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Advice from a former actress

18 April 2012

I just read an article about Mara Wilson (better known as the girl who played Matilda) and it gave a link to a blog that she writes. Her most recent blog post is a list of advice and wisdom she tries to live her life by. These four stood out to me:

7. When someone says “I’m not good for you” or “I’ll only break your heart” or “I’m afraid I’ll hurt you,” they are telling the truth. You cannot and will not change them or save them. Run.

This one struck me because it is ABOUT me. I am the one who says “I’m afraid I’ll hurt you” — or at least, I will be the next time I begin a relationship. Does this mean I am doomed to always end up hurting the people I love?

9. If you like someone, be honest about your intentions. While relationships CAN grow out of friendships, it’s not right to try to make friends with them solely to take advantage at a later point: that’s both sleazy and manipulative. You don’t have to say it outright, but make it clear you like them. If they don’t feel the same way, it will hurt, but you will live. I promise.

I should take this advice.

6. Writer’s Block does not exist. Ideas come from everywhere. There’s a saying (attributed to Isaac Asimov) that most scientific achievements start not with a “Eureka!” but with a “That’s odd…” This applies to writing, too. Think of what you notice that others don’t, and go from there. What is stopping you is not lack of inspiration, but lack of trust in your abilities.

I agree, and for the past moremonthsthanIwanttocount, my trust in my abilities has been lacking. Let’s change that.

2. There is something interesting in everything as long as you are willing to look for it. And often, it’s someone else that can show this to you. I thought fashion was frivolous until I lived with a fashion designer and saw just how much craftsmanship goes into each piece. I thought football was dull until someone told me to think of it like choreography. Allow yourself to be wowed.

YES–and this is something I try to live by, too.

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