The older I get, the less I care what people think. (Or at least, I’m trying!)
My husband once told me of the 20/40/60 rule:
At 20, you are constantly worrying about what other people think of you.
At 40 you wake up and say, ‘I’m not going to give a darn what other people think anymore.’
And at 60 you realize no one was ever really thinking about you at all.
I have found this to be true.
One of the biggest regrets I have is from my teen years. I was asked by a boy in my seminary class to the prom. I had hoped someone else would ask me, but he didn’t. The boy who did was a quintessential ‘nerd’. He was nice, but I was so consumed by worries about what everyone would think if I went to prom with him. I had a vision of a certain group of guys looking at us walking into the school gym arm in arm and laughing at us. I couldn’t shake the fear. And so I told the nice boy “NO”.
And I ended up working a shift at McDonald’s during prom. The boy I had wished would ask me actually came in that night on a group date. And saw me in my yellow and red uniform taking his order (bad color scheme for a redhead!). I was suitably embarrassed. And I’d say that’s pretty good karma, folks.
So much misery because I lacked confidence. I broke a boy’s heart and spent a rather wretched prom night working instead of watching my best friend be crowned Junior Prom Princess.
Why did I care what those boys thought? I worried about their opinion more than the boy who asked me. And I have no idea where any of them are to this day. So why did they matter? Life moved on and got much better. But my 16 year-old self just couldn’t believe it.
My grown-up self has improved quite a lot. I have found a huge sense of empowerment as I get older. I really try to remember that the (imagined) opinions of others just don’t count for much. Especially on social media. Likes mean nothing. And WHO CARES anyway?
I’m caring less what people think. Except in one area…
Thing is… I look much younger than my actual age. And I hate it. Why? Honestly, it’s because I still care a little what people think.
I’ll turn 44 in a couple of months. On a weekly basis, I am mistaken for someone in her 20’s. Just yesterday, a lady asked if my son was my brother (at least she didn’t ask if he was my older brother!). It’s funny how the majority of the world would love this. And I despise it. I guess I worry that people will think I had a baby when I was 13! Or that I don’t have any life experience. But I know the truth. So, why care? And why am I not letting myself enjoy looking like a sister instead of a mom? Wouldn’t most people love that? I know, I’m crazy.
I can just hear my 60 year-old self saying, “You silly 44 year-old! Enjoy the youth while you have it! Soon you’ll be a grandma and look it!”
Life is SO much better when you just give yourself the power to BE YOU. I’m at the point where I just need to jump past the 40 rule and implement the 60 rule. THEY DON’T CARE! Why do I?
The only opinion that matters is God’s opinion. And He always loves us.
What if you Young Women jumped to the 60 rule with me? You could bypass all sorts of regret. You could learn from my mistakes. Think of the freedom!
So, who’s with me?
I’d love to get a discussion going here, girls. Let’s be open and vulnerable. How do you find this manifest in your life? Have you made choices based on what others would think? Do you find yourself posting things on social media seeking a reaction from your ‘audience’? How have you gotten better?