'cause none of us are angels

Sometimes, you learn best from people you don't like.

Figure out what you want to do. Then figure out what you need to do to get there. Then do it.

This advice was given to me by a man I … don't really like.1 We've always had a complicated relationship, at best. But it remains one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given.

I have an anxious sort of brain, when all is said and done. I'm constantly thinking ahead — contingency planning, if you will. When I want to do something, particularly when I want to do something momentous, my brain throws up all the hurdles in the way. Instead of thinking of them as stuff I need to do in order to get where I want to be, after a while of being bombarded, I can fall into the trap of thinking of them as reasons I can't possibly do what I'd like to do.

Enter the advice above, which seems simple2 (probably because it is), but it's also a perfect way to remind myself that hey, even though they're in the way, hurdles are not roadblocks.

I just have to focus on what I want, and break down the stuff in the way into manageable steps.3

All of which leaves me, on a murky Sunday afternoon, pondering the irony that even though I would dearly like never to have to mention, think of, or talk about this man ever again, my way of dealing with the world, and dealing with my own brain, has been shaped, even just the tiniest bit, by him.

Life. Strange, innit?

  1. If you're reading this, and wondering Does she mean me…? the answer is No. Seriously. And also, please don't ask. I won't name names in a public forum. []
  2. The best advice is often deceptively simple. I think it was Hannah Wolf Bowen who once said It's simple. It's just not easy. And if that ain't the perfect encapsulation of, well, anything you're trying to learn, I don't know what is. []
  3. And not rush. That's the other thing I do. I'm very impatient, me. []