"More than you wanted to know" kierk1's Profile

The basics

I'm now living in Rome Georgia since July 2012. I'm originally from Savannah Georgia but just finished living in Northern Ireland for 16 years. Now I'm back home to see what life awaits me here. I am working part time now and traveling as much as I can. The kids are grown and scattered, as kids do, to L.A., Toronto and Wales (of all places!). Hope to be more active in VT now!

Greetings from Ireland

Wisdom from Virtual Tourists

I posted the question below on VT's Misc. Forum a few years ago and was both surprised and pleased at the kind and helpful responses. This was when my daughter was heading out to Hollywood California to seek fame and fortune and I was one worried papa.
I thought I'd update you briefly on events as of November 2008.
She is still living there and still auditioning. She has gotten a number of call backs but no acting work yet. (The writer's strike didn't really help!)She's working in a restaurant trying to make ends meet but the bottom line is that she is having the time of her life. When you tell your kids all their lives to follow their dreams, well you can't really discourage them later can you?
I did give her all the comments listed below and she was really touched and appreciated them.
So here is the original version...

...Someone said these comments should be kept, and shared and so, here they are!
I hope you don't mind but I deleted the names. (Would take me forever to get everyone's permission!)

And thanks to everyone who contributed!

The Collective Wisdom of VT's on a Young Woman Leaving Home

Q: Calling on the collective wisdom of all Virtual Tourists
Posted: Wed October 04 16:08:42 2006 BST
My daughter will soon be 18 and I have been trying to help her prepare for living away from home. We've dealt with things like money, credit cards, jobs, and cooking. What tips do you have that I could share with her? Any things you wish you had known before you left home? Any bad experiences, or good ones, that you learned a lesson from? What scams, traps or tricks are out there?

Wished I had been told to see what I am looking at and to hear what I am listening to.
But do not ask me how to 'teach' this. Tried to explain to my son, hoping that he will not get too critical.
Good luck.

Car repair - my dad taught me what I should pay for car maintenance - oil change, new tires, tune-ups, etc. so I wouldn't get ripped off. He also told me that when I took my car in for a tune-up, give them a box to put the old parts in, which they were to return to me

This is such a bittersweet job isn't it?

Perhaps you could tell her that when she gets a pop up on her screen and she is the millionth person to get it and to ring this number and she will win a holiday - all she has to do is give her credit card details ...
perhaps you might tell her that there is no such thing as a free lunch. No way in hell is she the millionth person. Make her really suspicious.

I was so amazed when my daughter rang me to tell me she had won a holiday. I screamed at her to cancel her credit card. She was so annoyed. The bastards - she kept saying - the bastards.

I didn't have to know this sort of thing when I left home, but kids these days do.

Also flatmates never do their share of the housework
they never have, they never will

Ok let's give it a try:
what I had to learn was to question more, i.e. looking behind the curtain, reading in between the lines, asking about the character behind this sympathetic face a.s.o.
looking at beautiful things/offers and/or listening to nice charming words may prevent to question more about it, like: why am I the only fortunate/privileged etc.
Guess we all have to experience this attitude of judging by the years.

Part 2

No matter how much or how little you earn - always save 10%. Most people would be millionaires when they retired if they only did this...(do the math)...

Conversely, if anyone wants to loan you money, it's so that THEY can make money, not YOU.

Choose your friends carefully. Have a range of different ones to expand your horizon.

I am very serious about this one: Do NOT date actors.

Going to a nightclub ten nights in a row is not an accomplishment.

Eight girly drinks (Cosmopolitans, Sex on the Beach, etc.) per week @ $5 per drink costs you more than $2000 annually. That would be enough for a trip for two to Disneyland at Spring Break.

Summer courses at university are guaranteed to boost your GPA- they took me from a 2.75 to a 3.65! They're also more social because you see the same people every day. I would HIGHLY recommend taking summer courses AND trying to graduate early. Taking three, three and four summer courses will get you out of university one year earlier.

How about the biggies, drugs, sex, alcohol + driving & peer pressure? Always set a routine for contact, say every Sunday she telephones - that way if something is wrong u will know. Does she have any allergies, medication or health issues, make a copy or give a bracelet - just in case. Finally -tell her u will always be there for her - usually are given but make it clear to her!.
Scams, well there is the African one - get an email saying they have 10million US dollars that they wish to put into your account, he in Oz we also get a bank one asking to update profile & details, looks like the real thing – scary

Eating in is only cheaper than dining out when you know where to shop & how not to overspend or buy unnecessary groceries.

