A Question a Day will you take the challenge?
Does it really matter to you what others say?
Answering this question as an adult, the answer is NO, answering this question as an over 50 year old adult the answer is FUCK NO!
I apologise for the language in this post especially on delicate ears, I suggest you read this post quietly to yourself, and not out loud in the middle of the State library.
When you are little you have to listen to your parents; you may not agree with what they have to say, but they have earn’t the right and possess the wisdom to guide you whilst your training wheels are on.
Then you grow into your independence, and all of a sudden you have to keep up with all sorts of popular groups, and fashions, and social statuses, apparently it matters what the loudest pushiest person has to say.
But then you grow up into your own skin, and if you haven’t become the loudest pushiest person, you start standing up to and questioning this tiresome vexatious know-it-all, and then you become brave and overcome social popularity and exchange it for soul satisfaction and you tenderly learn to speak your mind and follow your heart passions.
As you climb the ladder of independence you start to stumble and fall back into the trap of listening to the bully and you find your own inner critic agrees with her!
You try to conform, whilst balancing your own opinions and views and it is a constant juggling act, often tumbling over and leaving you in a hot sweaty mess on the floor exhausted.
And then you turn 50, and from my new favourite book The Woman’s Guide To Second Adulthood by Suzanne Braun Levine, which I have inhaled and devoured recently, Fuck You 50 is where you arrive; You have conformed all of your life, made lists and become mum’s, married and kept homes, brought up children and wiped endless noses, and you have done it all self-sacrificing your own identity for that of your spouse, your in-laws, your children your grandchildren, your boss, your apartment manager, so you hit 50 and and you finally say FUCK YOU! you have found your voice again, but it not a new trepid voice that emerged when you were a teenager, this is a lion’s ROAR of a woman’s voice, backed by years of silent wisdom, endless sufferance and sacrifice.
You don’t care anymore for what other people say and if they are talking about you, who gives a fuck? they obviously don’t have much going on if they have to talk about you! hmm is there something that you can do that will shock them into talking about you more? you consider the joy of such a thing, but listen silently to your own wise self and refrain from causing an embarrassment all round.
Maybe I have been a wiser woman for longer than my 3, fuck you 50 years; I recall an old conversation, when I was working in a predominantly creative female industry, and doing the round of shows and exhibitions as an exhibitor, one of my suppliers was asking me about what so and so had to say and weather it bothered me, and a friend who knew me piped up and said “Christina doesn’t care a bit about what anyone else has to say about her, she just does what she does” meaning I get on with the business of being in business and I stay out of the back-biting, name-slandering business, of in-fighting and gossiping about other stall holders and business competitors.
I never knew at the time how profound that conversation would be for me, I knew what I had to do and I went out and did it, I didn’t care if it wasn’t popular, I didn’t care if it wasn’t in vogue, and I sure didn’t care if everyone else had this and that, but I choose a whole shiny new something else. I sang my own song, and followed my own path, it was just a pity that I didn’t have that support team at home to help me over the bumpy bits, but then I wouldn’t be here writing for you today, would I? see, all things work together for good, and I sure am wiser for all the lessons I learnt back then.
So; does it really matter what others say? FUCK No! (and I promise to remind myself of that answer the next time I feel like I am starting to listen to what they say)
What do you think?