I am not a sage. When I share something personal, the first question that comes to my mind is, “Why would anyone care what I have to say?”.
It seems that every year I see something about myself that makes me wonder why I ever thought or acted a certain way. I fear that when I share a thought, a year later I might hold a different perspective. Worst case scenario, my old post might feel embarrassing.
If you can’t tell, I can be pretty critical of myself. My background in ballet bred a sense of “you will NEVER be good enough” right into my soul. It has taken years of personal work to move beyond this inner monologue.
My concern about giving advice and the fear of being “preachy” led me to my vision for From Her Desk. I would rather share a personal story than advice. I do not know many people that are qualified to give personal advice to anyone.
I believe that personal stories are evergreen. A reader can take in someone’s personal experience and develop their own opinion. Let’s face it, those ten tips to start working from home won’t work for everyone and five ways to change your marriage won’t either.
The path to success, whatever that looks like, is deeply personal.
I may be apathetic, but when I read many of the advice columns out there, I roll my eyes. I used to take in that type of information like it was gold! Now, I can see that a lot of the personal and professional development content out there is cookie cutter.
Cookie cutter advice doesn’t tell you how to make it through the workday when you’ve had a death in the family, when your partner leaves you, or depression follows you like a shadow. I’m not sure advice is the right response to such situations.
A hug and listening ear goes farther than stark advice. For me, stories that we relate to feel like a hug deep in our soul. It shows us that we aren’t alone, even if someone’s experience is not exactly like our own. I know this is my mushy perspective, but it is my heart for From Her Desk.
To me, learning about another person’s journey through similar circumstances has helped me more than greeting card recommendations. Telling someone that sadness will pass doesn’t stop deep feelings of loss (Also, it’s okay to grieve. Where is that message?!).
A story gives room for personal reflection. Personal experience doesn’t say, “this is what you should do” but shares “this is how I felt and how I made it through (or not).”
I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s choices. It is hard enough to figure out my own life. I think there is power in knowing you are not alone. Walking through life together creates perspective.
And that is the point; perspective is personal.