Remember when you were young and "So what, I don't care" meant doing dangerous, reckless, crazy things? I can recall a time in my life where not caring equaled fun. I didn't care if I missed curfew. I didn't care how many cigarettes I smoked. I for sure didn't care to whom I gave my time or, more importantly, my heart.There was an exact moment when I turned 16 that I could feel an intense force taking over my entire life. “who cares?” I did not concern myself with the feelings of others. I could care less about the news or what was happening in the world. I remember feeling like being an “adult” meant living without restrictions. Good Lord, I was a complete imbecile.
I made a ton of mistakes in my younger years. I missed out on opportunities. I made an enormous amount of life altering [bad] decisions. I gave my heart to someone who did not deserve it. Valuable time could have been spent improving who I was as person. I think to most young people believe that sounds selfish. It’s not. It is necessary in the process of becoming an adult. I think not granting yourself the time to learn who you truly are is denying the world your piece of the puzzle, and that is selfish. Yes, at 18 you are legally able buy cigarettes. Sure, at 21 you can purchase alcohol, but neither of those things prepare you for the world; a world that you have yet to REALLY experience. My immaturity told me not caring would allow me to truly experience life. I could have enjoyed what life was really about sooner had I not “cared” so little.
Today, I sat in front of my computer and just laughed at myself. I can still remember turning off my brain so I could “enjoy” myself. It is a journey; tapping into yourself. How freaking funny is that? I have to go on some quest into another dimension to find ME. One would think, “I know myself, I am standing in my own body all of the time!” I tell myself this constantly. Meanwhile, every day I wake up I feel less and less like the girl I used to be. Now I am a mother. Now I am in love; true, unconditional love. You would never catch me saying, thinking or doing 99% of the things I did 10 years ago. That person feels like a bad coming of age movie I watched late one night. It isn’t ME. That is the beauty of existence. You are changing. You are evolving. No, you aren’t going to sprout wings or a third leg but you will surely blossom- if you allow it; if you embrace it.
There are a ton of things I have convinced myself that since becoming a parent I can no longer do. “I am too old for that.” “Moms can’t do those things.” “…Maybe when the kids grow up.” I AM NOT EVEN THIRTY! And frankly, age isn’t even a factor. I am alive! I have had to deal with the fact that decisions I made in my past greatly affected my future. I have to deal with the fact that I deferred attaining my dreams. BUT they can still come to fruition. I am not done or washed up. I am allowed to care. I am allowed to want. I am allowed to aspire to be exactly who I have always wanted to become. I can know myself enough to feel confident in my skills. I am now mature enough to not be used or mislead. You cannot disrespect or mistreat me. I do care. I care about being happy. I care about making a difference in the world. I want my children to learn from my mistakes and successes.
My family picks on me for “feeling too much.” I cry during commercials. I get angry when I see innocent animals run over in the street. I am offended when someone else is disrespected. I like being this way. Because I know what it is like to be someone who is completely disconnected from themselves and from the rest of the world. It isn't a good feeling. I had my first child at 18. I remember the weight that came with loving something as much as I did him. It was suffocating at times. Now, I can love everyone and everything and it feels… comfortable. Now here comes the kicker. Do you want to know how I can feel this deeply and not feel like an empathetic noose is tied around my throat? Because I don’t care.
“Now she’s just screwing with us!!”
Unknot your knickers and bear with me. I can feel the REAL "So what, I don't care" settling in as I age
I care about my safety and yours
I care about my family and yours
I care about my life and yours
I care about my dreams/goals and yours
What I do not care about is what people will think of me when I speak up for myself, my spouse, my CHILDREN (sweet Jesus) or when I speak up for anyone else on this planet who isn't able to speak for themselves or simply doesn't have enough support. I do not care what you think about my physical appearance. I don’t care about your opinions of my family. I don’t care if you are offended by my support for people loving whomever they choose. I do not care if you do not like it if I call out your hypocrisy. I do not care if you think God does not love me or vice-versa for questioning organized religion. I do not care if you are annoyed that I remind you racism, homophobia, poverty, and slavery still exists. I do not care if you choose to never read a word I write. I will continue to do it. I believe this is the “me” that I lost. I have a voice and a soul and a purpose that I am going to utilize. I am a mother, yes. I have a ton of mom-related duties on my plate. My boobs are not as perky as they used to be, unfortunately, but I will be the person I was meant to be all along-for my children. Hopefully when they are crazy teenagers and they think being reckless and saying “so what” will grant them freedom, they will know that true freedom comes from knowing exactly who you are and not caring who doesn't like it.