May I offer you some unsolicited advice?

No. No you may not.

The very nature of your question includes the answer. Unsolicited. You knew before you began that I wasn’t seeking your counsel. What comes next is not an effort in my best interest, it is a pageant of self-righteousness. It’s the selfish unloading of a personal opinion rooted neither in context nor in fact. Every day, I am appalled by the amount of knowledge a bystander thinks they have amassed on my life through observation. The truth is seldom so apparent. And so I have no need for the advice you formed under flawed conditions. My life is complicated enough without a jury of strangers scoring my every move.

It’s quite concerning, this predilection for unkindness that so many people are prone to. You would think, in moments of weakness when you are standing with your hands outstretched, that others wouldn’t take it as an opportunity to lash your knuckles with a ruler, and you would be wrong. As far as some people are concerned, their consideration only extends to the two dimensional limits of their eye line. They neither try nor are interested in seeing more.

The irony of the canyon that separates us laughs humorlessly in my face; that I would adjust my perspective to find understanding in something I find unfathomable. I’d find gratefulness to not be in your position, empathy for the long toiled journey that brought you to this place. I wouldn’t release held branches to batter your face or obscure your path. I wouldn’t torment you from greener pastures as you slog through your proscribed marshlands. And so my tender heart wonders why you would harangue me so. If you see someone building a future with hard fought lumber, don’t cast stones through their windows. Shine a light.

But it’s also long been known that I need to toughen up. Allow some of my injuries to produce scar tissue. Grow callouses over the soft parts of me that are often rubbed raw. And it’s long since been true that I can have a good heart and in good faith still tell people to fuck off.

And so, from my marshlands, I venture forth because the sun shines down on me. The heavens smile as I move forward. The way has been clear since I’ve chosen to take it. Despite the protestations of an unfriendly peanut gallery, the powers that be, the ones that have seen this multifaceted situation from every angle at which it gleams, have confirmed my intentions to be of noble cause.

So you ask me if you may offer some unsolicited advice, and my answer is a resounding no. No, you may absolutely not. But what you can do is kiss my ass.

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