Tuesday, March 29, 2005

diy advice column

Take your pick.

1. Move on. If you keep doubting the very point of your relationship – where it’s going, how it ought to be – then maybe it’s best to take a deep breath and cast cold iron on the fairy magic. See what’s left after hard scrutiny. If there’s a little something, consider if it is worth all your time and effort, all your unhappy moments. Decide if you still want to engage in the struggle of the everyday, because there is no magic everyday. And if you do decide to stay, accept what you have chosen, flaws and all.

2. Grow up. If you cannot take instructions, continue to question the rules and weep whenever your sense of self is questioned, then I suggest you take time and talk to your inner child. Stroke, cajole, persuade. Growing up is painful, and “for as you long as you live in my house, you must follow what I say” is a truism, no matter how unjust or painful. Learn to accept your situation. If it is untenable, then leave that house, take the step and be the adult that you are.

3. Take a breather. Sometimes, there’s just too much to do. Step back and ask for a little time to sort priorities, schedule your tasks and calm down. Everything still has to be done, yes, but sense can be made of the chaos.

4. Keep writing. Nothing comes out perfect and there is no such thing as an overnight sensation. You need to keep at it, whip yourself with words until your material speaks out. Keep trying even if what you initially produce for today or tomorrow or the next x years read like drivel. Write with the goal of improving and set benchmarks. And read more than you do now. Better to have tried than to give up at the first onset of rejection.

5. Do it for a better reason. You can never please him enough. You can never exceed his accomplishments on his terms. But you can certainly create your own thing, and work to raise that bar higher every time. We do not become our fathers, we just cannot. We need to overcome the anxiety of influence and undergo the process of becoming.

6. Come to terms with your limitations. So what if the best circumstances gave you is a high school education and you find yourself in the competitive job market? While a college degree is nice, it is NOT necessary to compete in the business environment - believe me. Take a look at your skill sets, at what you have to offer, at the talents and abilities you can improve upon and make them marketable. Find ways to improve.

7. Get over her. You screwed up and nothing you can do will get her back, especially in the light of her civil status. It is too easy to become bitter, rather trite and banal in fact. Pick yourself up and be glad you lived through yet another harrowing heartache.

8. Be selective. You cannot please everyone so choose the recipients of your efforts. Learn to thicken your skin and bestow your time and talent on the people that matter. It’s a judgment call but you can always change your mind.

9. Take a moment to determine exactly what or who is important to you. Not just for now but for the long term. Ask yourself if, in the process of making sacrifices for the future, you are losing out on the life you’re living now. Sometimes, we lose track of why we do what we do. If you’re doing all of this for someone, be careful of the lacuna that can grow when you’re too focused doing what’s right.

10. Apologize. Now. You know you're in the wrong, so stop acting like a petulant child and make amends before the situation escalates. The ashes of burnt pride taste insignificant compared to the bitterness of a lost friendship.

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