The art of not giving a damn

Saturday, February 6, 2016

If I had one thing I could fix that would make my life more freeing and less anxious, it would be how much I care. I care too much about too many things. I don't know how to say no.

So this year, I'm going to work on saying 'no' and being more selective about what I care about. I used to take in everything that comes my way and try to mend it or mold myself to give in to others. Yeah not this year, buddy. Things I feel aren't worth being upset over, I'm just going to step back, avoid and detach. Time to remove myself from negativity and things that just piss me off.

Here are some methods I'm planning to use to perfect the fine art of not giving a damn:

1. Knowing my values

I think it's very important to know what you stand for and your identity. And when you find out what your values are and you embrace it, you no longer have to waste time doing things you don't want to do. For example  if I know I'm just not into drinking, I'm not going to fit into others' societal perceptions and force myself to drink. I know my limits, and I know what I like and don't like. So I'm not going to waste my time feeling uncomfortably hot and trying to cure myself from migraines post-drinking. And if your friends are still forcing you to do things you just don't want to do, then I think it's time to hang out with other people. Also, when it comes to deep/controversial discussions you'll already have your own stand and need not look like an indecisive person who lives under a rock :D

2. Filter

What I'm going to do next is probably to go through my friends list on social media like Facebook or Snapchat, and remove unhealthy and meaningless connections that serve no purpose. Sometimes I don't know a person very well and I tend to keep that shred of connection in hopes of maybe getting to know that person better along the line. His or her things pop up on my feed and I wonder why I added that person in the first place. It's been 8 years since I added that person. If we genuinely wanted to keep in touch or get to know each other more, we would've done it in those 8 years.

Recently, I've also cleaned out my drawer and got rid of old memorabilia that was collecting dust like letters, cards and souvenirs. It feels good to let go of certain things through the act of physically throwing it away in the trashcan. Out with the old, in with the new.

Of course there is always that sentimental feeling that hinders us from clicking that 'unfriend' button or to throw things that are collecting dust in our drawers away. But sometimes you just gotta do it. We don't need this kind of white noise in our lives. I want to allocate my time to things and people that are meaningful and that matter to me. I'm pretty sure some of the people I care about don't care about me. Or people who I think are judging me don't really think of me at all. It's not only our tables and beds that need tidying up, we need to tidy up our lives.

3. Disconnect

I need to practice how to remove myself from negativity. It doesn't mean that when a friend has a problem or is feeling sad, I avoid it and run far far away. It means that I have to learn to pick my own battles. Some of the battles I face aren't even things worth fighting over. Like an argument with a friend. I know where this is going to go if I continue arguing and so I stand firm with my beliefs and back off. I take the high road and save all of us time and energy. If he/she is not happy with it, then guess what? There's nothing I can do about it. I got no time and energy for your issues man, I have my own to deal with.

Also not being so 'kepoh' helps too. Do we really need to know what new drama is going on in people's lives (sometimes, yes)? Cause really, from now on I would like to direct my energy to things that adds value back to my life. I'm not being selfish, I need to invest in myself before I invest in others. I won't set myself on fire to keep others warm anymore.

And I always wanted to try to do a digital detox, where I disconnect from social media for a while. We are SO addicted to our phones and our computers, that our hands and eyes are constantly glued to our devices everywhere we go. Human interaction is now belittled and we no longer (for want of a better word) 'live in the moment' *cringes*. This is getting worse with the new generation. It feels like babies are now hard wired to know how to use an iPad after they turn 1, and when they don't get their precious iPads they scream bloody murder.

One thing I'm proud of in this aspect is not needing to check my Twitter everyday. I feel like Twitter has become a very negative space for me and so I decided I need to detach. Before this, I would check Twitter almost 5 times a day, and I couldn't stop myself. It just became a daily routine to check Twitter a few times a day. But now, I check it at least once in 4 days. I don't even feel the compulsion to open my Twitter app so much anymore. So now I'm working on opening it only once in a week, and then once in 2 weeks and hopefully slowly but gradually detach.

I also don't watch TV shows as often anymore. I used to not understand how people can wait a whole season (that's a whole dang year!) and not follow each episode. Well, I'm one of those people now cause I no longer closely follow my TV shows. Maybe it was because at one point I was just too busy to keep track of which day my shows aired and to find a download for it. So I stopped keeping track altogether and I became too lazy to start my TV routine again. Also because my all-time favourite fictional TV couple (yes, I'm bringing it up again) is no longer together and the show sucks because they made the guy fall in love with someone else and everything is shit and the show has officially lost all sense and meaning *wipes sweat off brow*.

But NOW, I'm addicted to Youtube lol. It's so easily accessible and there's always something new/exciting to watch every day. I don't even know why I like vlogs so much. Maybe it's because I like seeing other people's lives that are clearly more fun than mine. This obviously doesn't help with my addiction to social media, but hey I'm working on it.

4. Just say no

This is one of the hardest parts of not giving a damn. It's like we're hard-wired to say yes to everything. People asking you out for a meetup even though you're tired? Yes, let's go. Salesperson hard selling you things you don't even need? Yes, I'll buy it. Friends saying things you don't agree with? Yes, you're right.

It sounds so easy to just say no. But in reality when the situation calls for it, it's like something is stuck in your mouth and you just can't bring yourself to say it. Maybe you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings. You want to be liked. You want to please everyone. Well, this needs to end and I have to drill this into my thick skull - you can't please everyone. There will be people who judge you no matter what you do even if you have good intentions. There will be people who dislike you because you don't submit to their requests. Unless that person is your boss, your family or a very close friend, is it necessary for them to like you? Must everyone think "Wow, Carmen is such a nice person, I want to be her friend"? No.

I've said this before in a previous blog post, if someone doesn't like me who for I am and for what I stand for, then...

5. Re-calibrate

Knowing your sense of direction in life is important. Being lost is not fun. You waste your time and focus on things that don't matter.  Spend some time re-calibrating your direction in life. Know who your true friends are and what makes you happy. Then, do said things that make you happy and spend time with supportive friends. Have a close relationship with God. Clear out that mental clutter. Get your life together. All this sounds easier said than done of course. It's going to be hard work that's for sure.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill

Do I sound like a wise person who sounds like she has a grip on life and is at peace yet? LOL.

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