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“The subtle art of not giving a f…”

An audiobook I’ve saved on my virtual bookshelf is the book “The subtle art of not giving a fuck” by Mark Manson. It’s a bit of a response to these rather exaggerated ‘always look on the bright side of life’ lessons, which must be said to characterize our generation. Life is complex, it’s hard, it’s part of the ride and this is not something staying positive at all times will ever change. As it is mentioned in the introduction to this book, it’s not about making lemons into lemonade, but learning to digest the lemons better. And without haven even listened to the book yet, I have to agree on this. I have had difficulties in transitioning from being a student to having a full-time job for example, but have also realized over time that it wont make things better to just run away everytime I get scared. I’ll end up running for the rest of my life. It is quite valuable to hold on to these experiences and to be enduring because they are ultimately helping us grow stronger and wiser over time. Even though these are the same experiences you tend to avoid because that’s what your brain will often tell you to do. Anywho. What I want to express in this post is more what lays in the title; the subtle art of not caring too much.

En lydbog jeg lige nu har gemt på min virtuelle boghylde er bogen “The subtle art of not giving a fuck” af Mark Manson. Den er lidt et modsvar til det her med, at forsøge at være overdrevet positiv altid, hvilket jo må siges at kendetegne vores generation. Livet er komplekst, det er hårdt og det er en del af turen og det kan dét, at se positivt på livet aldrig ændre på. Som der står i indledningen så handler det ikke om, at lave citroner om til sød limonade, men at lære at fordøje citronerne bedre. Og uden overhovedet at have lyttet til bogen endnu må jeg erklære mig enig. Jeg har selv haft svært ved overgangen fra studie til fuldtidsjob fx, men har da også med tiden indset, at det ikke nytter at blive ved med at løbe fra de ting der gør én bange eller ked af det. Så kommer man til at løbe resten af sit liv. Det er ganske værdifuldt, at holde fast i disse oplevelser og være udholdende, for det er dem der i sidste ende hjælper os med, at blive stærkere og klogere på os selv. Selvom det også er disse oplevelser der er de sværeste og dem, som man intuitivt styrer udenom. Nå, men altså. Det som dét her indlæg skal handle om, er egentlig mere titlen på bogen: nemlig den her underspillede måde at være “ligeglad” på.

You know how the parties that weren’t planned are usually those who are the funniest? Those where you haven’t spent hours in front of the mirror and haven’t been stressing for weeks about what to wear? Well, I guess I’m mainly speaking to the hearts of me female followers here, but you catch my drift. The more I have thought about this scenario, the more I actually think this can be transferred to all aspects of life; it’s the essence of “the subtle art of not giving a fuck”. There are really many especially young women who always try their best to look perfect. There are pore-minimizing primers, contour kits and all sorts of things on the market that are basically created to help us shape our physical appearance exactly as we like. And don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with that, because we are all in our good right to decide what to do with our own bodies. But yet I can’t help thinking about the fact that we seem to have more fun when we let go. When we leave just a little room for spontaneity, and haven’t planned everything down to the smallest detail. That being the way we live our life, the way we look or something completely else.

Kender I ikke det der med, at de fester som oftest er de sjoveste, er dem der ikke var planlagt? Dem hvor man ikke har brugt flere timer foran spejlet, og ikke har gået i flere uger inden og tænkt på, hvad for noget tøj man skulle have på? Ja, her henvender jeg mig nok primært til mine kvindelige læsere, men I forstår nok godt hvad jeg mener. Jo mere jeg har tænkt på dette scenarie, jo mere synes jeg faktisk man kan overføre det til resten af sit liv; det er nemlig essensen af “the subtle art of not giving a fuck”. Der er rigtig mange især unge kvinder, der går højt op i deres udseende og som altid forsøger, at se perfekte ud. Der findes pore-minimizing primers, contour kits og alt muligt andet, som jo i bund og grund er skabt for at hjælpe os til, at forme vores fysiske udseende præcis som vi gerne vil. Og misforstå mig ikke, det er der jo som sådan ikke noget galt i, for vi er alle i vores gode ret til at bestemme over vores egen krop. Men alligevel kan jeg ikke lade være med, at tænke på dét der med, at vi har det bedre og sjovere når vi giver slip. Når vi efterlader bare lidt plads til spontanitet, og ikke har planlagt alting ned til mindste detalje. Det være sig vores liv, den måde vi ser ud på eller noget helt tredje.

It’s not about not caring at all but perhaps practicing moderation a bit better. Find a place somewhere in the middle. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m closer to being 30 than 20 now, but it’s as if I’ve even become better these last couple of years to let go of these crazy ideals. I would rather use that energy to be more present and work more actively to move away from my social-anxiety instead of trying to convince others (and not least myself) that I’m perfect. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not about being a pessimist, and I’ve even got two tattoos myself, which represents having a more positive outlook on life. But life is not about always getting what you want. It’s as much about getting what you need – whether it’s something you want at first or not. A difficult period in one’s life may as well be something you need to grow stronger and smarter, even though it’s not really something you want to start of with, you know what I mean?

Det handler ikke om at lade alting sejle og stå til, men måske at praktisere moderation lidt bedre. Finde sig til rette et sted midt imellem. Jeg ved ikke om det bare er fordi jeg er tættere på de 30 år end på de 20 nu, men det er som om, at jeg også selv de sidste par år er blevet bedre til, at slippe de her idealer. Jeg vil hellere bruge den energi på at være mere til stede og arbejde mere aktivt på, at udvikle mit til tider social-angste jeg i stedet for at forsøge at overbevise andre (og ikke mindst mig selv) om, at jeg er perfekt. Misforstå mig ikke – det handler heller ikke om at man skal være en pessimist, og jeg har da sågar hele to tattoos selv der hentyder til, at man skal se positivt på livet. Men livet handler bare ikke om, altid at få det man gerne vil. Det handler lige så meget om, at få det man har brug for – uanset om det så er noget man har lyst til i første omgang eller ej. En svær periode i éns liv kan ligeså vel være noget man har brug for, for at vokse sig stærkere og klogere selvom det ikke i første omgang er dét man lige havde drømt om, forstår I hvad jeg mener?

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  • Shannon
    12. January 2018

    I just read your blog and watched the YouTube. I agree !00% with the content and loved watching your animated delivery. It made me smile. Years ago I wrote my own mantra “Trying to make everyone happy just makes everyone unhappy.” It was happening in my life. So….I made big changes. It wasn’t easy but it was good.
    “Saying no is often the best yes” I read that one this a.m. from “A New Playlist” by Jacob Armstrong. You know, the old “Just say No,”
    I do have to say the language in the Manson book made me wince and was pretty distracting to the message. I hope saying that doesn’t make anyone unhappy.
    Blessings on your journey. 🙂