Auntie Says: Let’s have a chat

New columnist Auntie Says doesn’t shy away from difficult discussions

I became an auntie at the ripe old age of four and now have 47 nieces and nephews.

I’ve forged out and experienced relationships with young people for many years and don’t shy away from difficult discussions. I don’t hesitate to ask the hard questions, tell it like I see it, or assist in finding a solution. Auntie Says is about the exploration of everyday issues, a controversial topic, or the proverbial elephant in the room.

To see young people floundering without direction or a dose of common sense can drive me crazy because I see their potential and the situational temporariness of their angst. I want to encourage them to move forward and strive for their best. I was lucky, I had people in my corner when I was growing up. My first, and most influential, teachers in life were my three older sisters. Being the youngest girl, they’d sit me down and tell me about their boyfriends, their dreams, or teach me the ropes about how to be a smart, strong girl. The relationships with my sisters were really indicative of the auntie/niece relationship as they all mentored me in their own right. It was the confidence and love instilled from them that allowed me to grow into the auntie that I am today.

I’m the cool auntie. I’m also the common sense — what the heck are you doing? — auntie. I’ve always jumped in with both feet to chat about the world, and how it’s affecting their lives and relationships. I believe we have the power within us to learn our lessons and make the choices that are right for all involved.

You may ask why any of this matters — can’t I just ask my parents for advice? Or, how about my best friend? My answer is a resounding yes. Yes. Yes. Ask the questions. Seek out the answers. That’s the whole point. Issues need to be discussed, but sometimes parents and friends can only take you so far.

There are pivotal times in life when you may need someone, other than a parent or peer, to talk to. You may find this in a teacher, or pastor. Sometimes their roles may be limited by professional restrictions, but they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. To have a mentor that doesn’t judge, doesn’t tattle, doesn’t put you down, has such far-reaching positive affects in life and really is a gift. I had this with my sisters, and with my many nieces and nephews, and now I want to share my wisdom, common sense and no-nonsense advice with you.

Auntie Says is not about sugar-coating the issues or placating the masses, it’s about reality. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea and you may disagree with me, and that’s OK because it means some critical thinking and discussion can occur. I want to look at love, finances, mental health and other everyday issues you’re facing all from the perspective of an auntie, someone who cares and really wants the best for you.

It has been said that life happens when you’re not watching. I see many young people whose worlds are spinning so fast with commitments and expectations that perspective of priority is lost. This hampers not only direction, but motivation as well. Let’s look at the topics facing young people that somehow seem to slip by without much notice.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan and can be reached at faye.arcand@icloud.com.

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