Agony Aunt Ali’s advice

At a time when we are being given lots of advice about things we should and shouldn’t do, from “washing your hands for the obligatory 20 seconds” to “keeping the safe two metre distance”, I’ve decided to write about some of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given over my 31 and a bit years.

The first of which comes from my very good, and very wise, friend Ben Franklin. Now, I could write a whole book on the amount of advice Ben has given me, but rather than run through every lifesaving WhatsApp he’s sent me, I’ll stick to one about dealing with anger that sticks out.

I’d just celebrated my 27th birthday with what would should have been a fun girly trip to Brighton. Unfortunately, the trip took a sour turn when I fell out with my eldest sister in a restaurant over a request for a condiment. She thought I was being bratty, I thought she was being rude and basically we ended up having a big argument and didn’t talk for the rest of the weekend.

When we returned we continued not to talk for two days which doesn’t sound like much, but for Hebbo sisters, it was a lifetime. I remember feeling physically sick that I couldn’t talk to my sister and so sad that we weren’t friends. Yet, as much as I wanted the sadness to be over, I couldn’t get over the anger I felt that she had ruined my birthday weekend over something as silly as sauce! I couldn’t talk to my mum like I would with normal problems as it was a sibling issue so she had to be as neutral as Sweden. Poor Lauren was more in the middle than the archetypal piggy. I’d never felt more alone until I got the wise words from Ben.

Ben, a fellow lover of birthdays and attention, totally understood why I was so angry. He also knew, as much as I bitch, how important my sisters are to me so how much pain I was in. And he explained that while I was totally within my right to feel angry, holding on to anger is like holding on to coal, so you’re only burning yourself in the long run. If I let go of it and forgive Gina I would be able to move on and be happier. He also said what would Beyoncé do if Solange had done the same. She wouldn’t stay around moping.

So, now whenever I feel angry about something, I always remember that while it maybe hard to let it go, in the long run you’re just burning yourself. Also, if in doubt, what would Beyoncé do.

Sticking with the sister theme, the second bit of great advice from my lovely sister Lauren. Now this refers to relationships (anyone that has read my blog knows I need as much help as I can get there!)

So, for most of my twenties I was single longing for the day I’d meet Mr. Right. Then on one cold January my dreams came true and I met him (Aka Mr Burnett) don’t worry I won’t bore you with this gushing love story yet again (you can read that here) like most romances the first year was filled with dates, gifts and fun trips away. I say most romances, I think Stu did take this to another level with Pandora on the third date, 5* Barcelona for my 30th, not to mention an actual figurine of Hans Moleman on our first date!!!

Shortly after we were engaged we then entered the next stage of our relationship as we set about buying our house. Again, I won’t bore you again with this rollercoaster ride of a story but if you want all the gory details you can read it here. Now, this was amazing on so many levels as we truly felt like a family, we could finally wake up with each other everyday, we didn’t have to say goodbye at the end of the weekends and we were starting our Burnett home.

However…it was also the start of the other side of the relationship. Anyone who has gone from dating to living together will know that these are two very different things. Suddenly our conversations were around cleaning, pink had been replaced with Portsmouth football club and finding me time was a mystery. But when I had any negative thoughts about the house or wanting me time, I instantly felt guilty because this is what I had wanted for so long, how can I moan about it…that was until I went for a walk with my lovely sister.

Lauren, married, with a two year old, in a very long term relationship, explained, love isn’t the person you always want to be with, it’s the person you can’t be without. She then went on to say all the things that drive her crazy about her husband that made me feel a lot better. And this is so true! While Stu and I can definitely drive each other crazy ( okay crazier) there is no one person that I would want to be driving me crazy and I don’t for a second take for granted how lucky I am to have him in my life.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least we’ve got ALL the advice from Mum. Like Ben, mum pretty much gives me amazing advice every day and needs to write a book “Mamma Hebbo’s handy tips” but here are just a few of the top ones that get me through daily life-

Always wear sunglasses and moisturise daily-

Mum is clear example of this amazing advice has she has the best skin and could easily pass for ten to twenty years younger than her actual age.

Work smart not hard – it’s a bit horrible, but she always tells me to think about the horse in Animal Farm if I’m over doing it.

If you get a compliment accept it and thank the person – this is so hard to do because your first reaction is to poo poo it and be like “oh it’s just from Primark” or “oh no it’s rubbish” but by doing this you’re actually insulting the person that gave it to you.

When you’re cooking remember timing and good ingredients – as the salt dough and dinner date disasters show, I’m still yet to master this one, but it’s good advice when you follow it.

On holiday remember layers- this is v good advice and as my mum has been on loads of holidays, including ones where she has to pack all her clothes in a backpack she is an expert packer!

I’ll stop there but I hope that if you’ve taken the time to read this you’ll find some of this advice as useful as I’ve found it over the years. And one last bit of advice from me to get you through this crazy time , whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re thinking, however much you achieve, don’t be so hard on yourself – actually I think that might have been Jess Glynne’s advice.

2 thoughts on “Agony Aunt Ali’s advice

  1. I enjoyed reading this you hit the nail on the head about anger and forgiveness – love your Mum xxxx

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