Stop Doing That Sh*T

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”Someone once asked me, “What’s at the core of every human being?” “Bullshit I replied.”

Gary Bishop, though kind of insulting, leads his reader in with this opening line of his second self-help book to “Unfuck Yourself,” titled “Stop Doing That Sh*t  – End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back.” His straight between the eyes honesty , though highly humorous, effectively gets his point across and with a few choice expletives stops you in your tracks and forces you to think about and reflect upon your life. I enjoyed this book more than its predecessor “Unfuck Yourself” by a factor of ten.

Bishop descries his book and its intent in the first chapter, “…This book is a short , intense jolt to your way of thinking. I’m not out to give you all the answers here. Your answers will come from you…This is more a catalyst, providing questions and ways of looking at things that will spark something in you and cause you to take on your life in a new way.” (Bishop 9).

It is Bishop’s questions that he poses in this book that have you and had me examine my life more closely and understand what was at the root of the problem. He also proposes a new way of looking at things that are more future oriented and that abandon the past or rather accept it and move forward (which we will get into more later). Bishop states that this book began with him asking a simple question, “Why?”

“Why is my life the way it is?” (Bishop 31).

He then asks the reader to stop and consider these questions for themselves, “Why do you do what you do? Think. If you keep living this way, where is it all headed? Not some wispy concept of your future but rather a down-in-the-dirt look at where your
current actions are leading you ” (Bishop 32).

I reflected on these questions and concluded my future looked bleak if I were to continue with the actions I take on a regular day-to-day basis. If I am being honest with myself I do what I do to avoid pain or discomfort. I chain smoke because it feels good and alleviates my boredom but this action will inevitably lead to a future that I am not in, because I will ultimately have died from lung cancer like my father. I eat sugary snacks and sugary drinks knowing its harming my teeth in the long run and causing weight gain that I do not like because in the moment it feels good.

All my actions are about instant gratification and I am starting to realize as this book is causing me to reflect on what I do and why I do it, that I am no better than a child. I spend my money quicker then I get it, on trivial things like new brand name clothing or the latest self-help book (I actually lent this one out from the library, Go Me!). The point is  I spend literally all my money instead of putting even a small portion away because I like the instant gratification that comes with a new purchase. This is going to lead to a future where I am constantly living check to check struggling to make ends meet and never really properly managing my money. I  know if I continue to be a slave to instant pleasure, I will have a bleak future indeed. One where I am fat, broke, and my teeth are rotting out of my head.

Bishop writes, “There’s no end to the possibilities you’ve written off with nothing more than a series of auto-response triggers in the confines of your head.
“it’s too hard”
“It won’t work”
“I can’t do it”
“I don’t know enough”
“There’s no point. It won’t make any difference” (Bishop 43).

We all do it, don’t lie. Write ourselves off before even trying. I know currently I’ve been constantly writing myself off. Writing off applying to jobs or going to job interviews because I believe “I can’t do it or I don’t know enough.” I have also written off something very important to me with those same excuses before even starting and that is to write my memoirs about dealing with bipolar disorder and being hospitalized.

Bishop offers hope in “Stop Doing That Sh*t” though and boldly states, “You got yourself to this point in your life, and I’m going to show you how you subconsciously did it. How you fucked yourself. And how to dig yourself out” (Bishop 53).

So buckle in Fuckers, and read my next blog post for how to unfuck yourself and stop doing that shit – that self-sabotaging bullshit that holds you back.

Stay Tuned Folks.

UNFU*K Yourself

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“YOU DON’T WANT TO CHANGE! If you did, you’d be doing it! Call yourself out on this shit” (Bishop 201).

Gary John Bishop puts your shit on blast in his book titled “Unfu*k Yourself” and calls you out for sitting idle and thinking about making change rather than going out there and doing it. He strongly emphasizes actions over thoughts and he says that “You change your life by doing, not by thinking about doing” (Bishop 126). He claims doing is the quickest way to change your thoughts. If you always attack the task at hand, you will think less about how you procrastinate or how you cannot get things done since you’re tackling your shit. You will also have less time to think those negative thoughts that are bringing you down because you are busy being productive and moving forward through action.

