrolled by its unimportant dramas; we live and die by the sidenotes and distractions and vicissitudes that suck the fucks out of us like Sasha Grey in the middle of a gangbang….”
As much as I try not to get caught up in the mundane, the inconsequential, the unimportant, it happens time and time again. As I focus on the negligible, I get caught between a rock and hard place. I worry about the shit doesn’t matter but I also contemplate the shit that really matters and it starts to crush me.
What do I want out of life? Am I really happy with my job and career path? Relationship questions that I never thought I’d be asking myself again have reappeared something terrible. My parents getting older and their looming mortality weigh heavily on mind. How much time do I have to figure out my path as I’m not getting any younger?
I feel like I’m suffocating. A physical and emotional suffocation that feels akin to a baby elephant sitting on my chest. I just want relief. I want reprieve. I want respite. I just need to let go and not give a fuck. I’ve written about my happiness ad nauseam but I’ve thought about it hundredfold more. Divvying out too many fucks has probably led to a good portion of why my mood has seemed to be in a constant state of flux.
Me giving a fuck stems from caring what people actually think about me. I care too much about how I’m perceived. I used to be one of those people who said:
“I don’t care what people think about me.”
That was a boldfaced lie. I’m more aware of myself and I can admit that I do in fact care. I don’t want to be seen as an asshole, a failure, a bad guy. This need to be liked or seen in a positive light inhibits me from truly not giving a fuck.
The first step towards getting to where I want to be is self-actualization. At thirty-three years of age I’ve come to know myself in ways I never would have thought at twenty-three. Even with that I still need to work towards understanding what it is I want out of life. What exactly makes me happy? What makes me content? What depresses me? What takes away from me? Every time I think I have some semblance of what that is the game switches faster than John Wall on the fast break.
It’s hard to find happiness when it seems to always be running away. Sometimes holding onto it feels like trying to eat soup with a fork. In the end I’ll get it together. I always do. I’m sitting at work looking at a quote that I’ve kept taped near my desk, from school, to job to job, that I’ve had up for so long I can’t remember where I got it from.
Life is a series of problems: you are in one now, you’re coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal in life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purpose, or you can focus on your problems. One of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
By the way half of this is bullshit. I can still grow in character, I can still make God my center and still be worried about my problems. The idea that if I only worry about some reward that will await me when I die is preposterous. I’ll probably write about that later as I feel like I’m starting to rambling.
But for now I need to look towards happier times no matter how far off in the distance they may seem. I need to focus on the faint glimmer of the candle in a dark room.