The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received…

Are you ready?

Be genuine.  

Or also…just be yourself…be authentic…be real…etc…

These two little words ‘be genuine’ sound so simple, don’t they?  However, I think they are harder to live by.  I think that sometimes in life it’s easier to not be yourself, and to be the person that people want you to be, and not who you truly are.  I think it’s human nature to want harmony, and sometimes the easiest way to get there is to be someone you’re not.  This might come in the form of not speaking up in a situation where your opinion differs from others, e.g. politics, religion, etc., or in relationships of all kinds, both romantic and platonic.  I can honestly say that, I for one, have done this, and have also been a repeat offender of it, too.  At my bridal shower someone put me on the spot and asked me what about this relationship with my husband was different from other relationships I’ve had, and the answer was simple.  I can be myself.  It’s not that I wasn’t myself in other relationships, because I was, but I think that I was an edited version of myself.  I didn’t do it intentionally, but I think I also didn’t really know who I was at the time, either.  After a particularly bad break-up in my mid 20’s, I spent a long time just being alone, and had an opportunity to figure out the things thatenjoyed.  During that time on my own, I realized what the problem was in other relationships; I wasn’t myself completely, and the reality was, I wasn’t dating people who allowed me to be me.  Once I realized that, I decided that in my next relationship I was going to be 100%, without a doubt, completely unbridled, me.

And I was.

And it worked out for me.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work out that way all the time, or it actually does in retrospect.  Sometimes being yourself means the end of a relationship, but I think that’s okay.  In fact, I think its better than okay.  It’s the best thing for you.  The end of a relationship, where you have genuinely been yourself, is a gift because it means that you are no longer wasting your time, and you’re now free to move onto finding the person who will truly appreciate you for who you are.  That’s exactly how it happened for me, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  With my husband I can say whatever I want about anything, and although he might look at me sometimes like I’m crazy, he never judges me.  I don’t have to apologize for who I am, or what I think, and I’m glad I have finally learned how to live by such simple words, and at the same time, have found someone who also allows me to.

I think if you aren’t genuine, it can really bite you in the ‘a for various reasons, some of which I have just discussed…


And when you do, be you. Just do it. <--That's what Nike said.

And that is why, in my opinion, there is no better advice than “be genuine”…

Or is there?…

I thought I’d leave you with a couple of silly zingers that were also in the running for the best advice I’ve ever received.  These quotes are courtesy of my Grandma Barkoff and Matt’s Nana.  Don’t G-ma’s have the best advice, like, ever?!

My Grandma Barkoff:

“Sometimes you gotta eat the sh*t.” <–A simple saying for the times when you have to just suck it up, and deal with the curve balls life throws you.

“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

“What a life without a wife, and here I am without a man.” (She said this both to me when I didn’t have a boyfriend, and about herself after my grandpa passed away.)

“You can’t catch ’em on the second bounce.” (Basically means that sometimes you don’t have more than one chance, so be mindful with the first.)

Matt’s Nana:

“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

“Pat someone on the back while you’re kicking them in the a** at the same time.” <–Ha!  Classic!

“It’s better to be a silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”

And finally, a quote that Matt and I discovered both of our grandmothers told us when we were growing up:

“He who laughs last, laughs best.”

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

38 thoughts on “The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received…

  1. Did I tell I love your blog? Because I do 🙂

    I hate how my parents tell me to be myself, but then when they realize who I am they try to backpedal..

  2. The best advice I ever got was before my husband was deploying to Iraq and a lady at church told me it was okay to be scared and unsure and that because this was our first deployment I didn’t know what to expect and that is scary and so whatever I was feeling was okay. This came about a week after another person at church told me I would be fine because she had 4 kids and a deloyed husband and was fine. I was feeling very diminished and like something was wrong with my feelings and the other lady just validated everything and made me feel okay. I try to tell other wives who are going through their first deployments the same thing.

    BTW, I really enjoy your blog!!

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  4. There is a saying that always comes back to me and that I’ve been able to apply to many situations:

    “This too shall pass”.

    I don’t take this as Biblical advice (it’s really not even in the Bible), but rather basically saying that no matter what is happening, tomorrow will always come and life will still go on.

