I spent much of my life following one piece of advice, only to figure out that it needed some updating.
Part 1: The First Piece of Advice I Received Was Incomplete
One night I was in trouble with my parents, for showering with the neighbor kid or something like that. I had an endless capacity for mischief back then. My father was reprimanding me, saying: “Grow up. Make more adult choices.”
And I responded, “I don’t want to grow up. Being an adult is hard.”
Though angry and dumbfounded by my latest transgression, my father’s curiosity got the better of him and he asked me why I thought this.
I said, “Adults have to work to earn money to support themselves. What if I can’t figure out how to make money?”
“Earning a living is easy,” replied my father, a bit put out. “When the time comes, you’ll know what to do.”
When the time comes, you’ll know what to do.
This had a calming effect on me. He made it sound simple, like adulting was as easy as learning to ride a bike. It appears daunting, but then one day you just do it and it’s like you’ve been riding a bike your whole life.
I can’t say I never again worried about earning a living or supporting myself, but his advice led to the conviction that I wouldn’t faceplant.
Part 2: The Worryweaver