On Listening to Advice

5 Nov

I have a younger co-worker who got into an argument with one of the veterinarians. She is 23 and engaged to her boyfriend of two years. The veterinarian had lectured her about getting married too young, how it’s a huge mistake, and she will end up divorced one day. Needless to say, this was not his place to tell her that.

I was infuriated and stewed over the situation for a while. It didn’t take me long to remember when I met her over a year ago when her and boyfriend had just moved to the city. At the time, I thought she was making a huge mistake. I was sure that her boyfriend was going to smash her heart, and this city would eat that little Arizona girl alive. I thought that if I could have prevented her from moving to New York, I would have.

And I would have been wrong.

The thing about advice is that there are few things in life that are universal for everyone. When I moved to New York for a boyfriend, I barely survived. In retrospect, moving here with him was not the wisest decision nor was it the right one for me. But that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong one for someone else.

I survived a dark couple of years in my life, and I spent most of that time desperate for a way out, a simple solution to fix my problem. I read endless amounts of inspirational blogs/books/magazines. Every time I met someone who seemed to have their life together, I would mull over in my brain what was their secret, how did they have it together. I ended up learning a lot of things that did help me, and a lot of things that didn’t. I’m still embarrassed that I used to attach my photo to my resume, simply because a girl I worked with as a barista got a job that way. How weird.

The main thing I learned is that while people tend to give you advice from the bottom of their heart, what worked in their situation won’t always work in yours. Everyone who gives advice is pulling it from what worked for them. That doctor who warned my co-worker against getting married too young has been through three divorces. So, yeah, I bet he thinks getting married young is a huge mistake. On the other hand, my grandparents weren’t much older than my co-worker when they got married, and they were very much in love for over 50 years of marriage. All of my friends who swear by online dating honestly have a blast skimming through profiles and meeting up with new people every week. It only convinced me that I was going to die alone.

Advice is great. People giving advice is even greater. It means they give a shit and want you to learn from their experiences. And maybe what they tell you will make all the difference. But we still have to carve it all out for ourselves at the end of the day.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten has been the simplest.

Work Hard. Be Honest. Smile and Laugh as much as possible.


2 Responses to “On Listening to Advice”

  1. danguole November 6, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Great post, C.

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