Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re the best person to seek advice from.
I think there’s a level of vulnerability that comes with asking for advice, to be open and honest enough to say ‘Hey, so I’m going through xyz and I just wanted to get some advice from you as I’m not really sure how to move forward.’
Something I’ve learnt is that when I have a difficult decision to make it helps to view the situation from a different perspective and sometimes that happens quickest when you talk to someone.
However, it’s important to make sure that you’re talking to the right person.
For me that would be:
Someone I trust.
Someone I look up to.
Someone I admire.
Someone who has my best interests at heart.
Someone who will give impartial advice.
Someone with experience.
When you feel stuck and want some advice you probably want it from someone who can help steer you in the right direction rather than someone who leaves you feeling stressed or further fuels your indecision.
Whilst recently asking for advice I realised that often the main thing I want is someone who can shift my perspective.
Perhaps to not even advise on my specific situation but to remind me that I’m capable of making the ‘right’ decision.
It turns out I’ve been hiding.
I’ve been hiding from the kind of writing that challenges me. I used to think that that meant being more personal and baring my soul.
But I was wrong.
I think there is beauty in being able to write something that not only moves the reader but also the writer.
Not the painful, tortured writer but instead the kind of writing with feeling behind it instead of just words.
It’s hard to find the time to push myself with what I share on The Daily Gemm in-between everything I have going on (and everything I distract myself with). And sometimes I allow myself to be bare minimum because I know I can get away with it.
But I read something beautiful this morning and it moved me. It made me remember just what I love about writing. It got me thinking about how I used to write and how I haven’t pushed myself to explore my writing enough.
I don’t even remember the last time I just sat and wrote without thinking about what I would do with it once it was finished.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
I daydreamed about writing these personal essays about my life yet I rarely write more than a couple hundred words at a time and never get round to even planning the essays.
I’ve been hiding and I didn’t even know it.
On how sometimes the seemingly simple across of speaking up can transform your whole life.
Talking helps when you allow yourself to be open, honest and vulnerable with the right people.
This could be family, friends, your manager at work, your gp or perhaps a therapist.
We so often get caught in our own stuff that we build it up to be so much more than it really is but when you talk about it, often that other person can help you start to see things differently.
When you don’t say things and you keep everything inside it becomes much bigger, scarier and potentially life threatening.
I think the hardest part is taking the first step in saying this is happening in my life and I’m going to talk about it.
Sometimes when things look difficult the first thing you want to do is give up.
After all there’s no way you can do it. You’re not smart enough, you’ll fail or someone else can do it better than you.
But sometimes it’s more than that. Maybe the truth is that this difficult thing will force you to challenge yourself and you won’t have the option to hide away.
You’ll have to accept that there’s nothing wrong with not being good at something, with having to ask for help or with not being confident with something that is new.
There is vulnerability in taking on new challenges and knowing that they will force you to grow.
It might be scary but it could be a good thing.
What do you say when someone totally surprises you with their words and actions?
When they are generous and kind in ways that they don’t need to be, when they go above and beyond what they’re required to do.
I almost overlooked that it would have taken this person effort and care to handle the situation the way that they did.
I was too busy walking around with my hands in my pockets, refusing to be vulnerable despite this person creating the ideal setting for me to do so.
But I later realised that the way I had acted was a little ungrateful and it had tainted the whole interaction.
I really wish I’d had simply said ‘Thank you for trying!’
Have you ever wanted to say something but not known how to put it into words so you ended up saying nothing.
Well I’m learning that in some cases you might as well say it because the alternative is harbouring frustration over words unspoken and that is something that never feels good.
It’s not about giving someone a piece of your mind it’s about being honest with yourself about how you feel and being okay with expressing that.
It’s okay to say ‘I know you may not have had bad intentions, but I don’t like it when you x, y, z.’
Saying that would be major for someone like me who usually takes the I ain’t gonna let nothing bother me stance whilst said thing is bothering me a whole lot.
I was listening to a podcast a couple days ago and they were talking about how sometimes we don’t open up to our friends when we’re going through things.
Maybe you’ve gotten some bad news recently or you’re just going through a difficult time but when a friend asks how you are you just say your fine. I’ve been that person many times because I do find it difficult to open up.
What is so interesting about it though is I would want my friends to be able to come to me if they had anything going on yet. It’s interesting that I wanted the people in my life to do the thing that I’ve often not allowed myself to do.
A lot of that is about not allowing myself to be vulnerable. So that often leads to this perception that maybe I’m always fine or never have anything going on in my life and I’d be frustrated at that perception yet it’s what I present.