Thursday, May 29, 2008

Your choices are half chances, so are everyone else's

I have been a bit troubled in the last week after hearing about the reaction a former classmate of mine from school had to a bit of advice I'd "given" her. Actually, I hadn't given it to her, but rather mentioned it to her friend, not realizing the chord it would strike in both the friend and the girl I was "advising". It somewhat explained the slightly cold manner the girl would have towards me from that point on until she graduated, but not realizing that she'd been made aware of what I'd said, I just thought she was just a wee bit bitchy. Ehh . . . oh well.

The girl had made plans after graduating from beauty school to join her boyfriend of nearly a year and a half in Colorado where he was doing on-the-job training. Their ultimate plan was to one day soon return to their home and families here in the PNW, but after being apart for so long, all they wanted was to be together. And so here she was, 19, about to drop everything in her life to go live in another state where she knew no one, but her boyfriend. Hmmmm . . . who does this sound like?? Aja? Liz?

When I heard this, I kind of callously said "She shouldn't be even thinking of moving to be with him unless she has a ring." Yeah. Nice one. I know if I had been 19 and my best friend came and told me someone who barely knew me was saying that about me and my boyfriend, I would have the same reaction she had to me. Of course, my best friend pretty much was the one saying that to me and I didn't want to listen. I turned a deaf ear to her for so long, we didn't talk for about three years. In the end, she was right. It didn't turn out, obviously, since my last name is now Frey and not Smith.

But life is the real teacher and we have to choose what we are going to learn from everything we experience in life. I had to figure out things for myself and make my own mistakes and take those chances. In the end, I came out the person I am today and I love her, so I can't grumble too much.

The girl left for Colorado at the beginning of the month and while we occasionally hear from her via text messages or check up on her on Myspace, we are all just left to wonder if it will work out or if it won't. Believe me, I would LOVE for them to prove me wrong. I am praying she proves me wrong. I just see a little bit too much of myself and Zack in this situation and my stomach wrenches into a knot as I tried to not recall the ugly parts of it all.

Advice is really only something you should hand out when people specificially are asking you for it. Unless it is about cooking, cleaning or any time-saving tips; those you can hand out any given time. They are always appreciated. But advice on life, love and all those other messy things . . . wait until you are asked for them. That way, you aren't misunderstood and you are given the opportunity to fully explain yourself.

Anyway . . . here is my favorite piece of written advice.

"Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" by Mary Schmich
(a.k.a. Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by
scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and
recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked….
You're not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes
you're behind…the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children,maybe
you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…
What ever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own..
Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for
Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the
people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you
should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize
that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were
noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one
might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will
look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen…

No comments:

Post a Comment