Day 121 Risk: Give Advice

Why do any of us believe we know anything about life? I’ve been pondering this thought lately and the reality of that came into play at a recent girls day that I monthly have with a few ladies. Nothing is off limits with these ladies and, as a result, recent life events as well as past life experiences are regularly discussed.

At this most recent ladies gathering, one of us was discussing recent boy woes (oh the hours I could talk about this). I had offered advice, unsolicited, to this friend about this topic before and gave out some tips again. In my infinite wisdom, I believed that I was helping out. After nine years with someone I sometimes feel that I have an idea of how relationships work.

But honestly, I don’t really know what I’m doing half the time in my relationship so giving anyone else advice is pretty stupid on my part.

As she continued to discuss some of the details surrounding her troubles, I began to chuckle. Not at her woes but at the memories I had of the similar woes. To my defense, most of these conversations we have together are lighthearted and even if we are discussing something serious, there is a touch of humor involved, probably to mask our true hurt by the whole thing (I’m supremely guilty of this myself). So my finding humor in this was not completely outrageous considering our normal situations.

“It’s not funny,” my friend said seriously. “It’s really interfering with my life!”

“I’m sorry,” I said stunned. I elaborated to explain the above and, once again, gave some advice. We eventually moved past it and on to another topic.

And so back to my original question. I mean, really, what do we know? In this particular situation I waxed poetic about completely intangible things and it probably ticked off my friend rather than giving her some grand insight into life. Sure I’ve had experiences and events in my life that have allowed me to have prospective but on what exactly? Can my experiences really be valid to be passed on? Do they really have anything to do with someone else’s situation?

I believe that I want my life experiences to have some merit because then I have merit. Or at least that’s a roundabout way of my brain convincing myself that I’ve made good choices. But I know the truth behind advice is that you can never completely understand what someone else is experiencing. It’s just not possible. And while I may want to stick my two cents in in an effort to boast my own crippled self confidence, I run a real risk of not helping anyone, including myself.

So I guess what I have to take away from this is to pull my head out of my ass and realize that maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. And maybe that’s okay.

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Risky Thoughts

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