[dropcap]D[/dropcap]o you sometimes watch your friends, IRL or on social media, living the dream? Being madly in love with their partners? Finding time for their passions? Looking like a living/breathing Pinterest board? Speaking their truths, seemingly unhindered by crippling social anxiety?
Their lives are art, their spirits are on fire, they bring something so desperately needed to the world around them…
You’re happy for them, really you are. But there’s that teeny tiny piece of you that’s jealous? Confused? How on earth do they do it?! By golly, you know you’re magical too… But your life looks a lot more like the smoldering remains of last year’s trash fire…
- You can’t seem to find the time to so much as craft that super cute boho wall hanging that you just know would totally complete your living room.
- PB&J and Goldfish crackers have reached the status of delicacy in your house. You can’t even imagine the reality of cooking a 4 course meal with a toddler wrapped around your leg.
- You would 100% start painting but you can’t even fucking draw and where on earth would find the time to learn… to practice?!
- You would love to share your honest, heartfelt opinions but your fingers shake when you try to type them on Facebook, and when you’re out with your friends you’re just trying to breathe and find what it takes to order your own latte…
How do you find the courage and the time to let your magical self shine?
Let me introduce you to a little secret (Well, thanks to memes it’s becoming more mainstream and not so much of a secret)…
I’ve been wanting to blog about not giving a fuck for over a year now, I just didn’t know where to start. I’ve been pondering what in the hell to say about how to leave one’s field of fucks barren for quite some time… now I no longer feel the need to be insanely articulate on the subject. Manson has already covered it in the aforementioned post, and I’m positive that if you desire more in-depth info on the topic, his book is sure to provide it.
Mark’s post so eloquently describes the heart of not giving a fuck, that I decided the best way to approach writing this piece was to introduce you to his writing and tell you my story…
My partners and I have had several conversations about how it seems like everywhere I go, I gain a following. I become the center of attention, an object of fascination. We’ve speculated as to the reason for this and what we keep landing on is the zero fucks I give. And how folks want to be brave enough to let go of their fucks. So they gravitate to me, hoping to learn some shit.
After staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor for what was probably way too long, pondering my winding path from feisty, socially anxious Fury to some sort of zen master of fucklessness. I think I’ve managed to adequately document some of the more pivotal moments.
The Evolution of Losing My Fucks
I started out with far fewer fucks than my peers.
- I came out before coming out was cool…
- I quit shaving before armpit hair was trendy…
- I was pierced and tattooed when these body decorations still regularly disqualified you from landing so much as a minimum wage job— yes, I am aware how very hipster I sound right now.
I never really gave a fuck, but I still kind of did. On the outside I gave zero fucks, but on the inside I was plagued by social anxiety. I would lay in bed each night, replaying the tape of all of my awkward social moments of the day.
I’d watch the clock strike midnight. 1am. 2am. I lost an epic amount of sleep to the fucks I still gave.
And then step by step, discarded fuck by discarded fuck, I found freedom. I found myself on my way to becoming a master of not giving a fuck.
I quit giving a fuck what people thought of me. I quit giving a fuck if I failed. I quit giving a fuck if I was afraid. I quit giving a fuck about anyone’s opinions of me.
I started to bravely live my life. I started to learn, and live, and create, and do a bunch of shit I never thought I could do.
I started doing the stuff I had always wanted to do… I started to become the person I had always wanted to be…
I started with my first baby and the massively overwhelming task of raising a decent human being that lay ahead. I read every (peaceful) parenting book I could get my hands on, and I began learning how to mother her softly.
And yes, there were times I fucked up and failed in the application of all that I was learning… And you know what the fuck I did? I apologized to my wee one. Every. Single. Time.
I ignored the well meaning advice of relatives that while they had our best interest at heart, they also had all kinds of non spirit affirming suggestions of what to do with my baby, my toddler, my preschooler, my homeschooler. I bravely followed my mommy heart, and I grew softer, more patient.
I grew into mommy-hood so much so that people started to see me as some sort of earth goddess mamma figure and started seeking my advice on this whole parenting gig.
Some 13 odd years later, and I’m still screwing this shit up from time to time… Still apologizing, still practicing, still getting softer. Still rocking this mama gig, and still getting asked for parenting advice.
(Unrealistic) Beauty Standards
I had come a long way by the time she reached toddlerhood; my growth game was strong. But I still had some lingering fucks.
I was still waking up every morning and wasting an hour of life with her on my hair and makeup. I was still scared, still holding onto the strange cultural standards of female beauty that pervade our culture.
I just couldn’t believe that I was beautiful without holding tightly to the fucks I thought I had to give about the beauty standards I thought I needed to measure up to.
Even though I’d been dreaming of it for 6 years, I was still afraid to dread my hair.
