Last week I sung High School Musical’s ‘Breaking Free’ on karaoke. My harmonies may have been off and my song choice questionable but it was a sign of the new me. The one that doesn’t care.
I should probably add an asterix in here to say stay with me on this. I swear to you I’m not as heartless as the poison apple-bearing wicked stepmother in Snow White. But rather a girl who’s learnt to let go.
I used to be uptight. At a party I’d watch everyone else have fun whilst I played it safe on the sidelines. I’d shy away from group speaking, from confrontation and from quite frankly, being me. I’d care what my hair looked like, if I was wearing a label and I cared too obsessively with my weight. I’d care if didn’t squeeze my body into a certain size of clothing and whether I had the latest model of phone, which is ironic really when now 9/10 I want to run away to the coast and toss it into the sea.
As much as I love social media, I mostly don’t care for it. I don’t care for it turning us into anything but social. Like, shares, engagement, take it down if it doesn’t get ten likes - I’ve heard it all. My friend asked me if I cared that a picture of my fry up got the most likes on my Instagram last month. I don’t. What I do care about is that I’ve been cooking and eating fry ups for the past two years now and where were these fry up fans then?
I used to post a selfie most days. Now, after 25 years I’m kind of sick of seeing my own face. I’m cool with it and don’t get me wrong, receiving the flame emoji three times over is always a confidence boost, but I’d rather upload a picture of a stunning sunset, because my face pretty much stays the same every single day, and if I’m bored of it, I’m sure you are too…
It’s funny how you get to a certain age and your priorities, wishes and dreams change. When I was younger I wanted to go to New York and have this flashy apartment and girl boss job and just be fabulous darling. I still love New York but I also love my life as it is. I love everything I’d lost touch with and forgotten about. Like playing articulate with your friends who take it far too seriously, enjoying drinking alcohol rather than necking it to feel a lil tipsy, coco pops, spending some time on a swing, learning a new song on piano and walking a dog. I care for a key change in an epic song, when I see the waiter bringing my order in a restaurant, a cliffhanger I didn’t see coming in a film, open fires, falling asleep on a long car journey (sorry to the drivers out there), a rich glass of Merlot, staying out way past my bedtime, falling for people’s personalities and most importantly, not being perfect.
My hair’s messy and so is my life. My Instagram life isn’t true for the most part. I make mistakes, run around like a headless chicken for most of the week and I rarely ever am in one place long enough to reflect. The minute I stopped caring and obsessing about my weight was the minute I actually started to live. Which is why I don’t care for those people who comment ‘the amount of calories in that’ as I slurp on a chocolate frappe. I don’t also care for the gym to be quite frank but I go because I care about my health. And that’s life for you - balance.
It’s about knowing where to draw the line of care. Do I care that United lose a match? Yes, but not so much that I’m going to lose sleep at night. Do I also care that I go to City games quite frequently? No, because I love a good goal. Do I care what some stranger who doesn’t know me or my life thinks of me? Another no, because if I cared for them or their opinion, they’d be in my life. Life’s honestly too short to spend it doing anything or with anyone that makes you feel like you don’t care. You’ll know who are the people you care about from the time you give them. They’re the ones who instantly put a smile on your face when you have an unopened message from them or the ones you have such a connection with, the conversation will never get boring. They’re the ones you fight with because you want to keep them in your life or the ones you expose your true self to. Because at the end of the day, that’s what you should truly care about: emotions.
That rush of falling for someone, seeing your best friend, doing something you love and putting your all into everything. Just today at work a guy asked me if I was wearing contact lenses because my eyes were so bright and sparkly, and I simply replied, no, that’s just happiness, which is something I’ve learnt to care a great deal about.