Dear Adviser, Two months ago my boyfriend proposed to me. Initially I was so excited about getting married and starting our life together. Since then I started planning our wedding and the whole thing gives me a headache. No one in our families can agree on anything. Everyone is already fighting about costs, location, invitees. Part of me feels like I should just go off and elope and forget the whole thing but I feel like I owe it to my family to have a nice ceremony. What should I do?
Dear Intelligent Advice, My new year’s resolution was to get more into positive thinking and mindfulness as an attempt to live my best life. I recently attended a seminar on challenging negativity and one of the key ideas is that if you put out positive energy into the universe it will come back to you. I try to practise positive visualisation every day; imagining myself being successful and happy – but the problem is my shitty job and bad relationships haven’t changed, and the daily minutia and drudgery of my existence continues to depress me. Yesterday, my power got cut off because I couldn’t pay my electricity bill, despite the fact that I’ve been channelling good vibes and trying to look on the bright side of life. What am I doing wrong? How can I end this cycle of negativity and become a more positive, spiritually enlightened person?
Dear Intelligent Advice, I am a single mom and my two kids won’t stop fighting each other and share things. I try and explain why they should to them but sometimes, after a long day’s work, I lose my temper and just yell at them that they have to share or I’m gonna get mad. Am I a bad parent?
Dear Intelligent Advice, I am a coward. I am afraid of practically everything. I am 24 years old and the list of things I have never done and probably never will is exhaustive: Driven a car, slept with a woman, travelled alone, been drunk, initiated a conversation, gone to a party, flown in an airplane. I live everyday in fear and anxiety knowing I will never be normal or operate the same as so called “normal” people. Math is the only thing I understand and feel comfortable with and I spend my days working on a phD in mathematics. It is rewarding but I spend my time alone and miserable knowing I will never experience most of the spectrum of human life. The other night one of my colleagues literally dragged me with him to a bar. I stood awkwardly by myself while he drank and tried to pick up chicks. At one point I went to the restroom - mostly just to be alone. There I saw a man clearly tripping on drugs and having what looked like a great time. Now I fear that behind every narrow door is a man in a red woolen shirt getting incredible kicks from things I’ll never know!
Dear Intelligent Advice, I understand that déjà vu is a common enough phenomena that is experienced by everyone at some point in their lives but lately I have been experiencing it almost every day. The minutiae of my life seems to be repeating over and over again. I can no longer tell what is a genuine experience and what is just a cheap knock off in my memory. Is there something deeper at play here?
Dear Adviser, What with summer coming up, I've been dropping a fair bit of acid recently. Whilst this is obviously super bomb, I feel like a lot of weird shit has been happening to me, like, my room sometimes shrinks like I’m in Alice in Wonderland, you know, when she has the EAT ME cake… and my clothes have been taking on a life of their own and dancing towards me. I’m starting to trip out when I’m doing other stuff too, like when I’m just walking in the park or at work, and it’s getting a big difficult to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. Do you think I should stop with the LSD all the time or will these hallucinations eventually sort themselves out?
Dear Adviser, I am a 34-year-old woman and I have never orgasmed while having sex with a man. I have on my own, just never during intercourse. Is there something wrong with me? Is there something I can do to fix it?
Dear Adviser, I am 27 years old and I have done nothing with my life. This is not me being humble or over exaggerating. Despite all of my plans to be a great writer, comedian or filmmaker I have made 0 strides in any of these endeavors and instead have worked the same mindless job waiting tables for the past 5 years. It’s enough money to get by and pay rent but not for much else. I am considering giving up on my impossible and unprofitable creative pursuits to get an MBA, sell my soul to the man and at least make decent money if I can’t make art. But I feel like I am giving up on my identity or conception of myself. What should I do?
Dear Intelligent Advice, There’s been a lot of talk at the moment about women ‘having it all’; ‘it all’ meaning a career, a husband and family. I’m a 38 year old woman who is also a successful partner in a law firm, and recently my boyfriend proposed to me. We both really want to have children quite soon, and I’m starting to think – will I be stretched too thin as a lawyer and a mom? Should I quit my job, or can women really ‘have it all’?