This Is How My World Would Be Different If I Stopped Caring What People Think

girl in a sweatshirt and sunglasses
Pietra Schwarzler

If I didn’t care what people think, I would order whatever I wanted from my favourite restaurant; extra fries and sticky chocolate cake and hot chocolate with all the trimmings. I wouldn’t leave some just so the waiter didn’t think I was “greedy.”

If I didn’t care what people think, I would leave the house with no makeup on, I wouldn’t even pull a comb through my hair. I would slip into my favourite sweats with the hole in the leg and my misshapen Uggs. And on the days when I needed to feel sexy in my own skin, I would spend hours in front of the mirror, perfecting my makeup and curling my hair, just to visit the village coffee-shop. I would smile to myself knowing I looked incredible and not give a damn if everyone around me thought I was “overdressed.”

If I didn’t care what people think, I would post a selfie on social media, every time I loved my outfit or my make-up. I would post a selfie every damn day because those little red hearts and thumbs up validate me on some insecure level. If I didn’t care, I would update my status with rants about life and all of it’s little disappointments, because sometimes, just venting makes it okay, makes it easier to breathe.

If I didn’t care what people think, I would laugh too loudly at inappropriate things. I wouldn’t censor myself. I would use my dark humour openly, without fear of disapproval. I would say my thoughts aloud; I would cry when someone’s words hit too close to that place which is afraid, alone and not enough. I would call someone out on their shit, their mistreatment or disrespect. I would put myself first.

If I didn’t care what people think, I would kiss my boyfriend in intimate environments, I would hold the back of his head and look deep into his eyes on the bus, the tube or the cosy restaurant where you can hear everyone’s conversations. I would tell him loudly how he makes my heart flutter. I wouldn’t hide our love just to make those around us more comfortable.

If I didn’t care what people think, I would speak honestly about my thoughts on controversial topics. On those things which make my heart race and my palms sweaty- the things which matter to me. I wouldn’t care if someone disagreed. I wouldn’t make my voice quieter or my body smaller, I wouldn’t shield myself or shelter myself just for the benefit of others.

If I didn’t care what people think, I wouldn’t hide my achievements, the things which force a smile across my face and make my insides feel like glitter canons erupting. I wouldn’t dumb myself down or pretend to know things about topics I have no clue about.

I would be the most raw form of myself. I would be stripped back and open and unafraid.

If I didn’t care what people think, I would be free. TC mark

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