January 31, 2012

Blinded by Lack of Light

Sometimes people get lost. Not in the where am I? Google Maps sense, more like in a where do I fit? Google Zeitgeist scale.

Giving advise to lost people is great. They are already lost, so basically anything mildly coherent you put together would make a lot sense. Clichés come in very handy: early bird always gets the worm, don’t count your chickens until they hatch, it’s always darkest just before the dawn and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, all can sound helpful.

Or better yet, share your own lost story and explain how you found your way. Do leave out any self-doubt experienced and any possibility that you really didn’t arrive at the destination you wanted —these details never help.

When one is lost, strong statements full of confidence are very encouraging. Usually, asking for more details on your self-analysis of lostness is appropriate, although it rarely affects the upcoming feedback.

As a lost person, you may get blank stares from those around you, meaning they don’t understand why you think you are lost. My recommendation, get new friends.

Aw crap! See what I did there? Somebody is going to read this feeling vulnerable, and at least entertain the notion that new friends are needed. Maybe you are a drama queen and your friends just want you to get on with your life. We are just trying not to encourage all that crazy talk and thoughts. Sound familiar? But seriously, a little empathy wouldn’t kill them, no? Ok, ok, sorry again.

Funny thing is, sometimes people don’t want directions. You know they are lost. You can see it on their faces, with vague short-term statements, silence when they would usually jump at some point, and lots of posts on Facebook.

Trying to use a cliché on them can backfire with some of their own: sometimes the journey is the destination, or would shut the fuck up and let me eat my burger in peace?. The latter can be awkward if you just wanted some ketchup, but I warned you.

There is, as you may already guessed, and as you will now know for sure, no real point to this post. For that I apologize. But you see, lost people quickly realize how hard it is to give good advice. Or so I’ve been told.


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Reading Along the Way Before moving to Norway, my pal @FedericoA gave me a book called Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson. Although hardly my style of novel, it was