Who cares what other people think?

I am not OK.

I have my first exam of the semester tomorrow, I have tons of work and studying to do, my schedule is whacked – but I am not OK and I feel the need to express this. This is a blog, I am a person with feelings and while I may have an agenda, I sometimes need some time and space to just vent. So, I am not doing OK right now. Have you ever been in one of those states when you’re feeling like you’re in a whirlpool and you’re spinning in the sea of stress and anxiety and you just can’t pinpoint what it is exactly that is bothering you because you just keep spinning and spinning and spinning, but you just know that you’re not feeling OK? Yeah, that’s me now, and it’s a small comfort knowing that I’m not the only one. It’s just that it’s frustrating to go from feeling like you’re finally moving upwards with your chin high, being calm and content with how things are, confident with your decisions, feeling and knowing that things are happening in a good way, back to the same uncertainty and doubts and fears you had only a few months ago. All the knowing in the world about how it’s all gonna be better and all that jazz is worthless now because I don’t feel like it’s going to be better and that I’m going to be well and calm again. It’s like going one step forward and two steps back. It’s a struggle and I know you can feel with me because we’ve all been there at some point in our life.

Anyways, the topic of this post is not about me being not OK, but about an issue that’ s been bothering me pretty much since the beginning of my existence. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been so preoccupied with what other people think of me. Mind you, I didn’t care if they think if I was fat or smelly or ugly because I’m not about physical and material stuff, but if they thought I was smart or stupid, if they thought I was a good person, if they liked me. Whenever someone says something negative to me that is not constructive and well meaning, I look like I brush it off immediately but honestly, each negative word I hear gets tattooed into my heart for a long, long time and we all know how, if you get 1000 nice stuff about yourself, the one negative word will have as much as an impact as all the others. And, as of yet,  I haven’t figured out a system to fight against it.

The most recent example would be the recent events with my school. So, as you may or may not have known, I have started university again at a pretty late age of 27 and I’ve been loving every waking moment of that experience. The people around me are downright awesome, the things we’re learning are super interesting. From the first day there, I felt like I finally got where I was supposed to be. So, it’s a blast and I’m in love. Having been someone who’s already spent a long time studying, I was quick to recover from the initial shock of new stuff happening so I decided I wanted to be a team player and got really active in my school community by sharing notes, information and literature and generally being as helpful and informative as I can be. I also got really active in class, always raising my hand and talking to my professors, getting noticed by most of them. This was all a really awesome high and I liked the positive feedback that I got from everyone around me. This lasted for a few weeks until my stupid brain finally decided to join in and mess with me. “Do they think I am a kiss-ass? Do they think that I’m just trying to score points with people? Do they dislike me because I’m always active in class? Am I getting on their nerves? What if they don’t understand that I’m just trying to help? What if they get the wrong idea?” Aaaaaaand down the spiral we go again. You know how it goes.  When I would talk to my partner about it, he would get super annoyed (but still supportive!) because he knows, as do I, that I am once again letting myself upset over unimportant and hypothetical stuff and overthinking.

I wish I had the answer to this issue, but sometimes I just don’t have one. It’s one thing to be wary of your actions and responses to those actions so you can amend if you find that you’re doing something that’s no OK, but this is just plain over the top and unhealthy. I’m just so bothered and preoccupied by people’s opinions all the damn time and don’t know what do to to help myself. I tried not caring about it, not thinking about it and just doing my thing. I tried to take every negative thing I hear and evaluate it as constructive criticism instead of being upset by it. It’s just not working. One negative thing I hear can ruin my whole day, because I am – as we all are – more likely to believe the negative things than I would the positive ones. I mean, I hear “just don’t mind what anyone says” and I’m like – how do you do that? How do you hear and see something and NOT let it get to you? How do you NOT care about what people think of you? How to you NOT feel bad over stuff?

This is, people, why I would never do well in politics. I would probably spend all my days curled up in a corner somewhere because I would care so damn much about what everyone say about me. And I know – whatever you do, there will be someone somewhere that will hate it. However, that knowledge is not helping me one bit right now.

So, I may be 8 years older than my peers in school right now, but I definitely feel like I’m still a kid that needs to learn stuff. Not feeling very grown-uppy right now, that’s the truth. As I said, this post doesn’t have answers, just a lot of questions and confusions. If you have something smart to say, please let me know in the comments!

Till next time,

your friend Hannah

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