I'm a little crazy.
A quality which I hope helps in my role as 'Dear Jess', an advice column in Sunday Life magazine in Fairfax news papers. As you know my dears, I'm proud of being a crap housewife and crazy cat lady! Even my solid, RM William boot wearing wonderful husband who is endlessly supportive of me and my chaotic choices has admitted that I'm getting more eccentric each year.
Pink hair, wearing pj's to school pick up, taking singing lessons, laughing louder and moonlighting in pantomimes have been some of my personal highlights in the past six years. Since entering my forties I have become more adventurous and brave- and I love it!
Even though I've changed in the way I approach life, it is calming to know that some things haven't changed over the past forty six years. One constant in my life has been the brilliant bluntness of my mother. She frequently tells me, 'to stop making that stupid face with your mouth wide open' in photos. Mum isn't a fan of my hair when it's coloured platinum and has no hesitation explaining how it looks too harsh.
So it's no surprise that she has weighed into my latest incarnation as a weekly advice columnist. 'Jessica, I should be doing that!' says Mum, while we debrief the week over takeaway coffee and chocolate covered and jam filled shortbread biscuits. And yes- my mother, who is a writer, would be an amazing advice columnist, she is wise, witty and has triumphed over much in her life. 'You're not qualified to give out advice. What if you give someone the wrong advice? What if you make a mistake?'
"Mum and I looking fancy on our book cover!"
She's right in the way that mums often are- I don't have professional counselling qualifications. I am no expert but I'm an expert at having my heart broken, making dumb choices, drinking too much, not returning phone calls and emails. I'd also like to think I'm loyal, brave, young at heart, kind and enthusiastic. I've also had regular appointments with counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists over the years.
Not for a moment would I delude myself into telling you that I will always have the 'right answer' for you. Often I don't have the right answer for myself, let alone anyone else. I especially love this quote from the famous feminist writer Erica Jong that goes along the lines of, 'advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.'
Although my answer might not be the one you want to hear, I promise to always listen with an open heart. (you can send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org ) I won't trifle with your problems and I'll try my hardest to give you my best self. Sometimes all we need is someone to hold our hand and someone to listen to us. Bravery, courage, kindness and sprinklings of fairy dust live in us all. No one is perfect, we're all glorious, messy creatures. And we are enough.