The Best & Worst Advice I've Ever Received
One of the things that I love most about my sport is the variety in opinion. You get a glimpse of every possible end and corner of the spectrum–even the tiniest and darkest edges. It’s amazing. I get to connect with both genders and understand their perspectives.
The best advice I’ve ever received came from a friend four or five years ago. We grew up swimming together…meaning I would see him every day, if not twice a day.
I can’t say that I remember exactly the scenario, but I can tell you that the advice he delivered has resonated with me for the past 4-5 years, and probably will for the rest of my life. It is career advice. It is relationship advice. And it is life advice.
So what did he say?
“You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Just worry about yourself and do your own thing.”
Before then, that thought hadn’t really crossed my mind. We grow up in a world that naturally conforms you to ideals, and when we’re young, we’re so unaware of this. My friend’s words were the first time that I had actually reflected upon it. He made it seem so simple in such a complicated world. And I really liked that.
The worst advice I’ve ever received came at a time when I wasn’t entirely sure of what I wanted to do in terms of my career. Ever since sixth grade when my mom took me shopping at the beginning of middle school, and gave me a makeover to revamp my wardrobe, I’ve been absolutely fascinated and passionate about the fashion industry.
When I was in sixth grade, I told my parents I wanted to be a thoracic surgeon….but deep down (like every other middle schooler), I wanted to be on Disney Channel. (About a year later, I realized that totally wasn’t for me;) ) I really wanted to do acting and start a YouTube channel because I thought that would be a good way for me to get out there and get going….but I wasn’t allowed to.
Yes, my parents were right. It wasn’t, and it’s still not safe to put yourself on the internet. But since I was in middle school and thought I knew everything, I was infuriated. I took it the wrong way.
I saw it as, “Don’t put yourself out there.”
That’s why I stuck to my original plan of wanting to be a surgeon, until I got to high school and decided I wanted to be an attorney like my dad. Let me tell you…that was short lived.
I got to high school, and even during freshmen year adults kept asking me what I wanted to do with my life. I told them I was planning on studying pre-law. During college fairs at school, I would mark my interest in “pre-law.”
For two years, I pretended I wanted to study something that I wasn’t deeply interested in. I think at some point I was trying to convince myself that it was what I wanted–a stable job.
So then I kind of brought up the idea of pursuing fashion again to my parents, who were both hesitant just because it was new territory.
After some convincing, I finally was able to declare studying business and fashion my plan.
I think that my ‘worst’ advice, wasn’t actually that bad. It came from concerned loved ones who put my safety as a priority, and I misinterpreted it….because let me tell you–I will always put myself out there.