Having far surpassed my early formative years, I look back at the advice I was given in a different light. I now find myself sometimes in the role of advice giver1 and I try to be a good role model for those that come after me.
There are a few times in your life when you can tell someone about an experience you’ve had in hopes of giving them some insight into their own future.
The three that I can think of off the top of my head are as follows:
- A teenager about life in general – specifically about being yourself and love/relationships
- A first-time expecting parent on what raising a child is like
- A person starting at a new company
As girls became less of a weird fascination and more of a “Hello there” <insert Flynn Rider voice> interest, my father would often repeat the following nugget of advice.
“They’re (women) are just as afraid and nervous about talking to you as you are of them. Go talk to them. The worst that could happen is they say no.”
Looking back, this is some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. I wish2 I would have learned to put aside my fears of talking to people – especially people I liked – and just go and say hello. Not just in romantic relationships either, but for all situations where a simple hello would have gotten me much farther than awkward shoe-gazing.
Case in point. Last summer I got to meet a designer and all around excellent guy at a conference where he presented. I, a grown adult, was sweating bullets as I approached him after his speech. I introduced myself and said that I was jealous of the city from which he hails and that I’d love to visit it again someday. He said thanks and invited me to contact him if he was ever in town. This summer I hope to do exactly that.
Had I not made such a simple effort I would have regretted it much more than any possible ‘no’ of embarrassment. I need to do this more often.
The feeling of watching over your daughter as she sleeps can be explained in great detail, but it isn’t until you experience it for yourself that the impact can be felt. There’s a feeling that no tale can invoke and all attempts to are shallow and pale. But I shall try.