Bishop also stresses that you cannot wait around for a good mood or positive thinking to act. Bishop asserts, “Fuck how you feel, ACT!” (Bishop 132). Stop procrastinating your life because you simply do not feel up to it. Seize the moment because you never know when you’ll have another. I am starting to realize for myself and through emphasis in this book that I cannot keep waiting around for the perfect moment since it may very well never come. I have been putting off and putting off applying for jobs because I do not feel confident enough however this needs to end today. I will never feel the confidence I am hoping for through positive thinking or through lack of engagement with the job search process. I may however, gain more confidence through experience with job searching and interviews. In order to get to that point I need to start somewhere. Tomorrow I plan to search for and apply to three job postings regardless of how I am feeling. We shall see if this yields results.

Bishop again states that doing is better than thinking, “If you want your life to be different, you have to make it happen. All of the thinking or meditating or planning or anti-anxiety medication in the world isn’t going to improve your life if you’re not willing to go out and take action and make changes. You can’t sit around waiting  for the right  mood to strike or  for life to play out the way you want it to. Nor can you rely on positive thinking alone to transform things for the better. You have to go out and do” (Bishop 192).

We constantly think “I can’t” or I can once A, B or C is sorted out but in reality we’re just holding on to excuses to avoid starting actually doing something. The ironic thing is actually doing something may help sort those things out or feelings of inadequacies. If I just continue to not apply to jobs I will never quell the thought that I am unemployable because I will continue to be in fact unemployable. I am going to work on this and for now I leave you with a quote from Carl Jung:

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

 

UNFU*K Yourself and Let Go of Expectations

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As You all know I am a self-help book junkie and my latest acquisition is Gary John Bishop’s “Unfu*k Yourself.” I must admit I expected a book with a curse word in the title to have a little more impact and was left wanting more – more substance that is. However, he does raise some good points in his book and one of them being on the topic of expectations.

Bishop states in his book, “I contend that the upsets strewn throughout your life are a product of thousands of unspoken or unrecognized expectations that cast a giant shadow across your life experience, causing great stress when you’re trying to make life fit with your expectations and great disappointment when life doesn’t match up to them” (Bishop 171).

A great example of when I tried to make life fit with my expectations and it resulting in the greatest disappointment of my life when it didn’t match up was my education. I expected that I would excel at four years of an undergraduate and graduate on time but life threw me a curve ball known as bipolar disorder. When entering my fourth and final year I experienced a psychotic break with reality and was diagnosed with Bipolar. I was left with an inability to focus or retain information due to copious amounts of lithium and olzanpine coursing through my system. This is a huge no-no for anyone trying to study a memory intensive subject like I was of Art History. I returned home defeated and slumped into the biggest depression of my life where I did not leave my bed for months on end and could not keep up with simple hygiene like showering and brushing my teeth.

This upset was definitely due to an incongruence between what I expected of my life and what reality was. I could not get my life to match with my expectations and as a result was left completely devastated. It would take me years to recover from this defeat and realize that maybe life had something else in store for me and to accept the unpredictability of life and be thankful for it.  For example, my experience with mental illness left me more aware of its commonality in the community and left me with more insight into the nature of bipolar disorder and how to manage it properly. I can now share my experiences through this blog to hopefully reach out to somebody and maybe help them understand their situation a little better. I have the ability to let people know they are not alone and that is truly a beautiful thing.

Bishop also asserts in his book that, “It’s much more powerful to come to terms with life’s unpredictability and to engage with your circumstances for what they actually are then get bogged down by your refusal to let go of unnecessary  or unproductive expectations” (Bishop 175).

