Why You Really SHOULD “Worry About It”

by Virginia Fuss


When someone says, “Don’t worry about it,” an intense fear of the unknown and sharp harrowing pain shoots through one’s soul. It’s never a pleasant feeling to have such words uttered in your direction. It elicits a sort of wondering: Does the speaker consider me unfit to undertake this secret? Do they think of me as a child? Or even worse—are we ‘not that close?’

As these perturbing qualms race through an individual’s mind, they leave a notion that can’t be replaced: “What is the thing that I am told to not worry about?” This is why, as an independent, unique, single-minded individual, you really should worry about it.

This inquiry begins with the exact question of what you are not supposed to worry about. The fact that you may never know alludes to the universal fear of oblivion, one which swallows a being whole, leaving nothing to the imagination because there is no imagination anymore—there is just…nothing.

Similarly, regarding how much you know about what they told you not to worry about: Even as this article goes on, the topic of it becomes more abstract, more distant, the focus of your concern. You may be just as likely to blindfold yourself, spin around in the middle of a desert, launch a dart at a dartboard two miles away, and land a bullseye as you would be guessing what it is you need to worry about.

Or—and this would be a much more painless answer—the person who told you not to worry isn’t saying you should let the notion of knowing what they were talking about go. They just want you to let go of the fact that they were talking. They may just want you to forget that they were ever speaking, and in the process, forget the topic of discussion. Although indirect, this still hurts, doesn’t it? It’s painful to be told to buzz off, walk away, hop off a lily pad, take a hike. Which is why, no matter how self-assured you may be, you really should worry about it. It may be a life or death situation, or maybe they were just mentioning how Costco now has a 27 lb. tub of mac and cheese with a 20 year shelf life, or maybe they were talking about you, or maybe they were speaking of something excruciatingly embarrassing, which you obviously want to hear, but now that you think about it more, it probably has something to do with that other embarrassing thing that happened to you, so maybe it really is about you and they just told you not to worry about it because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings, or they didn’t want you to get mad, or they just wanted to keep laughing at you without any interruption.

But really, you shouldn’t worry about it.

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