Because of the craziness of the last week, I have only just gotten around to this post. 5 years ago this week, I nearly died. Like, seriously, pale-faced-ICU-Consultant-preparing-my-husband-for-the-worst kind of “almost died”.Not your “I skidded my car and my life flashed before my eyes” almost died – like – my body was battling sepsis and I was on a ventilator and I was given 24 hours to turn around before thinking about plugs and stuff kind of “nearly died”.
Everything changed within in me from that point. I woke up, had a long recovery, and still have the battle scars, but I see it as a blessing. Because, from that moment, I started to see the rest of my life as a second chance, and to live as if I was on borrowed time.
Of course, it’s one thing to believe it and another to actually do it. A couple of months ago I was sent this blog entry. It hit me in the guts, because it really is something that EVERYONE should read, and try to live their life by.
Of course, it would be irresponsible to not give a fuck about anything, and is kind of not the point. The point is to give a fuck about things that actually matter, and not get distracted by the stupid, petty and negative distractions that compete for… my “fuck” resources.
The main change has been in my tolerance for superficiality, or conformity, or being afraid of making waves for telling the truth as I see it. Oh, how many times I have been told that I would be a “star” or “more successful” if I would toe the line, not swear, not make waves. In Perth, there is a corporate culture and an expectation that you don’t make waves. You most certainly do not, under any circumstances, speak your mind. You must suck the proverbial dick of those in authority… especially if you are a woman. But this is fool’s gold. I don’t want to be a “star”, and money is just a means of attaining the freedom to do what I want to do.
What is a bank balance without people who love you?
What is a job title if you had to be someone else to get it?
What is a life without… actually living?
Is a good parent a dutiful parent? Or is it a parent who models to their children how to have healthy relationships, and how to live a life without regret?
My definition of “success” is different to other peoples, and I am actually living successfully… as I define it.
I am truthful. I love deeply, even if I am not great at showing it. I learn from my mistakes… and… as a parent, I do my best. I am happy to take on idiots or speak out against injustice. I take risks.
And yes, I constantly suppress that voice that tells me to conform for conformity’s sake. Because I am not afraid. I have faced the thing that most people fear most, which is a premature death, without seeing my children grow up.
What have I learned from this? That a lot of the fears that hold us back are just a construct. Everything has a way of working itself out. When I posted the “iPadofLove” competition, it was not out of narcissism, or for money, or fame… it was purely for my own sense of adventure and curiosity. People find me challenging and frustrating because of this. One person in particular feels the need to ‘counsel’ me on how to behave and become a fame whore like him. Because he assumes I want what he so desperately desires (fame). I don’t.
- I only do jobs I want to do, and work with people I want to work with.
- I only care what those who are close to me think of me.
- I am a good mother to my children.
- I work hard.
- I believe in a ‘great love’ and I am looking for it and am willing to put in the work to make it a reality. However, I am also happy if it doesn’t happen, because I am a fulfilled person in my own right.
- I take time to appreciate the smallest of things, and get excited about the big things.
Don’t be afraid. Stop giving a fuck. Because when you’re dead, that’s it. There is nothing left except your legacy. And no-one ever wants to have a eulogy that reads “paid all their bills on time, worked the same job for 50 years and acquired an investment property”. At least, I don’t.
I want a legacy that makes people laugh when they think of the shit I have pulled and stuff I have said. I want people to see that everything I have ever done has been in the spirit of adventure, honesty to the point of being brutal, and not letting “life” get me down. I want people to see that, maybe, I gave it a shot and even though I might not get it right all the time, that my intentions were always good.
And if I chose not to engage with you, that yeah, you were probably a bit of a dickhead… and… I don’t really have time for that.
So much time is spent on pointless negativity, and people will always try to drag you into it. When you anonymously troll a blog, or have internet wars, or waste your time with petty fallouts with people… that is a wasted life. And that is why I feel sorry for people who engage in that. Similarly, people who use other people as a means of getting ahead themselves… or people that are cruel to animals or children. How… utterly pointless it all is.
Do some good. But the kind of ‘good’ that actually matters. Not merely by living a compliant life, filled with rules, and fear, and worry about what others might think, but by being brave. Try not giving a fuck. You may find it liberating.
You may be surprised.