It was a hard pill to swallow but I needed to learn through my experience with bipolar that life does not always go according to plan as I was under the illusion that if you prepared enough you could always end up where you inevitably wanted to go. I felt like I was slapped in the face hard with this reality check but it was a realization I needed to have in order to be able to cope with the changes that occur in life and the upsets. When I let go of this notion that I would have a bachelor’s degree by 22, I opened up many more doors that were more productive and cohesive with my life. I realized I could be a spokesperson for bipolar disorder not only through my blog but through the novel I am working on and hope to have published in the future.

It was also important that I let go of this expectation because it was causing a spiraling depression that I seemed to have no control of until I thought “Ok, maybe that did not play out the way I expected but you know what I may be able to now do something more powerful as a result of my experiences with bipolar like empower others to speak their truths.”

I am going to end this blog post with a quote from Bishop’s Unfu*k Yourself, “On some occasions you have to realize that the game has changed (sometimes dramatically so) and you need to pivot. Deal with your reality” (Bishop 176).

Girl, Stop Apologizing – The Ultimate Book For The Ultimate Goal Setter

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If any of you reading this blog post follow my blog, you’ll know that I have a thing for books on self improvement. The latest treasure to be added to my reading list is Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing. The tagline sums up what it’s all about which is “A shame-free plan for embracing and achieving your goals.” Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviours to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth.

The number one excuse I could relate to and I think most of you reading this can too is “I’m Not Enough To Succeed.” Hollis says that “when we set out to pursue something, we’re often dealing with our fear of what we lack multiplied by a factor of nine million” (Hollis 29).  How often do we decide to give up on pursuing a goal because we think we have no business pursuing that goal and that we are not enough to achieve it? I’ll admit for me personally, more times than I care to admit. She points out the irony in this and how the thing you’re attempting to take on might be the exact thing that proves your misconceptions about yourself wrong.

For example, I have been reluctant to return to school because I think I am not smart enough to succeed at it so rather than prove myself wrong by trying and possibly very well succeeding, I reaffirm the notion that I am not smart enough by not returning to school and getting the education that I need. Hollis says “It’s a catch-22, because your feelings of not enough keep you from proving to yourself that you are. You haven’t yet achieved the things you hope for, and so you decide that you’re unable to” (Hollis 30). If you don’t try basically you’ll never know whether you are truly good enough and the idea of failure is too terrifying to sometimes overcome but it is also a beautiful part of the process of achieving something – falling down and getting back up.

Hollis breaks down the beginning of Girl, Stop Apologizing into nine excuses to let go of when setting goals and attempting to achieve them. These range from excuses like “I Don’t Have Time” to “What Will They Think” to “I’m Terrified of Failure.” The excuse that “I’m Terrified of Failure” really relates to me as I am a terrible perfectionist and want to do everything perfectly. Hollis breaks down why this is unreasonable and how you’re going to suck at first when doing something you’ve never done before. The following is a quote from her book that really struck a chord with me and left me with that “Aha!” moment: “This isn’t a question of whether you can do something well, because nearly anything can be learned; this is a question of whether you’re humble enough to suck for as long as it takes you to become better” (Hollis 61).

It’s so simple and yet I had never thought of it before or had it broken down like this for me. To achieve a new goal you need to be prepared for a new challenge because it is something you have not tried before and so your experience and comfort with it is limited or non existent. This does not mean you cannot succeed but like most things in life it may take some time but never give up! I have decided, for example, that I want a car by next year however I do not even have a G2 license and will inevitably have to go to driver’s school since nobody in my family is willing to teach me. I am terrified I am going to fail at driver’s ed but Hollis has reassured me that with practice, I can achieve anything I set my mind to. So yes, at first I will probably suck at driving but if I keep showing up to my lessons and committing myself to learning, I will eventually become good at it.

