Surprisingly, a number of people click my email link and ask me for my opinion and advice on many wide-ranging topics. Maybe not so surprisingly--I'm way cheaper than seeing a therapist or life coach. I offer anonymity (if it's sought), and because I have nothing to lose, they are going to get an unvarnished reply to whatever question they submit to me.
Here are a few that landed in my Inbox. I'm of course going to keep their identities a secret.
I'm not sure why I'm writing to you, other than a friend of a friend gave me your email. I mean, you're not sports oriented at all, but maybe that will be good in that you'll have a more objective perspective.
I was in my first Olympics when I was really young. I did okay, but I wanted the gold medals. Since then, I have been chasing that Olympic dream. I train and train so that every four years, I can compete. I've been in several as a result, and I did get gold. Now I'm plagued by injury and have had to drop out of competitions due to constant surgeries and rehabs. Basically, I don't think it's entirely fair that I should have to qualify for the Olympic team. My past history and performance is on the record. Why shouldn't my spot be a given? Let these newbies have to qualify for the remaining spots. Do you see what I mean? Sochi may be my last shot, and if my knees hold out, I deserve to go.
Let me tell you a little story. Back in 1981 when I got my teaching degree, I had a hell of a time getting my first job. I finally got my foot in the door, subbing for a teacher who had been there a long time. So long, in fact, that she had trouble getting around and problems in general. So her schedule kept her in the same room all day, teaching the same thing all day. Her duty was hall duty right outside her room. Unheard of for a high school assignment. She retired only because she became legally blind. Fast forward thirty-three years later. I am retired, but the English teacher my husband had in tenth grade is still teaching. The teacher the district hired to replace me is long gone, cut due to budget concerns. But my husband's former sophomore teacher is still there, going on year eleventy million. So, no. I don't see what you mean. You make millions in endorsements. You are taking someone else's spot. Grow up and get a real job. You are a selfish, stunted child who is afraid to face the real world.
I'm sick and tired of my hair. When I was working, I truly did not have time to do anything with it even though I could certainly afford to have any stylist I wanted come to my office or home and give me a cut and blow-dry. Besides, I felt like it would reflect poorly on my sense of priorities at the time. Now, as a private citizen, (at least for now) I can do pretty much whatever I want. I'm still in the public eye, so I can't do a big change, but I want a transitional look that will soften my features a little. Can you suggest anything? Oh, and just in case I decide to get back into public life in a big way, I need it to be able to look very capable and businesslike easily.
So easy! Feather it around the front a little and go for bangs. Not a heavy London Girl fringe, just a soft light bang that can easily grow into a sideswept, then off the forehead look. Later, when you grow out more, you can work into a French twist with a few tendrils. You know, feminine but capable. Like, Red Phone Capable.
I hate my job. Well, not so much my job, but mainly the people I work with. Some of them are just plain awful. If I say yes, they say no. If I say it's up, they say it's down. If I say we have to have more money for something, they say we have to cut out money for something else. It's ridiculous. It's like they hate me on principle. What did I ever do to deserve this? I can't get anything done with these people around. And the worst thing is, I'll get judged by the work these people do. The whole thing is lousy. Thank goodness I only have a little more time left, and then I'll never have to work here again. Ever.
Didn't your parents ever teach you to stand up to bullies? If they didn't, certainly you saw it on "The Brady Bunch" or "Leave It to Beaver" reruns or the holiday film "A Christmas Story." If your co-workers hate you on principle, then you have nothing to lose. Start with that as your reality and lead from there. They're going to spin negative everything you do, so do everything! Don't be like the Puritans. The Puritans believed in Predestination, the idea that God had decided at birth whether a person would go to Heaven or to Hell, and no amount of good works or evildoing would change that destiny. Now, to our modern way of thinking, why didn't the Puritans live sinfully and play hard and fornicate day and night since their behaviour did not determine the destination of their souls? Instead, they tried to live lives of strict purity and goodness and deprivation, hard work and prayer. Why? It didn't matter; it wouldn't influence God. So, CD, don't live your life like it's 1634. It's 2014. Get in there and mix it up. Show those bullies who's boss and bully a little yourself. Knock some metaphorical heads and make some deals. Call in some markers. Leverage, CD. Use your remaining time as Leverage.
What fun, right, Readers? Do you have anything to add? Who else do you think needs my advice?