“What other people think about you is none of your business”
The internet attributes this to far too many people, so until I get a reliable source, I’m going with unknown.
The first time I heard this, I wasn’t very keen on it. It seemed too simplistic. As I’ve grown older, it resonates a bit more, maybe because I’ve lived long enough to learn to not care.
It’s been a revelation, really. My life is busy. Not as busy as some, and I’m certainly not competing for the “Busy” title. We are all busy with our own lives. As I spend my time raising my daughters, organizing my household, and maintaining some semblance of a social life (does going out for brunch once a month with ladies count? Okay, good), I just don’t have time for the stupid drama.
And yet, it infiltrates like those cloud farts you walk into at the grocery store. One minute, you’re just looking for low sodium chicken stock, the next minute your olfactory senses have been assaulted and you realize you’re tasting it as your eyes water. And that taste is never good.
As the years go by, the more I realize we’re all still teenagers, we just have more responsibility. Some of us have let go of the dumb games and silliness, some haven’t. I try to spend my time on people that build me up, rather than those that tear me down. I work hard to build my tiny community with ladies I relate to, I admire, I enjoy. But there seems to always be that person, infiltrating my solace and safety with drama.
Why on earth would you spend your time criticizing people you don’t know to someone else? Why do that? A dear friend of mine had to listen to drivel regarding many people she knows and cares about. I feel for her, I do. And I’m glad it wasn’t me, truly. However, I wish I didn’t know as much as I do about that conversation, because it annoyed me. It took over too much of my energy, as I wondered why this person would say some of the things they did. And before you berate my friend, she did defend, and did try to diffuse, but some battles are just impossible.
I spent time considering whether I cared what that impossibly nasty person thought of me. Not really. Was I worried my friend believed the things that were said about me, other friends, other acquaintances? No, not really. I finally realized, it’s the act itself. The tearing down others so that they could build themselves up. That act bothered me. It’s the same baloney that causes working mothers to be pitted against stay-at-home mothers. We’re all working, just some of us take home paychecks. We’re all mothers. Why can’t we focus on what bonds us, instead of what separates us? Why do we insist on judging without a clear picture?
A different friend said to me, “Women build each other up and support each other. And that is the type of women we want to model for our daughters.” That woman is wise, and you understand one of the many reasons she is a dear friend.
I just don’t want to devote the energy to people who tear down others. It’s stupid, and divisive, and worthless. And yet, I can’t cut this person out of my life, sadly. I have limited their access as much as I can, but still, they infiltrate. I’ve decided they’re the grocery store fart-mine. Sometimes I’m forced to step in their bullshit, and it tastes and smells terrible, but at least I don’t lose limbs and can walk through it to safety, where good things happen with people I care about and who care about me. I’m tired of things that aren’t my business entering into my consciousness.