Another quote from Girl, Stop Apologizing that struck me was the following: “There’s a great Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now.” You can keep talking yourself out of the thing you’re hoping for, or you can decide that your dream is more powerful than your excuse” (Hollis 60-61). Now This is powerful because I am sure like me you are beating yourself up for not chasing some goals sooner or are focused on how you did not do them in the past. But have no fear the best time is now. Do not dwell on what could have been but what may be and you may be able to achieve that dream if you start working towards it now in the form of goals. In a previous blog post I broke down Hollis’ 10:10:1 ratio (ten years, ten dreams, one goal). I have a dream of owning and driving a luxury car so where can I start today in achieving that dream? Probably by getting my fucking license first, then owning my first beater, then owning yet another beater, then save save, hustle hustle til maybe one day I’ll own that luxury car I have my eyes on. I could easily get caught up in the fact I could have had my license like ten years ago and started this process but you know what the second best time to start is now.

Dream Big, Dream Often but don’t forget to turn those dreams into reality by setting very real and tangible goals that stretch like a stepladder to your end destination. It literally and figuratively takes one step at a time to make a dream a reality. Hollis outlines how to set real and meaningful goals in order to achieve your dreams in Girl, Stop Apologizing that I argue every girl can’t miss. She is your coach, your mentor, your inspiration and more than anything she is rooting for you because she’s been there and has failed as many times as she has succeeded. Hollis taps into your dream spirit, the one that was always there but you were scared to let lose.

Girl, Stop Apologizing for having dreams and go fucking chase them!

Art Oracles – An Art Historian’s Wet Dream

If you know anything about me you’ll know that I spend several hours a week perusing the well-being section at local bookstores. I do not know if it was by divine intervention that yesterday I happened to find one of the coolest things I have ever come across before. I am not even sure it was meant to be in the well-being section but I happened across it there regardless and proceeded to jump up in glee when I realized what it was.

The object I am referring to is a box full of 50 cards with illustrations of artists on them providing advice on life, work and inspiration drawn from the individual artist’s life and work. They look like new age art history tarot cards. A booklet comes with the box to consult when looking for more information about the particular artist found on a card. It is not only a tool for inspiration for each card will offer some form of advice or sentiment about life, but also a great teaching tool for educating on the great canon of art history. I am a Art History major at Carleton University and I can tell you that these artsy tarot cards literally turned me on.

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The Art Oracle cards are simple to use in that you just choose one and read it, whether you shuffle the deck and pick a card at random or go through all the cards and stumble upon one that catches your eye. The point is to consult a card and draw what inspiration you can from it or if you’re a nerd like me see this card as a jumping off point for further research on the artist. I have decided to do a “reading” and consult the Art Oracles once a week and write a blog post on the inspiration I drew from this card and provide a short summary about the artist who provided the inspiration.

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Today, I drew the “Yayoi Kusama” artist card which is very fitting if you’ve been keeping up with my blog at all. Kusama has struggled with her mental health since a child when she first had hallucinations imagining a pumpkin was speaking to her. She dealt with her hallucinations by drawing repetitive patterns to “obliterate” the thoughts in her head.  Art became a form of therapy, what she would later call ­“art-medicine.” She voluntarily lives in a mental institution in Japan where she draws on her visions and hallucinations for inspiration.

Polka-dots are a reoccurring element in Kusama’s work which she describes as the shape that makes us humans (composed of particles), and unites us with the Earth and Sun. Kusama, however, is most recognized for her Infinity Rooms which are mirrored artistic chambers that multiply bodies and alter perceptions. Kusama’s kaleidoscopic environments offers the chance to step into an illusion of infinite space. The rooms also provide an opportunity to examine the artist’s central themes, such as the celebration of life and its aftermath.

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Installation view of Infinity Mirrored Room — Love Forever (1966/1994) at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2017.

