For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I was often left red-faced by my parents’ embarrassing actions.
In the fall of eighth grade, Dad was driving my friends and me to the swimming pool. One of them, Hot Potato Jim (that’s what Dad calls him when he speaks of him), spent the whole ride talking about this chick and how she’s definitely obsessed with him because he’s some special Mack Daddy on campus.
After pulling into the carpark, Dad turned around to hand me some pocket money, then cast an eye over at Jim and said, “That girl definitely doesn’t like you. I’m not even sure why my son does.”
Ouch for Jim. Ass out for me.
And Mom. We would take a cab together, and she would be raining down a hail of “He should have taken this turn, it’s shorter” and “That’s some dangerous batshit crazy driving” grumbles.
No fucks given for the poor guy’s feelings.
Once she even debated with the waiter (we were having breakfast at our usual diner) about how awful the eggs always tasted and how they should cook it. I felt sorry for the fellow when he calmly replied, “We’ll make it however you want it, ma’am.” Over and above that, I winced at a thought that seared through my mind.
“We’re going to spit in your eggs, ma’am.”
The older I get, the more I come to the realization that it’s not that my parents don’t know they are being blush-making muddles.
It’s that they just don’t give any fucks about it. They don’t care. And they don’t care that they don’t care either.
We give a fuck about everything and everyone.
Ain’t it the truth.
We are embarrassed buying condoms but fine when it comes to buying toilet paper. Apparently, we are more proud of our bowel movements than getting laid.
We are afraid that people will be offended when we fart in public. Yet people would bless you when you sneeze, which could easily give them the flu.
Case in point: We tend to care too much about what other people think even when it really doesn’t make much sense to. And we should be ashamed of that.
Who cares. Just be you.
When we’re young with the greenness of a salad, accompanied by the freshness and inexperience — everything is new and interesting; everything seems to matter so much. Ergo, we are punctilious about everything. Big and little. Important and insignificant. Fuckworthy and un-fuckworthy.
Then we get older, wiser and more experienced. Our identity solidifies. We are aware of who we are and we accept ourselves, including the parts that we aren’t delighted about.
By all means, embrace the shit straight you.
It’s okay to be inadequate. You’re allowed to suck at some things. It’s alright to be the quirky and unique you.
And guess what. When you are more comfortable with the way you are, you are less likely to feel embarrassed about yourself.
And nobody really cares.
Suppose it is raining. The floor is wet and slippery. You take a step, slip, and suddenly you are staring at the sky.
You don’t want people staring at you. But in truth, they look at you for a second and then look away.
Unfortunately, nobody gives a shit.
All embarrassing moments take place in the past. Theoretically, if you stay in the present moment, you wouldn’t feel a thing, because that faux pas exhibited in your brain belongs to another time — the past.
That burr up your ass.
Again. The past is past.
Unless you have done something that directly affects another person’s life, he or she ain’t gonna spend much time thinking about it.
While you are thinking of how people might be judging you — they actually are busy thinking about themselves. They hardly got more than a brief second to pay attention to the superficial details about you, so no need to be so hung up on them.
It’s up to you.
I’m not encouraging you to give zero fucks about everything and everyone. But be selective. Don’t let What will people think? be the guiding force in your life. Don’t remain alive just to follow the ideal notions of others in order to please them.
You are gonna get fucked if you dwell on adversities or failures or embarrassing moments.
So put on your ridiculous polka dot sweater, middle fingers up, and do things you believe in.
“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float and that insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.”
— Alan Watts
(Wisdom of Insecurity; The Way of Zen; Tao: The Watercourse Way)