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…

So…

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?