I’ve been neglecting my marital duties to my pen. I am supposed to wrap myself around her, give her my best vertical lift and leave her oozing uncontrollably across the page. She likes it like that. But like I told her, a man has gotta live life in order to write about it. I’ve been in the lab experimenting with my formula, codenamed IDGAF. It is a powerful emotion-suppressor that renders its user completely apathetic to public opinion. And like all medicines, over-use could have adverse effects.

Like all good ideas, Formula IDGAF started entirely by accident. One day I noticed that I had begun to care too much about what people thought of me, and it was causing me to speak and act in ways contrary to my character. At this point I still believed that I was the only one suffering from this silent affliction. That all changed with a FB status, at the time of night when a man contemplates the unknowns of his life. You know, a Pharaohs thoughts. The overwhelming response from Facebookland confirmed that this is indeed a serious condition for many of us, the extent of which is not entirely known. So with the help of my trusted advisors, I set out to learn about this peculiar ailment; and more importantly, to combat it.

Though I didn’t know it, my condition began in college. I was around the most beautiful and intelligent women I’d ever seen before or since. Dentists-to-be, Bio-Chem majors and law students, these women had me thirstier than the Sahara desert. And even though I could find my way into some of their beds, I could NOT find my way into their hearts. Whether they were chasing jerseys or careers, Tae was, quite simply, not given chase. And not to be vain, but I was something of a catch. A bachelor’s degree holder from a highly ranked university (Go Ducks!), handsome man with no criminal history who could talk international politics as well as quote any E40 lyric, I thought I was the cow’s milk. So why couldn’t I catch an empress? And with that, the self-criticism sickness had incubated.

One important thing to know about men is that our self-esteem is heavily linked to how our woman views us. If he is single, then its worse because ALL women he comes into contact with water his ego, or wither it. I slowly began living vicariously through the opinions that others had about me. And in my quest to be SEEN as a hot commodity and a solid guy I forgot to keep developing the qualities that had already made me that. And that, loved ones, is very dangerous territory.

My condition took a turn for the worst when the quality of life I was accustomed to began to spiral downward. My professional and financial health declined, and it actually made me try even harder to keep up appearances. It wasn’t until after my son arrived that I realized my focus had been in the wrong direction. And with that, the IDGAF remedy was conceived.

The first thing I had to do was turn my attention inward. This was no easy task, because cleaning a dirty room can be daunting-you never know where to start because it looks hopeless and you end up not doing anything. So instead of looking at the complete picture, I started tidying up one corner of my life at a time. Got the job, which secured the apartment, which allowed my financial and parental obligations to be satisfied with regularity. Before I knew it, I didn’t have the time or the mental space to worry about what people thought of me. I was too busy re-building the empire that I see in my mind, and by default the excess was trimmed. Quite simply, I Didn’t GAF. The formula was born.

Your self-worth is more about what YOU think of you, rather than others. Once you have found what makes you feel good about yourself, be it your child(ren), your job/achievements, or talents, you will begin to exude a certain confidence (informally called swag) that will show in your eyes and demeanor. That is the first sign that you have been taking the recommended doses of IDGAF. One thing I learned is that people are always gonna have something to say about you, for good or ill. But if you only concentrate on things in your life that you can directly control, you will notice that your positive efforts will yield more fruit, and public opinion will gradually lose priority.

Now pay close attention to this next part. Remember that you must not allow your focus on you to blind you when someone real takes an interest in you. “I’m too focused” or “I’m dedicating myself to God” are not valid excuses to disqualify someone who wants to be a part of the team. A good one will never distract you from your spiritual or professional goals; in fact they will be your number two teammate in attaining those goals. You have to realize that a good co-pilot makes the flight easier. And people are out here getting shut down for no other reason than that your load is TOO heavy for help? Interesting…

In conclusion, its not about not caring what anyone thinks about you. It’s about not caring what EVERYONE thinks about you, and keeping the right people around whose opinion you value. You shouldn’t have to overuse your powers of persuasion to win someone’s attention, and then youre wasting energy that could be better used to do some personal building. Once you tend to your own garden of life and see it flourish, your inner circle will be much more interesting that what goes on outside of it. In short, you will look up one day and realize, I Don’t Give a Fuck what people think.


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2 Comments Add yours

  1. sometimes when the going gets rough, you see people who seemingly were close to you for who they really are. maybe it was time to prune some people out of your life if they don’t add anything to it. I’m sorry for the hardship you endured but at the end of the day…I categorize people into two categories…they are either 1) a stepping stone to success or 2) a stumbling block of offence… hopefully you meet a lot more number 1’s than twos in the coming days. disappointments keep us feeling like we DGAF but lifes lessons teach us who’s worth while and who is not. keep keepin’ it real and be encouraged that not everyone is a number 2 category…you just need to focus on finding your number 1’s in life.

    Stay blessed brotha.
    Sherline 😀

    1. Jontae Grace says:

      Thanks Sherline! You are so right, I had to unfriend people-in real life LOL. I didn’t even realize that I was spending too much energy trying to please others, and I wasn’t able to give full attention to myself. My priorities were too unbalanced. Its one of those things that is easier to notice in others, but harder to spot in oneself. Peace to you Queen : )

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