Outfit #76: None too big
“I'm none too big on giving advice,” Aunt Al said. “Most times when folks ask for advice, they already know what they should do. They just want to hear it from someone else.” – The Silver Star
Giving advice is Russian roulette. But when people come to you for advice often, you begin to think you have somehow mastered chance. Every now and again, I feel like Aunt Al—none too big on giving advice. I don’t know enough of anything to advise people on what to do or not to or pursue or feel or not feel.
Still though, people will slice down their middle and let it all hang out and splatter on the floor right in front of me sometimes. Being vulnerable like that is an incredible gift. It’s humbling that someone would come to me for even this minor form of help. But on top of that, it comes with raging uncertainty that occasionally doesn’t appear until long after I have opened my trap, letting them fall through.
I do like to help people, but how do you ever know if you are saying the right thing?
That’s why this quote has been zooming around my head. When I looked it up, I realized I misremembered it. In my mind, I thought it was condemning giving advice. The source of condemnation is the question above. I will always be ill-equipped to advise someone because I can’t know the full spectrum of their circumstances. But now when I read it, I think it speaks to something more compelling.
We seek advice to be reaffirmed and supported in our future actions. For the most part anyway. I’ve asked for advice because I haven’t had a clue and the most reassuring response I’ve gotten in those moments is, “That’s okay.”
Maybe it’s not advice we need—it’s other people. Someone to listen.
I hope people will come to me to talk. I hope I have an unconditional, non-discriminatory, unbiased ear. Being human makes this nearly impossible to perform all time, but all it takes is a moment for me to unburden myself from my narrow perspective and listen. It takes concentration, focus and a cruel sacrifice of freewill to commit yourself to seeing as someone else sees. But if it were anything less than that, I would worry about ulterior motives. If I commit fully, there is no room for ulteriors, no room for malice.
Advice to self: listen carefully, be considerate, encourage kindness
All black everything for this outfit post. Shout out to The Ivy on Pine for the shawl. It’s going to be a summer staple for me. I also want to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that these shoes are Sketchers (link to shoes) and incredibly comfortable. And one final highlight is my slept-on second-day ponytail that managed to make me look purposefully un-put-together. Lots of hyphens today, y’all. See you on insta.