Monday, November 12, 2007


Advice is not advice until someone takes it. Until then, it's just your opinion. Did I make that up or did someone else say that? Either way, it's true. And I suppose you don't really know if your advice is good or bad until you've witnessed the result of acting upon it.

I've never really been one for taking the advice or heeding the warnings of others. Headstrong and independent, I tend to charge forward and learn life's lessons on my own. The end result of my bull-headed attitude (my mom's description) has been one part struggle, one part pain and a little surprise, a dash of awe and some satisfaction.

Testing the advice of others is not something I do to be difficult or to prove anyone wrong or right. In most of life's experiences, I just need to know for myself. Sure, part of it is my own trust issue and part of it is my fight to maintain control. But the bigger part is that I need to feel it and experience it and say it and taste it and whatever else. I need it to be real to me.

I wasn't always this way. As a child, I was very obedient. Consequences scared the hell out of me. The unknown scared the hell out of me. Most of the time, my parents didn't even have to tell me not to do something. I just didn't out of fear. As it does for most people, a switch flipped in my teen years and I suddenly felt invincible. My sense of adventure blossomed, my fear diminished and I outgrew my guilt gene. That continued through my twenties and then one day I woke up and I was 30 and I was suffering the consequences of years of ignoring the advice of others.

I realize not all advice is good. And not all advice is relevant. But I should have listened to some of it.

Now, I've reached an age at which I see people around me making the same bad decisions I made way back when... And, now I am the one giving the advice and getting ignored.

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