Just A Phase: An Advice Column

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People are complex, and we’re always changing. It’s hard to give the right advice knowing how radically people differ from each other but then also while considering where an individual is in their own personal development.

Advice that resonates with you now may not be relevant in five years; it may have been incomprehensible 10 years ago. Think about all the layers you’ve tried on and shed between 6th grade and your 36th birthday. Today, you’ll hear what you’re ready for.

When discerning the path to take in this moment, why not check in with your past selves to see the directions you definitely don’t want to go in? As long as you aren’t listening to these people, you’re making a good choice.

  1. My jobs pays well and is fulfilling—but they want to transfer me 200 miles away! Do I take the new gig and move? Do I stay and look for different work?

Advice from You as a High School Goth: Ugh, moving. You will get sweaty and ruin your eye makeup. And what if you pack your flat iron and can’t find it and it’s muggy out? Moving is way too much effort.

But… so is finding another job. So. Take whatever option lets you stay in contact with your friends from deadjournal the longest.

Advice from Your Jam Band Summer: Oh hey, it’s you! Sorry I’ve been out of touch, I was at this outdoor yoga session and I realized I don’t “need” a phone. No one does. So I threw it out!

But now I’m on this new trip where I am trying to actually respond to my e-mails. I read your question and then spent a day on mushrooms and really mulled it over. Here are some revelations I had:

  • You should move! Around! A lot! Fresh scenery, fresh ideas, new potential friends who will let you use their showers.
  • Sometimes you think you know what you are getting into (Jeremy’s weed) but it was something you weren’t expecting (angel dust). Just because you like the job here doesn’t mean you will like it there, especially if Jeremy had anything to do with it!
  • What IS a job?
  • What IS a home anyway?
  • Do you have a home? Does it have a shower? Can I crash tonight?

Advice from the Day Your Freshman Roommate Gave You a Preppy Makeover: Look, everything is uncomfortable. Everything. It’s weird to see yourself from this new perspective, but why have you been so afraid of contouring your cheekbones? You actually do have a nice coloring to be wearing shades of pink. Now I can’t remember what you were even scared of.

Stop being scared! OH JESUS CHRIST you just spilled coffee on Molly’s blouse and it cost more than all your books this semester. Um, maybe do whatever is less expensive.

Advice from your Painfully Hip Emo Phase: Tell that stupid job that they can’t rip you out of your life! How insensitive! Quit!

But also, move if that’s what you want deep down in your heart. Don’t even say goodbye to anyone, just disappear like the frail ghost of whatever love interest Jesse Lacey is writing about these days. Like a wisp of cigarette smoke, you’re gone.

Whatever you choose, you definitely don’t want to look like you care. I mean, of course you don’t. But the only thing worse than caring would be to actually look like you care.

Advice from Your Semester Abroad: I mean, try it, right? We are here for such a short time, and then it’s gone. Like, really, what is there to lose? Try to find a new job! Or try moving. Try both! Liquor is so cheap here!

Advice from Your Soul-Crushing Internship: Just breathe. No one is happy about this. I think you can endure it. Don’t speak up, things are bad now but how humiliating will it be to have it blow up with drama? To be marked as a trouble-maker? No thank you, just cope with it. Did you know that you can cry in your car before you even walk into the building?

Move. You can definitely get through packing up your stuff and selling what you don’t need and renting a U-Haul and—no, not crying, just allergies.

Actually, what I meant to say (I’m so stupid) is that it’s time to look for another job. You can ask your references to be discreet and then polish that resume and just get yourself out there and, whoa, my heart is beating really fast!

I can’t make a decision because I am SO TIRED all the time but I am sure it will work out! Also, everything ends and nothing matters!

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