It’s always humbling and important to remember that in the grand scheme of things, that your stay on earth is incredibly temporary. So if you trip while grabbing your coffee at Starbucks, no one’s gonna care in 3 seconds!! And no, not in a pessimistic “my life means nothing” kind of way, but in a beautiful freeing “well if I make a mistake, in the grand scheme of things, it’s OKAY!”.
As a 19-year-old girl (teen? woman? Ugh labels), I would say I’m an expert at being really self-conscious about every little thing that I do. Ever since I hit the ripe age of 12, it was like a train called puberty ran my head over and forget to hit the rest of my body.
My mind went absolutely crazy. I was so self-conscious over everything, and I over-analyzed every single thing I did. Rather than becoming an obnoxious know it all like most 12 year olds, I completely succumbed into fear and anxiety.
While it’s not a secret that everyone’s teen years are awkward and painful, I felt like mine was EXTRA awkward and painful compared to everyone else’s. So another useful tip to think about: everyone’s probably felt some degree of embarrassment/ self-doubt so you’re not alone buddy!
But the reason why I’m bringing up the dark ages (7th grade to end of high school) is because I feel like those days never really leave us. Yes, we become stronger, but there’s always lingering doubt and self-consciousness we have in the back of our minds.
We care so much about how other people take in who we are as a person, especially strangers.
For example, the other day my mom and I were walking around our neighborhood, and she wanted to take a picture next to some beautiful flowers. It was right next to the street so she said “Oh wouldn’t it look weird if we take a picture next to a random bush on the side of a street?”.
And in my mind “Yes honestly”.
But then, I was like “What the f***. Who the hell cares if we take 2 seconds out of our lives to take a picture next to some pretty flowers?”.
So I told her, “Whatever mom we live on earth for like 2 seconds and no one is stopping me from doing what I wanna do so let’s take a picture next to some flowers if we want!”.
That was a pretty extra response you can have just for a simple question about a picture, but I was feeling so philosophical for the past few days that I remembered this blog posts title so I passionately responded.
My mom being the cute angel that she is just said “Yeah!” and took a selfie with me and the flowers.
But the reason why she even asked if it was okay to take a picture next to the bush was because she cared about what the people passing by would think. She even waited until there were no cars to take the photo (since it was a busier street).
And I’m thinking, those people are strangers and have no real impact in our lives besides passing by, and we give them so much power over what we do! As long as what we’re doing is safe, and no one is getting hurt, why can’t we do it without being so worried about what others think?
I guess as a young adult, I still have a lot of growing up to do.
And putting in the perspective of “In the long run, that little thing you want to smack yourself in the head for, it’s honestly not even a big deal”, really helps me in situations where I don’t feel confident.
But my mom, who is past her own teenage years/young adult phase, is still affected by the thoughts of strangers. So no, we won’t get rid of worrying about what other people think, but i think there is a healthy medium we can achieve where we are respectful about the space of other people, but we can still do what we want to do.
Another example of being self concious about what other people think, is when my dad wants to take pictures in every little place we go. (I know it’s always pictures).
Anyway, since my dad likes taking pictures everywhere, I was soso embarrased before. Hell, my whole family would rag on him for taking so many pictures because I hated the thought of people passing by and judging us for taking so many pictures at the same place.
But in the grand scheme of things…NO ONE CARES! They’re busy doing whatever it is they’re doing. And if they do care, whatever! Their opinions should have no effect on your life, it’s your life and you can do what you want.
There are so many little things I worry about throughout the day:
- Oh man is my outfit okay? Does my shirt look weird? It looks weird. Ugh.
- Why won’t my hair part right?? Stupid hair.
- Crap, I opened the door and they were coming out that was weird woops oh no.
- Ughhhh why do I awkwardly avoid eye contact??
- Did that lady think I was mean bc I didn’t smile. Damn, I should smile more. Ugh why is my face so stoic and awkwarrdd.
- my makeup probably makes me look like a try hard huh? I don’t even have eye makeup on but I have lipstick??
- Would it look sad if I’m looking at articles about Kylie Jenner? I’ll look so dumb I hope my bus seat partner isn’t looking over ughghg.
And they’re very superficial and shallow things to be worried about. I think it’s part of the growing process, but as we grow I feel like our questions and self-doubt move onto different things rather than disappearing.
And I wish we can just get rid of the little things we worry about. It’s a process, but I know it’s possible. We live for such a short time on planet earth, it’s a shame to live so much of it in fear of what others might think.
I think I’m doing much much better than I did when I was younger.
There was one moment I was in discussion last year, and I answered a question wrong. If that was me 5 years ago, my confidence would plummet and I would be so embarrassed the entire WEEK.
But after I answered it wrong, I remembered in the grand scheme of things, that was nothing.
And it really helped me move on. I like thinking back to that time because I think it was the first time I could really get into the perspective of “it’s okay, it’s not a big deal”.
If you want to take that selfie right in front of a cute wall, go ahead!
If you want to put your hair up into high space buns, beautiful!
If you want to wear a scary neon yellow shirt, just do it.
And if you trip in front of a large crowd at your schools quad, it doesn’t matter.
If you mess up while doing a presentation, its fine.
If your hair was crazy the whole day, whatever.
I’m just here to remind you about the little things that might scare you, or embarrass you, they won’t affect you that much. It’s humbling to think that in 10 minutes to 10 seconds, no one will really care about your little blunder or your outrageous hair.
This is just a little push for those out there that might feel scared about putting yourself out there or if you feel embarrassed about messing up. We’re all very human, and we all take up space on planet earth for a temporary amount of time.
Try not to live so much of those 2 seconds in fear! Love yourself and think, honestly, it’s not a big deal!!!
I’m writing this as a reminder to myself if I begin to feel weird about something. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or use this mentality to get through life? Or better ways to look at things? I’m really interested to hear your opinions!