Sunday, May 08, 2011

Walk where you want to walk

Afternoon all! I'm nursing a thundery pressure headache this afternoon, possibly due to this Spanish Plume thing the Met Office are on about. Actually, generally my head is feeling rather uncomfortably full at the moment, hence the relative scarcity of my posts at the moment. I was feeling seriously grotty and grumpy this morning and last night so I did what I do when I'm annoyed - I vacuumed. It always seemed to work for my mum when I was a teenager and she was cross with me, and it did the job for me this morning. Then Nic and I took a walk, went to the library, had lunch and watched an episode of The Dalek Invasion of Earth (awesome) so my mood is starting to right itself a little now. I was feeling in the mood for something elegant when I got dressed this morning so went for this:
Sunday 8th May 2011
Laura Ashley Falling Rose dress, Bertie Sardinia shoes and Ollie and Nic bag

I don't wear this dress as often as I ought to - probably because when I bought it, it was a wee bit snug on me so I sort of think of it as an uncomfortable dress. It fits perfectly now, though, so I should give it more of a chance. I love the Rennie Mackintosh-esque roses and the shape of the skirt.
Rennie Mackintosh roses
I'm getting in a Shoeperwoman's Shoe Challenge here too, I thought I'd save my beloved Bertie Sardinia shoes, the black ones at any rate. On paper these sound like totally boring shoes and I'll admit, they don't cause people to stop me in the street the way my various pairs of Irregular Choice shoes do, but these are elegant and gorgeous, and I love them.
Bertie Sardinia court shoes

As I said earlier, I feel at the moment like my head is absolutely full and I haven't been my usual sunny (heh) self over the past few days. Slowing down and not letting things get on top of me is something I still have to work on and for the past week it's felt like harder work for some reason. Anyway, the point is not to moan, but to share an excellent blog post I read with you all. It was linked from one of my favourite sites, Jezebel and you can read the whole blog here. I don't agree with all of the advice contained within it, but I felt like it had a lot to say to me about caring too much about offending people, worrying too much if people like me and fretting that people are judging me and bitching about me behind my back. Julien Smith says it's time to stop letting that shit take over, and he has a point.

Do you wonder if someone is talking shit about you? Whether your friends will approve? Have you become conflict-avoidant? Spineless? Well, it's time you started not giving a fuck.

That's fighting talk, isn't it? But seriously, worrying whether someone is talking shit about me is how I spent the majority of my time last year. I worry about it now, too. I wish there was a button allowing me to turn that part of my interior monologue down. It creeps up on me, too. I can be pootling along feeling absolutely fine and then BAM! Something happens and I start fretting what it means. Recently the trigger was getting back something I'd lent to a friend. Or rather, not getting back something I'd lent to a friend. All of a sudden lots of reasons seemed to suggest themselves to me for why I couldn't get my stuff back. I might have been wrong (but I probably wasn't) but the point is, I spent some time worrying about it. Not good.

These are people that don't like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don't care for you in the first place?
This is basically what I have to remind myself of frequently. On first glance it seems kind of bleak and pessimistic, but it isn't really. In fact, it's a pretty positive message if you think about it - why worry about trying to make people like you, some people won't and that's okay.

Check this out: when people don't like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don't feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are... Not giving a fuck is actually a necessary precedent to create a good life for yourself. It can't happen without it.
This is an awesome message if you can digest it. It's not strictly true that when someone doesn't like you, nothing happens. Or at least, it's not always true. When someone doesn't like you, and is talking shit about you something does happen and it's unpleasant, it changes the dynamics between friends and it can sour relationships. That's why people do it. But the second part of that paragraph is really powerful - you can't make a good life for yourself if you're worrying all the time about what people think. Haters gonna hate, and there's nothing you can do about that.
How to get back your self-respect in five easy steps
  • Do things that you consider embarrassing
  • Accept, or deal with, awkwardness
  • Refuse boundaries - walk where you want to walk. Don't accept false choices. Don't let people dictate how you live your life
  • Tell the truth
  • Begin your new life
I'm especially taken with the third bullet point about refusing boundaries. To me, this is part of the same process as accepting that you don't have to care if people don't like you, because it's about not allowing how others feel about you to limit yourself. Walk where you want to walk, and do the things that you want to do, even if others don't understand, or if they want to be bitches about it. For my part, this is important. I enjoy making things, crafting, sewing, knitting. I recently heard someone deriding this pursuit as ridiculous. It stung a bit, to be truthful, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to walk where I want to walk. Or at least, I'm going to try.

Those who don't give a fuck change the world. The rest do not.

If you dismiss the things that do not matter; if you remove those things from your mind and focus on what must be done; if you understand that your time is limited and decide to work now, only then will you be able to get to the finish line. Otherwise, you will be dissuaded into living a life you aren't interested in.

I'm not interested in living a life dictated by what others think. I'm not interested in going along with things I don't want to do in order to make others happy. I'm not interested in being told how to live my life. I'm not interested in being in negative relationships. I'm not interested in being controlled. I'm not interested in being in a clique. I'm not interested if people are talking shit about me.

Or at least, I'm giving it my best try.

/end rant

Right, after that I think I deserve to go and eat some crisps. Go and read Julien's blog, enjoy your Sundays and normal service will be resumed around here soon.