“So what’s your blog about?”
I hate when real adults ask me this. Especially after I let two f-bombs slip while children—their children—are present.
Danika cut in and played translator. “It’s kind of about her life!” she said, “And stuff we all think about. And the advice she gets—“
“—And may or may not follow,” I finished. A nice way of saying, I write about fucking up.
I was standing in the most gorgeous home I’ve seen in recent history. Danika was leaning against the wall putting her Converse back on, and Saidie, the ten-year old we took out for burgers that night, was trying to pick up her full-grown black lab like a baby.
“Sadie…Sadie…you’re not doing that dog any favors,” her dad said.
Turning back to me, Sadie’s mom kept going. “Oh, like how we’re supposed to wake up early and not drink coffee and write in a gratitude journal and meditate for five minutes a day, when really it’s like can’t we just all call it a win when we’re out of the house by 9AM and actually be on time for work?”
Um. Exactly like that. Actually.
I stared at this woman—who appeared in better shape than I, living in a home I could only dream of—and thought, you look like you do every last thing on that list.
As if she read my thoughts, she said, “Listen, ex-health coach here. And if there’s one thing I believe, it’s this: There is no new advice. Everyone knows how to lose weight. Everyone knows how to be productive in the morning. Everyone knows how to eat healthy. Whether or not you DO it, is another story.”
We have exhausted almost every piece of advice. Ever.
We’re not learning anything new over here. I know I’m not supposed to park illegally or eat French fries past 9PM, but LOOK WHERE WE ARE.
I know I should wash my face before bedtime, but I constantly sleep with my makeup on. I know I should plan my day the night before, which I’ve done ONE time ever. I know I shouldn’t eat dairy, but nachos are delicious.
There are studies to show I should write with pen and paper instead of a laptop. Research shows I should have done HIIT circuits instead of running for sixteen years. Hell, almost every Google search ever all but proves I should have given myself cancer from drinking out of plastic water bottles for a decade.
We already know how to be productive, healthy, rich, happy humans.
But even though we could all author our own self-help book, it doesn’t mean we follow a single piece of advice.
Since we are all expert advice givers, there is no reason why we aren’t perfect human beings. But we’re not. We gain weight. We fall out of shape. We forget our passwords. We cry alone in conference rooms because we don’t think we can hack it.
There is no new advice.
Every article we read on Forbes is more the same of every article we’ve read before. Every new business or self-help book is a different title with the same content.
We’ve heard all of it. How to budget, how be productive, how to be active. I can’t remember the last time I read an advice column and thought, “I never thought of that,” because we’ve heard it all before. None of it surprises me.
But you know what does?
It surprises me when a ridiculously-fit mom of two, who happens to be an ex-health coach, tells me she rushes out of the house each morning.
It surprises me—shocks the hell out of me, actually—when you ask someone advice anticipating an answer, and they say the complete opposite. They don’t follow a guidebook in every area of their life. They don’t do it all. They ask for help when they need it, cut corners when they have to, and make mistakes (and make up for them later) just like the rest of us.
Allow me to tell you a few stories that DO still manage to shock the hell out of me.
It shocks the hell out of me every time my friend Katie, a personal trainer, Cut Seven coach, with shredded abs, asks me to go grab a beer after we JUST worked out.
It shocked the hell out of me when my friend Meg, a holistic nutritionist who WROTE the very Paleo/keto cookbook I photographed, bought farm-raised salmon at Trader Joes. [To which she responded, “Are you kidding me, Kara? I live in CANADA.”]
It shocked me when my old boss Hayley, Co-founder of Primal Palate—who built a social following surpassing a quarter of a million followers with her husband Bill—told me, “I’m a procrastinator. ’”
It shocks me each and every time I witness someone—someone I think has all the answers—do the exact opposite of what the world tells us is right.
Because we FUCK-UP. Or maybe we really love just falling into bed instead of meditating, face-masking, five-minute-journaling, yoga-ing, and flossing before we close our eyes.
Do you even realize just HOW EARLY we would have to turn in to accomplish EVERYTHING we’re “supposed” to do before bed? Good Lord going to bed shouldn’t give us a whole other to-do list when the day is OVER.
You know every piece of advice that could ever be given to you. Learn that is ok to not follow it. Because you are human. And you have twenty-four hours each day. And every other person—no matter how together they may seem on the surface—will at one point rush out their front door, just like you.
Now go back to what you were doing.
Kara – I enjoyed reading this entry. So refreshing and a good reminder to all. Thanks for the transparency