To be the girl who stopped giving a shit, first you need to care too much.
Fall in love recklessly and call this romantic. Because real love is supposed to hurt, right? Ignore that empty sensation at the pit of your being that says to walk away. To let go. To allow your lungs to breathe fully on their own. Watch them deflate as you run out of breath chasing after someone who was never going to be yours. Hope things will change anyway. Find that they never do.
Define yourself by what others think of you. Allow those who do not have your best interests in mind to dictate your mood, how you view yourself. Continue to seek these people out because they match what you already feel about yourself: that you are unlovable and broken and too much to handle. Ask them to care anyway with your actions, with favors, with kindness. Get hung up to dry instead.
Finally come utterly undone. Get angry. Blame yourself for anything and everything. Ask the room why you have to be the way you are. Wish you could be different, but mostly just wish you could be someone who doesn’t feel this much. This deeply. This intensely.
Hurt and hurt and hurt and hurt until you can’t stand it anymore.
And then say, fuck it.
Throw up your hands and close off your heart. Be constantly on the defense. Become cynical. Bitter. Stop reaching out to anyone, including the people you know deep down do care about you. Call this self-preservation. They’re leaving anyway, right? (At least once they see who you really are.)
Stop taking care of yourself. Because you don’t care. You really don’t. Throw back a tequila shot and then another, flirt with that one guy who treated you like shit at the bar and then proceed to text him till 3 a.m. Act how you believe the “cool girl” would. Insinuate that you only want him at night, not in the morning when you’re carefully stepping over his stuff while you leave his room. Know you’re pretending. Embrace the role anyway.
Do this for a few weeks, then a few months. Look back to who you were before you became the girl who didn’t give a shit. That girl who loved deeply and sincerely. That girl who saw the best in everyone. That girl who cried when she wanted to, the girl who actually put her heart out there and wasn’t afraid of getting hurt because she knew there was value in trying.
Find that being numb isn’t all that great. Start to understand that walls and defenses and caution tape aren’t romantic or endearing; these are just things that will make you really fucking lonely.
Discover that maybe there is beauty in brokenness. That maybe there is a balance between caring too much and caring too little that might take a lifetime to master.
But mostly know deep down that you’ll always be the girl who cares too much. Who loves too hard. Who feels everything too deeply. Accept that you probably will never achieve that balance between caring too much and too little and understand that maybe this is okay.
That maybe this is just who you are, and maybe, just maybe, she isn’t so bad after all.