"If I were you, I would do this…"
While this type of advice often comes from a genuine place, it can often be misguided wisdom especially when the person isn't privy to every detail pertaining to the situation.
On a recent episode of Love Is__ (one of my favorite shows on the OWN Network), "Angela" is adamant about the fact that "Nuri" shouldn't call "Yasir" in light of all that has transpired. Angela believes he's still living with his so-called girlfriend, and that he's not being truthful about his situation. For her, this is more than enough for Nuri to call it quits with Yasir.
However, unbeknownst to Angela, it's clear to Yasir and Nuri that they're destined to be together…and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters. While Nuri respects and appreciates Angela's insight and her friendship, she feels differently and is willing to take a risk despite how different and unexpected their lives seem to be at this point. Neither her, or Yasir, are willing to let this rough patch ruin what will ultimately be a lasting love story.
Shows like Love is__, Black Love Doc, and even Insecure (just to name a few of my favorites) are friendly reminders that even though your close family and friends may have the best intentions for you, they won't always know what's best for you. When it comes to making decisions in your life, there are times when you'll need to consult your family and friends, but there will also be times when you will have to trust your gut and rely on your inner spirit and intuition.
Hence, choose wisely who and when you seek advice from when it comes to these certain areas of your life:
Making Relationship Decisions
Contrary to popular belief, no two relationships are ever identical because all of us are different. Even though I've noticed many similarities between Yasir and Nuri's story and my own personal love story, there are still some significant differences between the two relationships. Not to mention the fact that it's a television show (even though it is loosely based on the true love story of acclaimed show creators and producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil).
Nevertheless, what might have worked for someone else's relationship may not necessarily work for your relationship, let alone even apply to your relationship. Many people make the mistake of trying to emulate their relationship experiences after what they see on Instagram, television, in the movies, or even in real life.
They fail to realize that love is possible in so many ways, and not every relationship will be the same.
For instance, some would venture to say that you can't meet the love of your life at the club, but I can't say that when the reality is that my husband and I met at the club. Is that rare? Probably. But was it possible? Obviously, since the rest is history. Plus, I know couples who met at church, the grocery store, on vacation, and I know couples who even met online.
I know couples who dated for 10 years then got married, and I know couples who got married after only dating for six months. I know couples who have children, couples who want children, and couples who don't want kids at all. At the end of the day, we're doing this love and marriage thing in different ways, but the commonality is that we're all doing what works best for us. The same should apply to your relationships.
Don't put love in a box. Trust the journey and trust God's timing. Besides, true love has a way of showing up packaged differently or arriving sooner or later than you expected…but when it arrives, it will be exactly what you want and need.
Making Career Moves
Some people may not understand you, or even believe you, when you tell them you're: starting a side-hustle, quitting your job, going back to school, starting a business, starting a blog, or you're changing careers. Truthfully speaking, your willingness to step out of your comfort zone can make others feel uncomfortable. Some people don't want to see you change because they're committed to remaining the same. Other times, people will unknowingly project their personal fears onto you and cause you to question your decision because they may not be as willing to step out on faith and take a risk.
All of us have different dreams, goals, and aspirations, which will ultimately lead us down different paths. Some people follow their passion, while others will follow the paycheck (or both). Some people stay dreaming, while others wake up and turn their dreams into reality.
Just like with our senses, everyone's vision isn't the same – literally and figuratively. So, some people will see the vision, while others might not see what you see, but don't let that keep you stagnant. It could very well be a sign that should move in silence anyway.
It's up to you – you can do what everyone else thinks or is used to seeing you do, or you can strive to do the very thing you know you've been called to do.
Making Geographical Moves
It's one thing to feel sad about someone moving away to another city, state, or even another country, but some people will make you feel so bad that they will convince you to stay merely for their own selfish reasons.
For many people, moving to a new place can be the perfect transition to help jumpstart a new chapter in life. Traveling and experiencing new places provides the opportunity to experience and see new things. It opens your eyes and imagination to more.
For me personally, my move to Atlanta wasn't just what I needed at that time in my life because of what I was going through, but it helped shift my mindset completely. Being that I was a small city girl from Lexington, Kentucky (I love my hometown), Atlanta was where I saw more people who looked like me and where I saw more opportunity.
Atlanta helped me to see myself as a proud, unapologetic, black, professional, and successful woman – a "go-getter" (or goal digger as I like to call it).
Even when I moved, I understood then that everyone wasn't going to get it, which is why I didn't consult a lot of people about the move. Only a few people knew about my plans because I didn't want to risk someone trying to discourage me or overwhelm me with the "what ifs" about something that I knew was the right decision for my life.
You don't have to get others to affirm what God has already confirmed, especially if it's not hurtful or harmful to you or anyone else. Remember, just because someone knows you, doesn't mean they know what's best for you.