Don't be roomies with your best friend. Your best friend is something special, and you might encounter difficulties by being roomies that are hard to repair. I tried this, and was on a very early work schedule (getting up at 2 or 3 am), she was on a late schedule. I got really tired of telling her to please quiet down after 10. It took almost a year after we moved to different apartments before our friendship was back up to where it was. Talking to other friends, they usually say the same advice when choosing a roommate.I agree about roommates never doing their fair share. I learned that the hard way. One thing I would add to all of this is to be very careful about men. All women, even older ones, need to be really careful about who they let into their homes, and if you've just met someone, and don't know much about them, it's not a good idea to bring them home right away, especially if you've got no roommate there to look out for you. It seems obvious, but some many people I know, including me, have been caught up in the moment and not wanted to seem rude by refusing a man's request and later regretted it.

Always listen to the little voice in your head, tell her, and tell her not be afraid to seem rude. Self-respect is not rudeness.
I'm with that lot!

Be the one in control even if they throw a tizzy as its far better than regretting it.

Be financially aware and tell her you will NOT be able to help her out financially more than you already do.

Part 3

Do not fall for sob stories and take on others problems, as life will provide more than enough for her.

Do say NO and walk away if it calls for it.

Don't spend all your dosh on CD's - save some for food. Pay the landlord s/he will want to be paid

Eating in is never cheaper when someone else is paying for dinner. BTW - to actors add doctors

The last sentence:

No matter what happens, for whatever reason, under any circumstances, no matter what you fall into or feel the need to pursue.
You will always be welcomed back with open arms...no question asked

I wish I'd known that once you give a company access to withdraw money from your bank account they can keep doing it even if you've cancelled your contract & they're legally supposed to stop. The only way to stop them is to close the account and open up a new one. Happened to me with a fitness club & I never was able to recoup the extra three months of payments they took after I'd terminated my membership with them. Now I'm am incredibly wary of any company that will not let me pay in advance or month to month by check. If they insist on having access to my bank account... well, I just don't need their product bad enough to go through that again!

I don't know if she is moving far away from you or not, but we told our kids that if they ever had too much to drink and had their vehicle with them, not to drive but phone us -- night or day, and we would go pick them up, no strings attached.

The other thing we tried to preach -- Aids is a death sentence. Practice safe sex.

I would suggest you tell her to think long and hard about who her friends are, and that she works hard to keep them close, no matter the distance.

I always liked the mythical 'Vonnegut' speech on the Sunscreen track, the one that starts 'Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen.'

I'll not copy 'n paste it all, but you can read it at zillions of places, including here: http://www.ldb.org/vonnegut.htm

Something I learned: Disappointment is perfectly okay; giving up is never an option! And whenever you get bogged down with the negative remember that it will help you appreciate the positive. These have helped alot.

Nothing is for free; there is always an angle involved -sad but true, whether it be physical or psychological.

Part 4

I completely agree. She has to make her own mistakes and learn her own lessons; otherwise the lesson will never be properly learned...she'll just be doing as you tell her.

The best bit of advice that I could give you is let her make her own mistakes, especially when it comes to men. If she brings a guy home that you don’t approve of, don’t berate her about it, let it go, she will work it out eventually and dump the loser, especially if she has some up and go in her. Just make sure that she is safe, and is not being irresponsible in regards to safe sex. Get her mum to take her to the doctor for a script, just in case.

It will be a steep learning curve, just make sure you are there for her to cry if she needs toI completely agree. She has to make her own mistakes and learn her own lessons; otherwise the lesson will never be properly learned...she'll just be doing as you tell her.

You strike me as a wise and caring parent, and I'm sure you've instilled in your daughter a sense of right and wrong and she will have developed good instincts based on watching how you deal with life. Simply tell her to always trust her instincts...they will usually be right! You can be there for her and she will know that you are...but I don't think you should labour the point or make it too easy for her to rely on you.

It's time for her to find out for herself.