Yayoi Kusama is one of the artists represented in the Art Oracles. The image of her in a polka-dot dress against a similar polka-dot background is indicative of her art which heavily features this shape. The card offers three pieces of advice drawn from three key elements of the artist’s life. The advice is the following: 1. Your soul is composed of the same dots as the universe, 2. Distinguish yourself from your mirror image, and 3. Show them your hallucinations. I have provided an image of the specific artist card below:

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I found it interesting that the first card I drew from the pile of 50 artist cards was this one. The fact that the advice offered was to “Show them your hallucinations” blew my mind. I have been considering writing a chapter on my visual and auditory hallucinations for my autobiography. This card has inspired me to definitely write and include a chapter on my hallucinations. But what were the odds of me drawing first a card on an artist who struggles with mental health like I do!? I know what you’re thinking, 1 in 50, but I mean isn’t this a sign? I am not overly spiritual but I do believe we are meant to encounter certain people and things in our lives at just the moment we need them most. I think I needed to find the Art Oracles to remind me of the joy I experience when studying Art History and also to give me a little push to start writing that chapter on hallucinations sooner than later.

The Art Oracles are great if you want a bite-size Art History lesson and great for drawing inspiration if you are artistically blocked or need a push in the right direction. The cards themselves are also very beautiful pieces of art in themselves, illustrated by Mikkel Sommer. Sommer did an amazing job providing illustrations that really embody the life and work of the specific artist illustrated. If you have an infinity for art or for simply really cool things, I highly recommend purchasing the Art Oracles at your local bookstore.

 

Thank U, Next

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Thank U, Next is powerhouse Ariana Grande’s fifth studio album and arguably her best album to date. I call Grande a powerhouse because she literally does it all. Her single “Thank U, Next” was on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks at number one, her track “7 Rings” has been on the chart for three weeks at number one, and the single “Thank U, Next” also made Grande the most-streamed female artist in a 24-hour period on the app Spotify. “Thank U, Next”‘s 9.6m streams replaced Taylor Swift’s 2017 record of 9.1 million streams of 2017 single “Look What You Made Me Do.” Grande proves over and over again she can do it all and proves this the most by releasing the album Thank U Next shortly after releasing her fourth album Sweetener.

She is changing the way the music industry thinks and releases music by bombarding us with a plethora of new material to listen to, and just when we think that’s it, that’s all, she teases us some more and releases even more music. Her new album was produced exponentially fast by anyone’s standard as she mentions in a interview for Billboard for which she was awarded Billboard Woman Of The Year: “Thank U, Next was mostly written in a week, with the people she’s toasting in the control room, and recorded in two weeks…It was the product of a lot of “feminine energy and champagne and music and laughter and crying. This [album’s] not particularly uplifting,” she says. “A lot of it sounds really upbeat, but it’s actually a super sad chapter.”

In her interview with Billboard Grande says she wants to produce music the way a rapper does: “My dream has always been to be — obviously not a rapper, but, like, to put out music in the way that a rapper does. I feel like there are certain standards that pop women are held to that men aren’t. We have to do the teaser before the single, then do the single, and wait to do the preorder, and radio has to impact before the video, and we have to do the discount on this day, and all this shit. It’s just like, ‘Bruh, I just want to fucking talk to my fans and sing and write music and drop it the way these boys do. Why do they get to make records like that and I don’t?’

She is already using social media sites like Instagram and especially Twitter to work for her. In a Tweet posted January 10, the singer captioned an image of a defaced door frame with seven ring emojis and the date: “1.18”. Leading fans to wonder if she was teasing a new song titled “7 Rings” which she most definitely was. “7 Rings” was probably one of the only songs I found on the album to not be as relateable as I had hoped. It sounded more like a hip hoppy pop anthem for the 1% than an anthem for friendship as the singer claims in an interview with Elle: ” “Seven rings is jus like…..a flex. Friendship anthem. How the homies WANT u to feel. What the ‘thank u next’ energy evolves into while embracing a new chapter (even tho both moods /energies are v present).”

