No More Apologies
written July 1, 2008
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind donít matter, and those who matter donít mind. - Dr. Seuss
One purpose of this website is to encourage people to live a life without regret - the regret that is born from failing to live up to other people's expectations.
Itís very natural to care what other people think about you, but itís only healthy to a certain degree. Once you pass a certain point of how much you let othersí thoughts - or more accurately, what you perceive to be their thoughts - affect your behavior, you seriously need to reassess your priorities. You are worth much more than somebodyís arbitrary opinion; you simply need to open your eyes to whatís truly important in your life.
Believe it or not, I used to write out pages and pages of potential articles, read them, and then delete them. I was afraid to post them online because of what people might think of me. Then I grew a sack of nuts. I realized that I donít care what people think about me, because if I let other peopleís opinions become the mold for my personality, then thatís exactly what Iíll become: other people. I fucking hate people. The last thing I want to do is become like them, which led to an epiphany: if everyone is so intolerable, why do I care what they think of me? This inspired me to write one of my first pieces: People Who Piss Me Off.
Until fairly recently I put a whole lot of stock in what other people thought about me. Too much stock. I let it shape my self-worth. It got to the point where it caused me to become borderline agoraphobic. I didnít want to leave my apartment because I thought everybody who saw me was judging me - judging the way I walked, the clothes I wore, the things I said, everything. If you could judge me for it, I would fret about it. It was paralyzing. Hereís a funny example from when I was a kid.
Iím not sure exactly how, but I guess from all the potty humor circulating grade school and that sort of thing, I had somehow associated using the bathroom with shame. At first I was embarrassed to raise my hand and ask to pee because I thought it would elicit snickers and stares from all the other kids. Of course this never happened, but it was always in the back of my mind. Silly, right? Well it got worse. Eventually I dreaded being in the bathroom at the same time as anybody else. Someone would be at the urinal, peeing like theyíre supposed to, and Iíd do absolutely anything I could to not pee in the presence of that person. I would walk in, see the back of his head, hope he didnít see me, and coolly walk out like nothing ever happened. Or if he did see me, Iíd pretend I was just there to wash my hands and get out of there faster than a bat out of hell. If I was on the way to the bathroom and saw somebody walk in before me, Iíd just walk past it as if I was going somewhere else all along. And then of course I would have to hold it until next class period and repeat the whole process. It got to the point where stage fright was the norm and I had to pee in complete privacy. I was one of those kids who used the stalls instead of the urinals. Arenít kids are funny? No, maybe it was just me. Anyway, that was my totally irrational little detachment from reality. I worried too much about what people might be thinking. Then one day (and I forget what triggered this realization) I woke up to the obvious truth that everybody pees, and everybody poops. Tom Cruise poops. Madonna poops. Hell, even The Pope drops a deuce between bouts of prayer and being holy and whatnot. So from that day on, if I ever got stage fright when peeing, Iíd just think to myself, Britney Spears pees too, John Wayne pees too, Spiderman pees too, and proceed unleash the stream of fury with pride. And with that, a novel sense of confidence was born.
Iím weird. I know.
Well, when I got over that, I grew up only to worry about other people passing judgment on me. And my ex-girlfriend cheating on me didnít help. Among the bountiful flaws of mine that she pointed out, you know she said? She told me she didnít have her first orgasm until after we broke up. Talk about a blow to my ego. I was ashamed to even think about sex for like six weeks. Then I remembered this inspiring little quote:
Girls may be able to fake orgasms, but guys can fake whole relationships. So I went and faked interest in a few girls. And who would have thunk it; there exists girls out there with functioning stimulus zones. (Unless some of you fake full body convulsions and beg for round two to complete the lie, but then seriously, at what point will you bitches stop with the charade and just say you didnít enjoy it?) So girlsí orgasms = my epiphany: Stephanie cheating on me didnít mean I was bad at sex; it just meant that she was bad at integrity. Regarding sex, it wasnít me and it wasnít her. It was us. She had good sex with other guys, and I had good sex with other girls. We just didnít have good sex with each other.
Am I getting too personal? Guess who has two middle fingers and doesnít care.
Bottom line: self deprecation is a dead end street. Hating yourself because other people are ignorant is akin to skipping a meal because other people waste food. Youíre not changing anything, youíre only hurting yourself. Besides that, itís selfish. Think of it like this: There are millions of people in the world with problems 100x worse than yours, so who are you to feel sorry for yourself? You're not that fucking special. Drop the ego.
Also, getting upset because people pass judgment on you is like getting upset because dogs bark. It's going to happen, and there's nothing you can do about it. So if any of you are being Debbie Downers, having doubts about your self-worth, or think youíre some sort of burden because of other peopleís words or actions, Iíve compiled a few of my favorite quotes which helped me put things into their proper perspective (courtesy of Marcus Aurelius).
Nothing that goes on in anyone elseís mind can harm you. Then where is harm to be found? In your capacity to see it.
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they canít tell good from evilÖ [but] none of them can hurt me.
The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts. Color it with [beauty, benevolence, and selflessness].
Or as I like to say:
If youíve got a problem, then itís your fucking problem, not mine.
- You're Unique, Just Like Everyone Else
- What Direction is Your Life Headed?
- Ineffective Communication
- Boiling Frog Syndrome
- Deaf Frog Syndrome
- Waiting for my Nuts to Drop