Keeping It Real
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Politics and Activism

Keeping It Real

Or, how an advice columnist is trying to figure out how to be taken seriously.

Keeping It Real
Keep It Real (Song)

I was staring at this empty white page for hours as it defiantly stared back at me with its challenging emptiness. You see, when I was given the opportunity to write an advice column I immediately jumped at the idea, without putting too much thought into it. My impulsiveness got the best of my rationality, as it often does, and I dove into the challenge head first.

Or so I thought.

Hours after thinking about how awesome all of this could be, and after all of my dreams of fame and fortune, came the usually less exciting reality of the facts: the sudden awareness that to write an advice column you need to, err, write. And, most importantly, you need someone to ask you a question.

Given that you couldn't by any means have known I even existed before this very moment, there was no way I could have gotten any questions from you. So the possibilities were two: either come up with a question of my own and answer it by myself, or be very honest and just admit I don't have one to start with.

BUT in the end I realized there was a rather significant topic worth discussing, and that is: why on earth would you ask me for advice?

To be honest, I have been asking myself this very question incessantly, over and over, like a mantra.

I am a 24-year-old nobody, there are no articles on me out there, and I didn't win a Nobel prize, nor is one on its way. So why would you write to me about your life, the people in it and, most importantly, your troubles? How am I qualified for this in any way?

I'm not going to try to convince you that I am some sort of lifestyle guru with loads of experience in handling other people's businesses, since I'm pretty aware the only thought of that would send my friends and family into fits of laughter. I might truly not be worthy of sitting in the position I am, but by some random turn of events, I find myself in this position and am pretty excited about it too.

BUT there are a few things I have learned over this fourth of a century that I have lived through, and these are what I make available for you:

  • There is nothing a serious chat with a good friend can't make you wiser about.
  • Putting your problems in writing gives you a new perspective.
  • I will be honest with you.

So hereby I solemnly swear that, for better or for worse, you can count on getting my sincere and unbiased point of view on whatever you want to write to me about. I will listen to, or better, read, whatever you decide to send to me and I will give you a piece of my mind. And, as Baz Luhrmann wisely said in his “Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen:” Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it ; advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

Post scriptum: feel free to send me all of your doubts and questions at

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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