“7 Rings” has a very real backstory as the singer recalls in her interview with Billboard: ” ‘It was a… challenging fall day in New York,” she begins, cracking up. “Me and my friends went to Tiffany’s together, just because we needed some retail therapy. You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring.” She flashes a diamond ring on her right hand. “That’s why we have these, and that’s where the song idea came from.’ ”

As much as I love to hate on how out of touch this song really is when compared to the every day life of the average person, I can’t help but jive to it and find myself laughing when I realize some of these lyrics actually relate to me. For example, when she sings  “You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it” I can’t help but relate as someone who spends part of her income on fresh hair extensions. People compliment my hair all the time and now I feel like my response should be “Gee. thanks, just bought it!” However, she also sings things like “Yeah, my receipts, be lookin’ like phone numbers” that have me and I think most people relating more to the popular parody of “7 Rings” than the song itself. Check out the parody below for a good laugh!

I think the parody’s really basic manipulation of Ari’s lyrics ” I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it” to “I see it, I like it, I want it, can’t buy it” sums up my and most people’s lives. Just because we want something doesn’t mean we can afford it unless we ‘re Ari, which is really what I am taking away from this song. And when the down and out girl sings “Been through bad shit too, turned me to a sad bitch. Got nothin’ from it but student loan baggage” in the parody I could not help but want to laugh and cry at the same time because I felt that shit. But I also felt the impact of the original lyrics from “7 Rings: “Been through some bad shit, I should be a sad bitch. Who woulda thought it’d turn me to a savage?” and you can’t help but be in awe of Ariana Grande a little bit. The woman has experienced real trauma in her life and she’s coming back stronger for it. I mean she lost Mac Miller and Pete Davidson in a matter of months, and let’s not forget that time her concert was targeted by a suicide bomber in Manchester. But what does Ari do? She comes back with twice as much love and twice as much passion for her craft which was evident when she put on a benefit concert for those affected by the bombing.

Grande has been through some serious bad shit and has definitely come out of it a savage. She is in full beast mode with the release of her latest album and each song is a testament to her genius. My favourite track on the entire album, however, is one which has yet to be made into a music video nor really promoted much and that is “Needy.”  In the song she sings “Sorry if I’m up and down a lot, Sorry that I think I’m not enough.” These lyrics for me personally were the realest. I think everyone in the world can relate to not feeling like they are enough, if not now then at some point in their life. I believe it is one of the biggest struggles we face – our worth. I gained that much more respect for Grande when I heard these lyrics and felt a sense of empowerment in the idea that if Ari, a mega superstar, has similar issues with her self-esteem than I think I can come to terms with my own.

 Thank U, Next has a track for everyone whether you’re in the one percent or part of the masses. Grande bears a large part of her soul and let’s you come inside for something that is truly special. You can listen to the album from the beginning to end without skipping any tracks – each song is equally as good as the one before or after it. I strongly recommend this album for anyone but especially for those who have experienced heartache. Ari sings her most honest songs yet in this album and through sharing her feelings, lets her listeners feel a little more at peace with their own.

Would I recommend this album?

Absofuckinglutely!

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck

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Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck is not about “not giving a fuck” but rather choosing to give a fuck about what is important. Manson introduces quickly and abruptly our impending mortality in his book.

Manson writes: “You’re going to die one day. I know that’s kind of obvious, but I just wanted to remind you in case you’d forgotten. You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice – well, then you’re going to get fucked” (Manson 13).

The thing about Manson introducing our mortality so early in the book stands as significant to me because I tend to think a lot about death. I have been fascinated by it and entranced by its notion for hours, some times days at a time, since a child. My father dying of cancer when I was a mere fifteen years old probably had something to do with it. I watched him deteriorate from a person into a ghost rambling incoherently and screaming at me to cut off his legs, because they had been rendered useless through paralysis. The point is, I think about death a lot and if I was going to take someone’s advice such as Mark Mansons’ in The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, I knew I would be more receptive and could trust someone who just put it out there –  “hey, we’re all dying here. Why don’t we choose to dedicate our time to a fuck worth giving.” Of course I am paraphrasing – quite horribly might I add – here. What I am trying to say is, Mark Manson had my trust since page thirteen when he laid it all out there and had his readers confront the realization of their own death.

