IDGAF: A Life Lesson From A Fed Up Twenty-Something

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” – our patron saint Amy Poehler {x}

In about two weeks, I will be flying off to Miami, boarding a Carnival cruise, and shipping off to the Bahamas.

Oh, and BTW, it’s a cruise with the Backstreet Boys. Yes, you read that right. It’s one of those cruises that celebrities do to engage with their fans in a different way. these things are becoming more and more common, with everything from a Dancing with the Stars cruise to a Broadway Legends cruise, all going to some island in the Caribbean with hundreds of people willing to pay money to hang out with their favorite celebrities.

Top Chef stars were actually on the boat, not floating around it…

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while or even know me irl you know that my love for BSB isn’t new. This has been an interest of mine for the past 18 years. But it’s only been over the past year or so that I’ve really owned up to it.

I basically attribute this to the fact that as I get older, I just don’t give a fuck what people think anymore. I mean that in the not caring about the negatives way, not in the constructive criticism way. I appreciate the latter. As I was growing up, I wouldn’t say I necessarily touted the fact I was a huge BSB/pop music fan, but I also wasn’t hiding it. I felt that if I showed it off too much, there would inevitably be that one person to make fun of me and my teenage self confidence would be forever broken. Obviously, to this day, it’s still not considered “cool” to like BSB, boy bands or even pop music in general, especially years after their height of fame.

But now I don’t care anymore. What it really comes down to for me now is why do we judge people’s interest in the first place?

Think of it this way: what is your guilty pleasure? Honey Boo Boo? Housewives? That one song by Katy Perry?

Now ask yourself: why is this “guilty” at all?

Because the professional critics pan it? Because it may be popular but it’s not contributing anything to society? Because it’s simply not “cool” to like it?

Why do we even care? Why are we even judging others in the first place? We spend too much time worrying about others when all we really need to do is worry about ourselves and how we’re living our best lives. Why keep apologizing or living with shame when we could be more confident and comfortable with who we really are? Why does it matter if your neighbor is a One Direction fan – I mean it would matter if they’re a 50 year old woman who’s legit stalking them and collecting enough memorabilia to be on an episode of Hoarders, in which case you should probably call the police or something.

We should never feel guilty over something that brings us joy to our lives. Just because I like the Backstreet Boys and obsess over Pretty Little Liars theories, it doesn’t mean I don’t know the correct way to pronounce John “Boehner” or what country Bashar Al-Assad is the President of.

A couple of my friends and I were talking about this the other day, and I brought up how my boss at work found out that I was going on this cruise, and the first time he asked me about it, there was this sense of ‘I’m judging you right now’ in his voice. This is a 40-something year old man who is mainly into punk rock. But because my boss and I aren’t really friends and hang out and have deep conversations with each other, me liking BSB is really the only thing he knows about me. He was writing a story about Nick Carter and his fiancee and asked me if I “had a voodoo doll of her in my room”…. The answer is no, for all those wondering. But his comment really irked me. Of course I don’t have a voodoo doll of this celebrity’s fiancee because I am not crazy nor a delusional 12 year old who thinks that I still have a chance at romancing him. Plus I’m an AJ girl anyways.

There’s a scene in Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts who doesn’t have a favorite way to take her eggs. Richard Gere’s character points out that with all her past boyfriends/fiances, she’s always deemed her favorite type of egg with whatever her significant other liked. Priest Brian liked scrambled, so she did too. Bug Guy liked poached and poached was her fave too. And spoiler alert: towards the end of the movie she ventures off to find out which one she likes the best because she likes it- not because she’s influenced by someone else.

As I get older, I have a greater sense of what I like, what kind of people I want to surround myself with -exactly how I like my eggs. Life’s too short to focus on the negative or live a life fearing what others think of you. If it’s not helping others, it’s certainly not helping you, so just distance yourself from the negative bullshit, the peer pressure, the crowd mentality. Think for yourself and no one else.

Because, you know, YOLO.