I'm A Young Person Who Gives F*cks About Things

by Candice Jalili

My name is Candice Jalili, I am 22 years old, and I give a lot of f*cks about a lot of things.

Yes, you read that correctly. As a living, breathing human with an active brain, I actually happen to give f*cks about things. Like a LOT of f*cks. About a LOT of things -- my friends, my family, my career, my love life, my health. You name a meaningful issue, odds are I give a f*ck about it.

I have always given f*cks about things. But I spent a lot of my life trying to pretend like I don't. Because -- unfortunately -- young people today are not supposed to give a f*ck. I've always wanted to be like those chill, nonchalant people in those memes with those “ASK ME HOW MANY F*CKS I GIVE” captions that make you think, Wow, now THAT person is cool.

Look how COOL she looks, dancing around all carefree.

But no matter how many “DGAF” texts I sent or how many times I tweeted, “Just failed my test! Ask me how many f*cks I give," somewhere deep down inside I STILL GAVE F*CKS. And the more I tried to deny that fact, the more awkward and weird things got in social situations.

I had to learn the hard way that pretending you don't care about someone or something is honestly the only thing more awkward than admitting how deeply you truly do care.

Pretending not to care when you actually really, really do from the bottom of your heart is inauthentic to who you are. It's pretending to be someone you aren't. And unless you're an Academy Award nominated actor, pretending to be something you're not never works out well.

I used to play this stupid zero-f*cks-given game in all realms of my life. If I did poorly on a paper I actually worked super hard on, I would comfort myself by telling myself I never cared about the stupid test anyway.

For years, I let all sorts of friends treat me like absolute dog sh*t, and I didn't say a word; I didn't want to seem dramatic. Because I wasn't one of those dramatic girls who actually CARED about these things, right?! Her passive-aggressive comments could never hurt me. I mean, how could they?! Nothing hurts when you give ZERO F*CKS.

Then, there was my love life (or lack thereof). This is where I think my approach hurt me the most. This cool, chill, zero-f*cks-given alter ego I had created for myself had one key rule: Never catch feelings. And, if I did, never let on that I had them.

Unfortunately, real people catch feelings. And I -- even more unfortunately -- am a real person. Playing it cool becomes extremely difficult once feelings enter the game.

But no matter how many feelings I had and how deeply rooted they were, I did everything in my power to pretend like I did not give even a single f*ck about the person who was more realistically occupying 99.9999 percent of my brain space at any given moment of the day.

Want to know where that got me? Nowhere. I had no relationship to speak of -- just a bunch of ones who got away. But it's fine, because ZERO F*CKS GIVEN. AMIRIGHT?!

Turns out, I wasn't right at all. I give way more than zero f*cks. I give lots and lots and lots of f*cks about lots and lots and lots of things. If I don't perform well on something I worked hard on, I'll be really upset, and maybe even -- get this -- cry about it.

If a friend does something to hurt me, I'll probably talk to her and let her know it hurt me -- even if what she said was "just a joke" and saying something makes me look dramatic and weird. And if I happen to catch feelings for someone, I'll try my new crazy approach: I'm going to actually SAY something.

I've been adopting this new way of life for the past few months. I've been really trying to accept the fact that I do, in fact, give a f*ck. And it's obviously not easy. It doesn't make me feel cool or chill, and I see those casual meme-people and have to accept the fact that I'll never be like them.

But you know something? It's WAY less stressful than constantly pretending to be someone I'm not. I'm not an emotionless robot. I'm a human who cares about things, and that's OK too.