This went over so well last time I tried it, I think I’ll do it again. Since this advice was given to me in private, via a series of text messages to my phone, I’m going to keep the author anonymous for now. I’m going to say a bit about the mystery author in the commentary, and his/her actions towards me as a member of the community. This person will probably flip out when he/she sees I’ve posted this; such is life in 2010.
If you think you know who gave this advice to me, please do not reveal the source. Also, please do not claim authorship if you are not the author of the advice I dissect. The former is extremely tasteless, the latter is fraud, and really, I’m in the mood to just ban people from commenting in my blogs and be done with it for either. At the very least I’ll edit the mentions out of your comments.
There were actually more items than this. I’ve clipped those that are of dubious relevance.
1. Life is short. Real short. Be around those who care about you and want to grow with you. Experience life with others is a beautiful thing. Treasure it. Wasting your time with people who are not friendly with you makes life tougher and [censored]. Trust me I should know.
I don’t know what’s worse. People that are overtly hostile, or those that pretend to be friends and are hostile behind my back. The former are at least easy to identify; the latter are like snakes in the grass.
It’s possible for one to waste time with people who appear to be friendly to oneself but in fact have their own evil, sinister motives at hand.
To me, life has been long, way longer than our mystery advisor would claim it to be. And he/she is still alive as of the time I wrote this. I saw him/her in person just tonight; we no longer talk, which quite conveniently brings me to the next item:
2. Be transparent and honest. To yourself and those who care about you. As well as when you meet new people.
Now, a note here: my friendship with the mystery advisor ended when I followed this piece of advice. What does that tell you? I know what it tells me.
There is a limit to opacity and dishonesty. A certain amount of it is a damn good thing, though. Sometimes, it’s worth it to blow enough smoke up the nether regions of others to keep them guessing. Because apparently, it’s one thing for one to tell others to be honest and transparent; it’s another to accept that kind of honesty and transparency oneself.
So no, I’m not going to be completely transparent and honest. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. Burn me three times, shame on me again.
3. Be yourself. You can always grow into a person you want to be. One’s growth is noticeable by those who care. Including yourself.
I can make the case I was following this nugget of advice to when the mystery advisor and I parted ways; I am who I am. I’m pretty much the same person online as I am in person. I don’t play the game that certain others in this community play of having a split persona, one that online invites all kinds of contact and attention, but in person is much more “private” and reserved.
I say it’s quite healthy to try, once in a while, to pretend one is something one actually isn’t. In that respect, “be yourself” all the time, is a rather piss-poor lifestyle.
I’m not going to spill all the beans right now. I will say that a business plan I’m formulating may well qualify as, technically, being something I am not. Or, more accurately stated, being something I’ve never been before.
So no, being yourself is not always the best course of action either. A little careful B.S. artistry can go a long way. (And I don’t mean drawing in crayon over a bachelor of science degree either…)
I’m going to sign off here before I turn this into an advice column. Slam me all you want, maybe you think my advice is just as bad as the advice I ranted against not too long ago, and such is your prerogative. At least I’m trying to communicate what has and hasn’t worked for me in a no-nonsense fashion.