I feel like a relatively conflicted in the fact that often times I am either begging for advice or rejecting it entirely. The advice that I receive I only truly value if it is something I have asked for. It's much like a hug, it's only really enjoyed if both parties want to participate. I have often had advice interjected in my life when I did not desire it in the slightest and this felt like nothing but an inconvenience at the time as well as currently when similar situations happen.

Every time I received unwanted advice, I always examine the person giving it and try to size up what their qualifications might be. Almost every time I found something in that individual that made me view them as grossly unqualified. If it was relationship advice, I always found myself looking closely at the all the relationships that the person injected their advice into my life was and I focused specifically on the number of failed relationships. Putting their input into my life often made me view them under a microscope. I examined their choices, their life, and who they were as a person to see if they were worthy of given any sort of dictation of my actions. Most times I found them entirely inadequate. I know that there are many troubles with college. Many people are under the impression that you shouldn't have to go through a variety of hoops to start your job and view college as nothing more than a scam, but I find something very beautiful in qualification.

I almost wish sometimes that there was some sort of certification process for advice givers. I wish they had to sit through a series of classes on how to give advice without having the person you're advising feel like they are being invaded. Also how to properly examine yourself before giving advice so that you don't come off in a hypocritical manner. I never felt that the advice, even sometimes when given by friends was given in a loving manner but rather in a nagging or invasive one. I only really experienced this when the advice was being offered by individuals I did not want it from. If it is given to me without warrant, then it is obviously going to be less appreciated than receiving it from someone I actually desired. I rarely found a whole lot of qualification in those who were telling me what I should be doing with my life. When examining their life and choices, I often times found it not far superior to my own if not worse.

The thing about opinions if that they all differ and just because you have them does not inherently make them correct. I find this something to be exceedingly mindful of when coming in contact with individuals who are making a statement on your life. Opinions on who you are, what you are doing, where you're going, and if it is wrong or right, is something I do think most human beings will often be faced with. However, it is something I have learned to filter out. My own opinion of myself is the most important one as I am the only person who will spend twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, with myself for as long as I live. The only thing I truly can't escape is myself and thus I hold my own views on myself to be higher than those of the people around me, even if those people are individuals I truly care for.

I have received a plethora of advice over the years on a variety of subjects in my life. Often times, it is unfortunately advice that I did not wish or ask for. Because of this, I weigh the words that are being said to me before making the decision if they are applicable to me or not. Often times, I find not, but there have been times in my life where I have been genuinely surprised about the wisdom others have held for me. However, I am forever thinking of the advice provided to me and if it is something that is right for me.

I feel as though a vast majority of the things I have written here were a fire filled complain session of how I hate to be bossed around or told what to do. I do realize it can easily come across as such, but do truly hope that someone reading this will be able to relate the feeling of others pushing their opinions, thoughts, or agenda into your life. The hypocrisy behind the words of people who can often even be close to you is disappointing and at times enraging. As I grow and learn I have begun to figure out who I am, what I am, and am trying to take control of my feelings. This has been no easy task and with this has come a variety of opinions on the life I am living and the person I am becoming. My friends hold different advice than my parents do, my teachers have different advice from my lovers, and the strangers that have offered me advice have been perhaps the most unique of them all. My emotions are on a roller coaster and really are only to be truly understood by me. Thus, the advice I hold for myself I regard higher than that of individuals who get little sneak peaks of my life here and there.

I do value those who want to guide me. I am also aware that as I grow into an adult who is learning who I am, what I want, and who I'm going to love (if anyone at all) that it is also important for me to listen to the small still voice within my heart. My gut will always have a feeling and although that feeling has indeed proved to be wrong before, it is still important that I trust it. The voice inside me is one that I know well and these instinctual feelings are ones that I know no one in my life could understand or feel for me.

Advice to me often feelings like a judgement or a naggy warning whether it be given from friends, family, or authority figures, however I truly try my best to only absorb the kind that comes from an authentic loving, caring place. I continue to grow each day and as I do I hold tight to the good advice I have received, even though I often times feel like that sort of advice has been scarce.

I know who I am. I know what I am. In my heart, I want to hold tight to the feeling that I know what is best for me. My input on who I am should be the loudest and most important. As opinions are thrown at me at rapid speed in order to change my actions, choices, or beliefs, I cling to the idea that the person Lizzie Bowen is will remain regardless of what others think of her. It is my life after all. I have been given only one. To waste it would be the greatest of sins.