  5. My favorite quote/advice is “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou. In times of hardness I think about this quote and tell myself its ok that this changes me but I won’t allow myself to be defined by it, or less of a person because of it.

    Of course there’s a boat load of other advice and quotes I love and have learned very valuable lessons from, but that is one that I’ve held near and dear for a long time.

    • Btdubs, great post. I like that your blog makes me laugh, think and reflect. And I’m usually always saying “right on!” As I’m reading 🙂

      • Jessie! That is exactly what I want it to do: Make people reflect, but still laugh! It’s no fun if it’s all so serious! Life’s not that serious! Thanks for letting me know that!

  6. So very true. I went through a smiliar break up, and within the first week dating another man a year later I told him upfront about what I like, what I don’t, and that I was going to be completely open and honest. He did the same. Now he’s my fiance. I guess once you find yourself you can finally find your soulmate.

    Love your blog!

  7. I really liked this post. Inspired a post of my own where i refer to this post. 🙂 You really made me think and ask myself if I’d ever truly been genuine and myself in my past relationships… Love the blog! 🙂

  8. This is really great advice. I too, have been guilty of editing myself in relationships. It’s so dumb because I’ve found I attract more men when I’m 100% myself (which is always when I’m around guys I couldn’t care less about.) It’s like, I find a guy I click with and suddenly something changes and I just try to make it work. LAME! I think I will work on your rule of the next relationship being 100% myself. It’s the best way, because honestly, at some point the REAL you will come out, might as well just be up front about it.
    My grandma used to tell my dad to be wary of girls with no girlfriends and guys with no guy friends. I find that to be very insightful.
    And the best dating advice I ever heard was, “If a guy likes you, you’ll know. If he doesn’t, you’l be ‘confused.’ ” SO TRUE!

    • Ok, first of all, your g-ma had some insightful advice when she said that, and that is exactly what I meant by: Don’t grandma’s have the best advice ever?! I’m going to remember that one. Second of all, I love the last thing you said about if a guy really likes you, you’ll know. That is just SO TRUE, and also it’s so true that the real you comes out eventually anyway. So why not just let your freak flag fly from the beginning?!

  9. Something else my dad always reminds me…not sure if it’s really advice but more so just words of wisdom, “No matter how good things are, or how bad they are, things will always change.” So true. I actually just mentioned it to my friend today who’s had a really rough year. Things really will change.

    • I really love that one! It reminds me of, “sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

  10. This is the best advice but you’re right, it’s easier said than done. I’m doing the same thing you did and taking some time to really be alone and figure out who I am, so my next relationship will be me, not someone elses version of me. It’s a liberating, but scary, feeling.

    • You’re right AB, it is the scariest thing for sure. I remember once I decided to be totally genuinely me, I had the urge to slip back into old habits, and it was hard to resist.

  11. Hi~
    Great post. I found you through another blog and I will be back. Your topic is near and dear to my heart and is the entire reason for my blog. I have been on a journey of discovering who my authentic true self really is. This is not always an easy process but in the end truly worth the effort. I too have a husband with whom we can each be our true self, that was a requirement when we got involved after divorces. My search is a little deeper…rediscovering things I like to do or maybe things never tried. Anyway, great job. Hope you’ll have a look.

    • How do you find yourself? You take time to figure out the things you enjoy doing, without the influence of outside sources. You’re honest about your likes and dislikes, and also you have to keep in mind that “finding yourself” is different for everybody!

  12. Loving the post and enjoy reading your blog:) I have learned to grow more into my skin and myself as a person as I have gotten older (not much wiser though). I am lucky to have a man in my life that accepts me – like my grandmother would say warts and all (she was married for 65 years).

  13. Thank you the Sara smiles…
    This post was a pure Enjoy.
    I don’t have the best advice in my purse…yet.
    one that I have is: a hand that you can’t bent, carrese untill you can.
    second: who feels pitty for the cruels, will end up being cruel on the gracious.
    three, stick to your horses.

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  15. Pingback: Being Genuinely you…what it means | theselfloveblog

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