Now you could argue “Well, that’s a little dramatic, ain’t it?” And I would argue yes and no. The point is not to scare you or make you envision your death in grueling detail, but rather get you thinking about your life and what you’re choosing to give a fuck about. I realized as I read this and reflected on my inevitable death, I had been selling myself short. I was giving too many fucks about the wrong things like if so and so found me interesting or cool if I did drugs with them. I was also giving way too many fucks about what other people thought about me because of my mental health and history of multiple hospitalizations.

I realized reading this that I was wasting my time giving a fuck about pointless shit I cannot change when I could be choosing to give a fuck about something worthwhile – like blogging more, which is what I am doing right now. If Manson can shove in my face that I’m dying and word it in a way that my perspective towards my life shifts and I am better for it, then what are you waiting for – buy, steal, borrow this book. It is worth the read because it prompts you to rethink what you truly should give a fuck about.

Manson breaks down the subtle art of not giving a fuck into three subtleties: “Subtlety #1: Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different” (Manson 14), “Subtlety #2: To not give a fuck about adversity, you must give a fuck about something more important than adversity” (Manson 17), “Subtlety #3: Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about” (Manson 19).

Let’s address subtlety #1. Manson introduces right away, before the reader can be disillusioned into thinking otherwise, that there is no such thing as not giving a fuck. As he puts it: “You must give a fuck about something” (Manson 15). The suggestion here is that if we can get over the fact that there is no way avoiding giving a fuck we can then choose to be more selective of what fucks we give. Manson also suggests we can not give a fuck about what ultimately does not matter – in my case whether or not someone thinks highly of me.

The second subtlety introduces the idea that adversity can be overcome by “giving a fuck about something more important than adversity.” Manson suggests in his book that if you give too many fucks about trivial things than you most likely do not have an important fuck to care about. For example, I have been giving too many fucks about whether I have the latest moisturizer or lulu lemon sweater lately when I need to give a fuck about what’s important – finishing my degree/ finding a way to continue my education.

This leads into the third subtlety: “Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about” (Manson 19). When put simply and in swear-word form, this statement blew my mind a little. It wasn’t anything I have not stumbled upon in my own thought processes, but to have it re-instated in a way I could relate to, led to a deeper reflection of these words. It helps you think more clearly about what you’re choosing to find important in life and what you’re choosing to find unimportant. This book is so special because it encourages you to have difficult conversations with yourself and to re-evaluate your life and priorities.

When reflecting on these subtleties, I realized my life had become a mess of choosing to give a fuck about what’s ultimately unimportant. I was caring too much about superficial things like whether my hair was long or shiny enough, and not focusing my energy on what is important to me – building a future for myself. The great thing about this realization is that I can also choose to give a fuck about changing it.

I have decided after reading this book to start giving a fuck about the things I used to give a fuck about when my life seemed rosier so to speak – things like self-care, my education, and respecting, loving and caring for others. I have already started to take action by arranging counseling for my addictions, quitting smoking, and contacting my University to see if I can graduate with the credits I do have so far. With the help of this book, I’ve realized it is up to me to change and decide what is important in my life. There is a great deal of ownership introduced in the ideas Manson talks about. Two sentences in particular that Manson writes stand out in my mind after consuming this book: “There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances” (Manson 94). It is ultimately up to me to change and as much as that is scary, it is also a beautiful thing because I can begin to exert some form of control in my life.

Would I recommend this book? Abso-fuckinglutely.

But here’s the catch – this book is not about the subtle art of not giving a fuck but rather about choosing to give a fuck about what is truly important. It is not a manual on how to live a carefree life devoid of fucks but rather a careful reflection on how to live a more purposeful life full of the right kind of fucks – the important ones. If you’re down with re-thinking what you truly give a fuck about then this book is fucking perfect for you!