And then one day I let go. I said, “fuck it”. I let the grandparents keep the kiddo, grabbed some beers and some friends, and we all talked, and drank, and laughed, and loved together as we locked up my hair.
And I never wore makeup again.
That was one extra hour every morning with my wee one, one more small step towards reclaiming my true self, another inch towards personal freedom.
One more tiny bird of a fuck I watched fly freely from my hands.
That was nearly 12 years ago.
My dreadlocks now fall to the middle of my back.
I don’t shave, anywhere that’s ever in view of the general public anyhow— yes, I totally just said that. Because why? Because idgaf.
I don’t wear makeup.
Sometimes I forget deodorant.
I dress like I fell into a bin at a secondhand shop.
I’ve been known to use the F-word as often as I use prepositions.
And idgaf what anyone thinks about how I look, how I dress, how I swear, how I wear my hair, how I live my life…
I am fucking awesome.
As I began to grow into my dread headed, earth goddess, hippy mamma self I followed a random whim… The next logical (to me) step, and went to massage school.
Massage school led directly to a 4 year acupuncture apprenticeship. Which I said goodbye to right around the halfway mark, leaving behind the life I knew to start a life with the love that would later bring the next 3 beautiful tiny humans into the world with me.
He left his wife. I left my future career. EVERYONE told us we were screwing up. Some people thought we had lost our damn minds. We did lose nearly all of our friends.
Guess how many fucks we gave?
*9 years, 3 kids, 1 cat, 2 dogs, 1 girlfriend (we will get to that soon), and 1 (dearly missed, RIP Widge) hedgehog later… We’re still fucking it all up and apologizing, learning and growing, living and loving together.
While I wasn’t any kind of crazy but crazy in love, I was indeed without a career path now. So… to the camera store we went. He told me to stay home with my little one and do the thing I’d always wanted to do, learn how to make photographs.
I studied photography (and later started studying art) as hard as I had studied parenthood and alternative medicine.
I didn’t give a fuck that I wasn’t making great photos. Not one single fuck that the pages of my art journal were filled with work any vaguely skilled 4th grader could have created.
I didn’t go out with friends (Ha! Still didn’t have any for the longest time), I didn’t watch TV, or read anything that didn’t further my art and photography knowledge. When I wasn’t busy being a parent or a partner, I studied, and photographed, and painted. I lived and breathed photography and art.
I failed again, and again, and again.. And I did not give one single fuck. I kept creating.
And finally I’m here, still learning, and growing, and studying, and working my ass off… But I finally occupy this space where I confidently call myself a photographer; an artist.
This Whole Poly Thing
Five years into living and loving with Chris and our babies, I met a girl. And fell in love with her. She let go of her fucks and followed her heart… Left her family, her friends, her life, and ran away to Florida with us.
We started doing the poly thing just a few years before it would become a trend.
A year into our relationship of 3, we received an odd letter on our doorstep. A local church that we definitely had not ever set food in really felt the need to tell us how we were living our lives and raising our babies in sin. I tossed it in the garbage, giving not one single fuck.
Anyhow, all of this leads to my most recent misplaced fuck… Writing this blog.
I’ve only just recently realized that I’ve been giving way too many fucks here. I’ve been letting the fear of not being what people expect out of the blog of some chick with kids stop me from speaking my truth, from sharing my authentic self.
Yes, I love art & photos, rainbows & unicorns, being a good mommy, making all the DIY shit with and for the kids, baking gluten free cookies and all that jazz… BUT I’ve also lived a lot of life in my 35 years on this planet and in so doing I’ve learned some shit. I’ve got some shit to say about the shit I’ve learned, and I started this blog to share some of it with you.
Self Taught Human was born from my desire to inspire you to be brave enough to let your light shine. Hiding behind holiday list posts and adorable DIY’s isn’t going to help either of us grow. *Not that I plan on ditching holiday list posts and adorable DIY’s, I’m just going to add some stuff with some serious heart— and probably a little more profanity.
Learning to give no fucks can maybe be found in a book… But there really isn’t a recipe, a checklist of shit to do to become the person your heart longs to be.
Learning to give no fucks happens one micro-moment of bravery at a time.
Start Losing Your Fucks Today
- Order that latte and don’t give a single fuck what the barista thinks of the stutter you suddenly developed while digging up the inner courage to request it without the whipped cream.
- Make time for that artsy/craftsy stuff you wanna do and don’t give a single fuck if it turns out to be total shit. You’re feeding your soul and quality standards don’t apply.
- Share your opinion on that Facebook post, even if it feels a little edgy and seems to be the opposite of your friend’s opinions. Polite intellectual discourse is fun! Anyhow, if they’re really your friends, they’ll love you even when you disagree with them.
See? It works just like that. Micro-moments. Practice. One teeny, tiny moment of bravery at a time. Then one day you’ll wake up, realize you’ve mastered the subtle art of not giving a fuck, and you’ll be free to be your true self.