She is one tough, assertive young woman who has no problem putting me in my place! But her assertiveness, combined with the normal vicissitudes and attitudes of adolescence, can make her blind to various traps, tricks and pitfalls. Just like we all were (are). (Well, I was anyway!). She's already far smarter/worldly than I was at that age! I know we all have to make mistakes and learn from them, but maybe she could make just a few less! You all have been great in pointing out experiences and offering useful advice. Anyway, my bottom line is that I want her to be happy in whatever work she does. I always tell her that she's not in this world to live up to any expectations I might have. My wife and I have, I believe, done the best we can by our lights. Now it will be up to her. She won't be close by; she's going to America. We're thinking through her plans when we meet together each week. Thanks so much for your suggestions, which I'll pass on to her. It helps that they come from others and not me. Thanks, and keep them coming!

Ah...then it sounds like Socrates could be her best teacher...the only true wisdom consists of knowing that we know nothing ;) I think you are not doing yourself justice Gene. Your guidance as a parent has helped to become the confident person she is. Maybe get her to sign up to VT...then she'll always have the misc. forum to call on when she needs some advice ;)

She is welcome at our house anytime.

I would tell her to remember that doors close. Opportunities are not there forever. This applies to romance, career and fun.Failing to make a decision is a decision in itself. Choose your own career, boyfriend, etc, rather than letting them choose you.

Do not worry too much about what other people are thinking about you. Most of them are too busy worrying about what other people might think of them to think too much about you.

Have self-respect. Many people will be guided by your level of respect for yourself as an indication of how much respect you deserve.

Finally, I wish all young women knew that just because a man wants to have sex with you doesn't mean that he even likes you. Offering yourself up for sex is not a good way to make someone interested in you.

Part 5

We should write a book about this, you guys. Think of the people it would help: VT's Guide to the World for Young Travelers.

Self respect. That's a good point. If a young woman has self-respect, she's miles ahead of the rest of the women around her.

Self-respect is likely the most important thing of all.

Many women are short of self-respect and self-esteem. I should add something else to that:

If you have confidence and self-esteem, there are some types of men who will always find you threatening and try to belittle you. Accept that this goes with the territory and is their problem, not yours.
Especially when you're young. As you get older, you learn how to handle the bullies, but you have to get pushed around a bit first. Unfortunately,
When you are in your 20s, you know everything.

When you are in your 30s, you realise how little you know but that's OK.
When you're in your 50's not only do you not know anything, you don't even suspect anything!

When you're in your 60's you can't remember most of what you knew! ;)

Thanks everyone for these soul-searched and hard learned nuggets of wisdom!

  • Intro Updated Aug 5, 2012
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Comments (92)

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Hi Gene, thank you for your note and I wish that I could give you a positive reply but I had an accident in November which caused drs to replace my shoulder........I am not yet back to tai chi but am improving a little every day. Hope that you and family are all well and happy.


  • Travmad's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Great to hear from you Gene. Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I hope all is well with you and yours.

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Hi Gene, How lovely to hear from you. I have missed your cheerful face around here. Yep, still doing Tai Chi and loving it. I haven't moved anywhere or done anything outstanding.....just being. Stay in touch.

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Hello there Gene, I won't tell you the convoluted path I followed to get to your pges here but your NI pictures certainly took me back to my childhood. I used to visit Dunluce,Portstewart etc. as a child in the way back when. Great work. fergy.

  • Helenbb's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    happy birhtday and happy new year ... how are you ?:)

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2009 at 11:46 PM

    Great pictures of Portstewart. It looks like a wonderful area. Loved your paintings too. Greetings from Poland.

  • Agraichen's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    My travels will depend on the outcome of the next heart "procedure" on the 13. I'd like to get over but the boss wants to go to Alaska first (lol since she's already been to Dublin once).

  • made_ofstone's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2008 at 12:44 AM

    did you go to the aul lammas fair yesterday? it was great got 3 bags of yellow man and some dolse. :)

  • WorldMeet2008's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2008 at 3:51 AM

    Your next trip? Make it really unique! It's not too late to attend WM08 - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv & Dead- Sea on 25- 28th Sept (+Petra 29-30th). We want to double the num of attendees to 100! Click to learn where, when, what, how, how much! Avi [FruitLover].

  • Fullmoonfever's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    Yo Gene, whats new? I dont see you online much.

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