A Few Random Bits of Advice Heard or Seen in Unlikely Places

The other day I mentioned JoJo’s advice about pursuing your dreams and how, despite that I don’t make it a habit to take the advice of 13-year old flash-in-the-pan pop singer, I have thought of this advice every single time I’ve been at work staring at innane words on a computer screen and wishing I was writing instead. It got me thinking about other places which seem frivolous or stupid or alternatively, just bizarre that have provided me with inspiration, positive vibes and a great message.

TLC – Unpretty. In a decade in which TV-discovered girl group Eden’s Crush did a sexed-up cover of Sheila E’s “Glamorous Life” and everyone was looking at Britney Spears’ bare-midriffed school girl uniform and reading about diets in teen magazines, it wouldn’t surprise me to know that body image issues and anorexia were at a statistically all-time high. The 90s and early 2000s were a decade of image, celebrity, glossy model photos, airbrushing, and botox moreso than I’ve seen since. None of the aforementioned were taboo yet and everyone was riding the highs of an economic boom, frivolous spending and reality television making celebrities of us all. And in the midst were TLC who were, themselves, sexy popstars wearing shiny pants and edgy bra tops but somehow managed to convey an earnest message about self-love that meant more to me in high school than other songs. As an overweight and unpopular girl surrounded by Kate Moss and Christina Milian, TLC’s ditty about inner-beauty spoke volumes to me and I tried my best to carry its message with me everywhere. And despite the argument that perhaps teeny-bopper pop songs only appeal to tweens, the lines “Why do I look to all these things to keep you happy? Maybe I’ll get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me” can hold merit for almost anyone. Hypocritical? Sure. One-dimensional? Yeah. Meaningful? Definitely.

Message Board Signature. When I was in high school and spent a large (okay, more than large) portion of my space time online, I came across someone’s message board signature once that stated, “it will all be okay in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Alright; in a way, this is obvious — nothing ever ENDS tragically, right? We make it through tragedies because what other choice do we have but to? Even if you choose death over the feeing of weighing tragedy, you’re no longer suffering, so it’s still technically ‘okay’. But what struck me is how I had never thought of it that way BEFORE reading that statement; and honestly, I’ve gone through old journals and found this very sentence quoted COUNTLESS times — I don’t know or recall the name (or even the ‘avatar’ name) of the person who posted that, but I owe them huge.

A friend’s haircut survey. A good friend of mine recently cut her very long hair very short. And when asked how she was able to part ways with the hair she spent three years growing out (something I’ve recently aspired to), she said she did a survey in a magazine about haircuts and the survey stated that if you tend to wear your hair up more than down, perhaps you think it looks better away from your face and it’s time to cut it. And no, I still don’t want to cut my hair; I still want to grow it out into this wild and untamed mane of thick lengthy sex (for lack of a better term) but, I did consider for a moment something unusual from this statement; that maybe, you’re subconsiously doing something that is indicative of a choice you should be making, but you haven’t decided yet to make that choice. If that makes sense.

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