Live Like Nobody’s Watching

I am a perpetual oversharer. While others sit back and decide that it’s better to keep a few things private I find myself sitting with a new acquaintance discussing my various forms of birth control over the years and the personal maintenance required to don a pair of bathers twice a week. Too much?

I feel no discomfort in talking about how I felt, am currently feeling, or may possibly feel about an event. Last week I joined a group of people at a table who were enjoying what I can only imagine was a perfectly civilised celebration at the end of the week. Within minutes, yes minutes, I had turned the conversation to internet porn and why young men were now struggling to maintain erections with their real life girlfriends due to their access to online material. I was passionate about my subject, I quoted TED talks, current movies and statistics. Out of the three people I was talking to, one was a good friend, the other a complete stranger, and the other? I’d met her a couple of times before, at parent teacher night, she was my daughter’s math teacher last year.

Sometimes I feel I should arrive with a warning sign. “She struggles with small talk”. “Don’t give her a drink, she only gets worse.”

Years ago I would walk away from these conversations and cringe. I’d worry I went too far, said to much. Now, at 46, with an increasing girth, a hefty blossom and the introduction of jowls (!) – I find I care less about what people think. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean I don’t care about how people feel – but when it comes to what people think, I’ve learnt that it’s really no business of mine. What you think of me? Your business. How I make you feel? Our business. If I’ve hurt you I need to know. If you don’t like me – I probably can’t fix that.

While I’d like to give full credit to ageing, I feel that writing has assisted in the process of working this out. I’ve learnt to take constructive feedback “that’s not how I would have written it”. I’ve learnt to ignore the nasties “I can’t believe you left your children in another country while you went away with your husband”. I’ve become tougher, my skin thicker, calloused. I can now see judgment for what it is.

“I could never *insert parental decision here*”

“Oh well, I just did. Now lets move on.”

When talking about writing and blogging I’m often told by people that they prefer to keep things private. I get it. And I agree, there is much that needs to be kept private and there’s a blurred line between whose stories belong to whom. I write because I love to write, it clears my mind, helps me see what’s going on in my head. I started a blogging business because I believe in blogging. I began a podcast about expat life because I couldn’t find one to listen it. Weirdly each of these things were often met with suspicion when I shared the idea. An arched eyebrow. Do you think you can do that here? How would you do that though? I don’t think expat women listen to podcasts do they (it was hard not to slap them).

So, to the person who wants to start a new degree and the person who’d like to start their own line of jewellery. To the next fashion blogger, food writer and freelance hip hop artist. The person who thinks they may have a talent in an area they’ve not been game to discus with anyone.

Do it. Who cares what they think.

Live Like Nobody’s Watching.

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