In late 2018, I was travelling back after a month in Scotland with Dad and we arrived at Perth Airport, we had a couple outs to kill until we left Perth for the final flight back to Adelaide.
I disappeared to the bathroom and left Dad for a few minutes to browse around the shops. I get back and sit down and he hands me a brown paper bag “I got you a gift”. I open it up, to a copy of Mark Mansons ‘The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck’ and he says “you need to be a bit more subtle”. To which I responded “Fuck off”.
The book sat on my bedside table on my pile of shame for a year, I wasn’t going to read it for two reasons. I didn’t give a fuck, and I was protesting silently. Eventually, I picked up Marks second book before a doctors appointment ‘Everything is Fucked’, and proceeded to read (and giggle) at the first few pages while I wait for my Doctor, and also giggle about the irony of someone sitting in a doctors waiting room reading a book titled ‘Everything is Fucked’. But I started to enjoy it, quick witted, sarcastic and full of my favourite word. So I figured I should read his other book first.
I’d heard a lot of fuss about it, that it was life changing and a few people said “don’t read pass the first chapter”. My instinct instantly said there’s something at the end that says I shouldn’t have given a fuck and not read the rest of the book. I decided to press on after the first chapter anyway just to see what it was like and what would happen.
I powered through a maybe the first quarter of the book, then after that it felt like a lot of waffle. It be came a struggle, but I figured I’d persist. I’ve lost count how many times my new years resolutions have been “Read more books” and I’ve read precisely the amount I read the year before, or less. I have what I call the “pile of shame” on my bedside. A bunch of books we’ve purchased because we’ve judged a book by its cover that it’ll sound good but never got around to reading them. I buy books faster than I can read them.
What I did find while trudging through this book was each time I got around to picking it up and doing another 20 pages or chapter, was that the part I was reading was relevant to what I was currently experiencing with my life. The gaps between picking up the book could be days, or weeks, but each time I would find myself reading about Marks advice to something that I’m dealing with right at this time. Maybe it’s pure coincidence or fate in some form? But either way, it’s teaching me a few things and also I’m doing my best to make amends. Right now I’m dealing with breaking the trust of someone very close to me, and I’ve shattered it good and proper. I’m just hoping it’s still in a repairable state and not in dust, because it’s someone I would hate to lose.
I do, however, feel like I broke this unknowingly. But I’ll be working on recognising the values that I have broken.
Off to finish the last chapter, “… and then you die.”