I Give Myself Good Advice But I Seldom Follow It

I have a bad habit. OK, I have a few bad habits… but the one I’m thinking of in particular is that I have a tough time learning some lessons. Let me rephrase: there are many lessons I’ve learned the hard way that didn’t have to be so hard.

Instead of listening to advice with credit or merit, I brilliantly run the opposite direction. Sometimes, you might say, I even turn a deaf ear.

Lewis Carroll might be considered an expert on the subject. “I give myself very good advice,” Alice says, “but I seldom follow it.” Even if wonderland is a very confusing place (it is), there’s a good point to be made. I have all the plans in the world for myself, some pretty incredible itinerary is prepared. But I don’t really follow it when the time comes, so what good is that itinerary? Advice, like a travel itinerary left at an airport, doesn’t do you any good if you don’t use it.

This is the part where I admit, I’m stubborn. It might not do anyone good (or me, for that matter) to try and convince me to do something else when I’ve got my eyes elsewhere. But I wish I didn’t have to learn certain lessons the hard way.

Metaphorically, realistically; either one. I know there are some things you have to learn through experience, from time, or another unidentified future factor. I know, there are. And wishes won’t stop the world from turning just like worry won’t make it turn any faster… so, there are some lessons I’ve learned the hard way, and as I move forward I try to take things with a little less turbulence.

So desperate to be able to do a division that inwardly, honestly, scared me I agreed to a partnership that didn’t make me comfortable. Nothing out of the ordinary really, but the partnership I entered wasn’t a recipe for success because I hadn’t been honest with myself in the beginning. 3’6” is a big height for a small girl with trust issues. 3’6” is a fine height for a scopey mare, but it needs some assistance that said small girl with trust issues couldn’t give. It took a few years to dissect why our partnership wasn’t comfortable, why it never evolved well, and why we were both frustrated.

I needed to prove I could do the bigger division, because if I wasn’t moving up in height then I wasn’t improving. Fault a teenage girl’s logic, in the end my time with Dazzle didn’t work out. The breakup was essentially mutual. She went along to a new home with a new kid who rode her like they were meant for one another. I found myself on a horse a little more in my niche; bay, cranky, and gelding.

I denied the idea I might be afraid to do that division. I refused to admit to me, myself, and my horse (just kidding, she knew when I let her stop at a fence in a course) that I wasn’t brave enough to take the young, scopey warmblood along in her training. Learning to be honest with myself and work with my strengths is a lesson hard won, but I’ve got the trophy from it.

There are a lot of lessons you could learn the hard way, and the work is always worth it. But know that should you hear the same thing over and over again, should you be given advice time and time again, maybe it’s wise to pause. While you’re still, check in with yourself. Does what they have to say, their advice, does it make you question your motive, idea, or decision? If it does, maybe it’s time to learn a lesson.

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