It’s worth reading the note at the end of this if you really ARE in my life, because what I want online versus from people in the flesh are very different. Thanks.
This morning I’m feeling a bit hamstrung by the life I’ve carved for myself.
I know even saying this is going to ruffle some feathers, and I just don’t give a shit.
First off, I love the relationships and dynamics Twitter and blogging have offered my life. I love the fact that it has opened me up with both friends and family.
But here’s the reality.
This is where I use my voice — here and in Twitter.
Just because I say something doesn’t mean I want you solving my problems. It doesn’t mean it’s a cry for help. It doesn’t mean I need your guidance or moral input. It’s just something I wanted to say.
It also doesn’t mean you have a fucking clue what I’m talking about, world. Anything you see in print from me? I’ve edited it. I’ve chosen the details I want you to know. It may seem like someone who speaks as often as I do with as much openness and in-your-facedness as I do would be select or erudite with the information they’re sharing with the world, but I’m a hell of a lot more select than you probably realize.
Sometimes, I just want a place where I can say things that occur to me. My brain? It’s a big place. Crazy shit’s going on in there all the time. The stuff I think? If I Twittered all the whack thoughts I had, Twitter would explode. I *need* these outlets. Seriously.
I don’t, however, need the endless streams of unsolicited advice I get.
Because, believe me, I get it. If I want advice, I ask. If there’s anything I don’t have trouble doing, it’s putting a voice to those things, all right?
Every day now, I’m getting either people who think they can solve my life with their brilliant input or who seem to think I’m doing shit wrong and I need advice.
You know what? You *don’t* know my life. You don’t know my struggles, my challenges, or how it feels to be on the other side of everything that’s in my world. That’s where the old cliche “walk a mile in their shoes” comes from.
After 36 years, I’m kind of an expert on my life. I know where my problem areas are, and I know who are leading lives that I want to mirror, I know who to ask for tips. If you’re a friend and I haven’t asked you for advice in that area? Maybe there’s something in your choices that doesn’t mirror the choices I want to make. Offer advice if you want, but you’re possibly causing an uncomfortable situation where I’ll have to let you down gently by way of trying not to explain that your advice isn’t really relevant to the plans I have in mind.
If you’re a man and you’re somehow interested in me, and you think offering me unsolicited advice will show me you care about me, it’s probably the worst thing you can do. Like most women, I’ve been in those relationships with men who constantly judge and try to “help” you by telling you how to solve your problems. It belittles anyone, makes one feel that the other has no faith in their ability to live their own life. There’s a fine line, learn what it is.
When you think you’re helping people by telling them how to solve their problems, you’re probably hurting your relationships. Shut the fuck up, let them make their own mistakes and live their own life. Try to engage them in real life and offer your thoughts, but don’t just drop cure-alls in their lap online like you’re some omniscient internet being.
Me, I’m getting this daily lately — from distant people who don’t know me or my life, who don’t get the range of my skills or abilities, who don’t understand how independent, strong, and successful I am at overcoming life’s challenges and from the occasional well-meaning over-reading friend — and it’s making me feeling like I’m some fucking imbecile because everyone keeps dumping these “pearls of wisdom” on me.
Here’s an idea: ASK ME if I have considered it instead of assuming I’m not smart enough to have had that “pearl” occur to me.
If I get one more person suggesting I can simplify my life by cooking less, for instance, I’m gonna fucking explode. I *enjoy* cooking. Washing dishes, I hate. Cooking? Love it. Why would I eliminate one of the things I love in life, so I can free up more time to do the shit that feels like work? When you’re single, eating is one of the ways to feed the soul when sex isn’t available to you — SERIOUSLY — so why not enjoy the food? I can’t afford to eat out, I don’t want to work that in my budget, and I don’t want to eat fucking Hamburger Helper, either. I make cheap comfort food that’s food of love. I ENJOY doing it. And yet people think they’re brilliant to suggest I simplify it.
Just don’t do it.
Don’t SOLVE other people’s lives. Don’t meddle in their problems. No matter how fucking brilliant you are about living YOUR life, you don’t KNOW what their life REALLY entails. When it comes to anyone’s life but you’re own, you’re blowing smoke up their ass.
So, right now, as much as I love what Twitter and the new media is doing for my life as a whole, I could take a lot less of people blowing smoke up my ass.
And I just thought it was time I said so.
NOTE: I have completely different attitudes about real-life conversations. If I’m talking with you, expressing difficulties with anything, the mere fact that I’m engaging with YOU about it means I value your opinion and am open to hearing it. This is quite different from having kneejerk reactions to a purposely vague comment I’ve made in the cybersphere just to get something off my chest. I value the back-and-forth in real life, because THEN you have the facts straight. But don’t ever assume you know what my vague comments online are really about… they’re often more expansive and less personal than you might realize. Molehill, meet Mountain. Meet Bulldozer.