What's my problem, N'3lvra?

Dear N’3lvra

I have a lot of problems, but what I’m writing to you about today is this: I have written a long, boring, political diatribe to an advice column on a blog that isn’t about that. I pretend I’m writing for advice, but in fact, I discover that I’ve written a 4,459 word diatribe about proposed legislation that doesn’t even affect me, because I don’t even live in that state. I know! Count the words, I am not exaggerating. The problem, I guess, is that I write as if I have a question, when in fact, I just want a platform for my political views. What should I do?

Lonestar N.

Dear Lonestar,

Thankfully, you reined yourself in, sparing me the unpleasant task of taking a long political message and reforming it into an actual question. (Oh wait, you didn’t do that? Sheesh. Did it this time, Lonestar, but that’s the last time.)

Maybe you’ve never read an actual advice column before, but here’s how it goes: people write with their own personal problems, like, “I have a co-worker who chews loudly all day,” or, in one particular case, “I have a co-worker who insists that he’s an ambassador to the aliens, and wants me to know that if I stick with him, when the invasion happens and I’m offered the choice of becoming food or a slave, I’ll get my top choice. Which is food, but somehow, that was unacceptable to said co-worker, who insists I select slave.” The little story always ends with a question, like, “how do I get my first choice of being food without insulting the ambassador?”

Other people read advice columns because of the broad appeal; see, everyone, when it comes down to it, has the same problems, Lonestar. All over the land today, people are facing the pushy alien ambassador at the “water cooler”, (and I’m using quotes because no one has ever, in the history of cubicles, gathered around a water cooler.) My point, Lonestar, is that I have about two readers, and they don’t come here for rancor. We don’t know why they come here, in fact, but surely not for that.

So try this on for a real problem: you’ve been through a lot, and it’s left you sad and angry. You’ve grabbed the angry thread and you’re following it all over the land.

Grief leaks out in our lives in all kinds of bad ways. Sit down and actually be sad for a bit, and then get up and try to be a little more joyful. Find the best cupcake in your area. Go look at some water, like an ocean.  Take a walk. Stop joining angry causes, and see if you can laugh three times today. That's a low bar, but I think you can do it, Lonestar.


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