On the bulletin board above my desk, I keep a handful of quotes that have taught me something, or that I hope to learn from.
There’s that saying: You spend your 20s thinking everybody’s talking about you, you spend your 30s wondering why nobody’s talking about you, and you realize in your 40s that no one was ever talking about you. So for me now, I realize how super-sensitive I was that people didn’t like me. Like, “Oh, Pitchfork doesn’t like me, a weekly said something mean about me.” Looking back on it now, who fucking cares? Don’t focus on the quote-unquote haters, which is such a stupid word. Don’t focus on the people who are negative. Focus on the people who give you positive energy. I really believe that creating great work comes from those places.
—Ben Gibbard in Vice
Death Cab for Cutie is one of my favorite bands. Partly because the music is wonderful, partly because Gibbard's lyrics are so delicate and unique, and partly—maybe mostly?—because the band is roughly my age, and watching them grow up and learn lessons and share them is helpful.
I'm in my forties and can confirm, nobody was ever talking about me.