Who am I to Give Advice?
From a Top Writer in Advice
I’ve been on Medium for a little while now. I write about careers, remote work, random things I feel the need to talk about, and relationships.
The more popular my stories and I become here, the more I see either negative feedback or others judging the advice I give based on my personal experiences.
A part of me is glad to have negative feedback. It means that I am reaching people that don’t follow me or know me. It means people are reading what I have to say. It’s okay if they don’t agree. I’m generally open to constructive criticism and other points of view. I’m known for flip-flopping my opinions based on new information and well-delivered, respectful debates.
Many of the stories I write about happened a long time ago. These are experiences that I’ve been told I should write about, talk about, even podcast about. And I do all of those things. I write about my life because I have learned a lot of hard lessons about myself, relationships, careers, and the person I want to be.
I don’t claim to have all the answers. Hell, I’m probably wrong sometimes. It took me over half of my life to figure out how and why to love myself for who I am. It took lots of bad decisions and learning from the results, looking internally to see how I can change, and reading blogs/books/articles/stories of other people who figured it out in their way.
I write to do the same for others who may be struggling with themselves. With their careers, relationships, writing, money, whatever. It’s cathartic for me as well.
Yes, I give advice. Yes, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions on things. No, I am not a fancy Ph.D. I don’t have a certificate in Career Development. I’m not a therapist.
I do, however, have more than a lifetime worth of trauma, bad relationships, self-loathing, and cringe-worthy moments. Things I’ve always tried to take lessons from, both good and bad. Even if it takes me years or decades to get there. I believe in karma and that everything happens for a reason.
What I can’t do is tell anyone what they should do. I am in control of me alone. I can share my experiences and hope my readers glean some tips from those to implement into their own lives.
I may say “should” and “need to” when giving advice based on my own stories, but everyone’s story is different. My husband recently dropped this nugget:
Everyone writes their own story. It’s up to them how that story ends.
To add on to that, I would say it’s up to each person to metaphorically write how their own story continues, develops, and ultimately ends.
Do you want to look back regretting the years that you spent in a bad relationship? Or, instead, start a new chapter working on the person you want to become and make real motions to do just that? No matter where you are, you can always change it. As I’ve said before, you can’t change other people, but you can change yourself, the expectations of your life, and even your future.
So, who am I to write advice? Just a woman who’s been through the wringer and around the block a time or two. Some lady who has been there and got the souvenir T-shirt. Someone who took the long, hard way. Someone who hopes to help others to not have to ride the struggle bus as much as I did.