So… this is not going to be your typical post. In fact, this is quite a departure….
I want to talk about enlightenment…
Not in a religious way, but in a “get all those fucking stupid thoughts out of your head and realize that NONE OF THAT MATTERS” type of enlightenment…
So let me preface it with this… We all go through life caring. We are meant to care. Except for those few people who truly don’t give any fucks about anything. And that’s not a good way to live.
Women specifically care a lot. To the point where that “care” consumes us and turns into a worry, then anxiety, then panic attacks. We care about celebrities, about what people think of us, what they say, what we wear and how we look, we care about our extra pounds and our unwashed hair, we care about our bitchy friends and asshole husbands/boyfriends, we care about those douchebag coworkers, we care about being late, we care about eating that donut, we care about absolutely everything. Think about men. What do men care about? Not much…they just live.
All those things we care too much about ruin us and people around us. They ruin our relationships. We have all seen it and we all have it whether we realize it or not. It’s the syndrome of giving too many fucks about things that don’t deserve our fucks.
It’s kind of like it takes one look at Instagram to realize that everyone fucking cares. Looking at those perfectly curated impossibilities of motherhood and existence, you start to care too. Why can’t I do it? Why isn’t my house all white? How can other women have such perfect hair. ALL THE TIME? We fill our days with that fluff, that perfection that does not exist (because photos like that are staged, dishes are pushed to the side to grab that one spotless piece of counter to stage the photo on). Fuck that! No one lives in a white spotless house with babies that make no messes. I have always tried to capture what is real. Sometimes I tried harder than other times. But the older I get the less fucks I give about appearances. What I care about is what makes me happy. Like if a white spotless house and keeping it clean makes me happy, permanently, not temporarily, yes I want that.
I started on the path of TRUE happiness after my separation and moved even further after the divorce. When I say true happiness, I don’t mean that fake happiness where you think that things/checkmarks like a big beautiful house, husband and kid and not having to work will make you happy ( they might or they might not be what you need).
I mean true contentment within yourself. It took me about two years after separation and something else to truly understanding the meaning of happiness and continue working towards that.
Being a type A person, I care about EVERYTHING. Everything has to be perfect, or at least good enough. Not in the anal type of way, I know how to live and relax and let things go, but inside my head there was so much shit going on, so many fucks that I was giving.
Some things had to be a certain way, some things didn’t make me happy, some things upset me, other things worried me, I worried about so much. We all do.
My mom is a great example, and someone that I try NOT to model myself after in that aspect. She had massive panic attacks after my sister had a baby at 16. No one knew they were panic attacks, they thought she had a tumor, they thought heart attacks, they thought strokes, they thought inner ear imbalance- all kinds of things, but Russian doctors would not diagnose panic attacks because they did not know and because in Russia mental issues were not acknowledged. They “did not exist.” It’s a weakness, it’s a not a medical issue.
So a few years ago, it was figured out that she had been having panic attacks for the last 25 years. It’s really not a surprise because that woman worries about EVERYTHING. I guess if I had a difficult life like hers and lived in a society that did not acknowledge the reality of mental issues, so you had no way of working on handling them properly, I would too. But it was sometimes ridiculous. Example: She thought I was dead when I had not texted when flying to Mexico 2 hours after we took off.
There was no rationalizing there: “A flight to Mexico takes longer than two hours. Customs take an hour. Getting to the hotel takes 2 hours. She does not have cell signal because she is in Mexico. She has no access to WIFI until she gets to the hotel.”
None of that. It’s simple “I’m having an anxiety attack because something’s gotta be wrong”
Other times, she is able to control it. I often help her rationalize and analyze things when she comes to me worried about something and that helps her a lot. But her “fucks” are out of control.
So apple… tree.. so on, yeah I like to worry about things. It’s a different type of worry. Mine is very much rationalized and analyzed and is there purely because it makes sense or is out of my control. It’s on the inside, I do not let it come out or become real worry or fully acknowledge the worry thoughts in my head. And as long as it does not influence other people, it’s ok. Or so I think. (Like I will not let my worrying impact Lexi’s life, only actual decisions.)
I like to overthink things. Big time. I rationalized it as me analyzing the situation but in reality it’s pure annoying overthinking and reading into things. Because analysis takes a few minutes, overthinking is obsessive.
I did not realize that my “overthinking/analysis” was impacting me and my relationships until I had a few experiences.
So after an experience I will not describe here (too private), I realized one thing: NOTHING MATTERS AS MUCH AS YOU THINK IT DOES
Even clearly bad events. NOTHING MATTERS.
What matters are people who love you and need you. YOUR CHILDREN AND THEIR HAPPINESS MATTER. YOUR PARENTS MATTER. But their approval doesn’t. Your partner/lover matters, but perfection in a relationship does not. YOUR HAPPINESS MATTERS!
Things that we think matter do not. We get so upset about the little things, things people do, say, show. Hell, people get upset when people they do not know say or do things against them.
You’d say “But Elena, this is the complete opposite of what you were writing about just a few days ago about the necessity to have time away from kids! You’re contradicting yourself! Now you’re saying kids matter”.
Like hell, I am not. See, just because we need me time, adult time does not mean we do not love or care about our children. In the end, they are what makes us happy and they are what matters. But it does not mean we need to lose sight of ourselves by caring about our kids.
My point is more about stressing over things you cannot change or control, things that will not in any way impact our lives or our happiness if they were erased. Time goes by and we are still here, despite that “worst thing to ever happen to me” event and the only thing that still matters are our daughters and sons and other loved ones.
A few months ago I started reading a book that appealed to me by its name “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck“. I came upon it after my realizations and it sort of reinforced all my thoughts. I instantly recommended it to my dear friend who I know gives waaaaaay too many fucks about what people think (Jess, I hope you’re reading this). But I also read it myself, three times. It has become one of the top most influential books for me last year:
At this point in my life, I try to remember that enlightening moment I had in Hawaii and feel those lessons I was given, remember them.
NOTHING MATTERS. Only your true happiness (which is not dependent on outside factors but on inside factors only) and happiness of people you love.