Dear Madame Olivia:
Can you please tell me whether the book I am writing is the right thing to be doing? It offers confirmation to humanity that an edition of an ancient myth is available in America today which will encourage all who are interested in the next step of psychological evolution in the feminine archetype (and therefore men are also affected). My discovery is that I have LIVED this since my birth, that is, I think, I know, I believe, I live is the progression of development, the last stage only recently being revealed. Thank you so much for your interest and assistance.
Writer in Need of Affirmation
Madame Olivia confesses that she doesn’t entirely understand your premise but finds the idea of enlarging on the feminine archetype very interesting. Much more importantly, if you are seized by this project then yes, you should be writing it.
Here are several bits of advice for you: 1) Write every day, and if you can’t, at least read or interact with your material. 2) Join a writing group. This is not for everybody, given the challenge of balancing what other people say with your own instincts, but Madame Olivia senses that such a group would be helpful to you. 3) Keep plugging away. As the old English saying goes, It’s dogged as does it!
Sending hopeful wishes and good writing energy your way.
Dear Madame Olivia:
I am at a crossroads in my job search. If i work for someone or place that i believe in and they in me I am the most loyal enthusiastic employee. If not, I get unmotivated. I have a new opportunity to start new employment with a small office. This would be a different direction for me, and a fresh start for this doctor. My concern is a one on one relationship with a male employer. I have been harassed by past employers, and I so want a strong professional working relationship. We both share some of the same past personal setbacks, which I hope will be an advantage and not a disadvantage. Any vibes on this pairing?
Well, this is a very interesting question indeed. And Madame Olivia does get a vibe. You sound like you really want to establish a new path for yourself and Madame Olivia thinks you can do it. You say you do not want to reenact the kind of working relationship you have had in the past. Admittedly there is a powerful human tendency to do that very thing, especially unconsciously. But look how conscious you are! This gives you enormous power, even if the doctor-boss in question is not as conscious as you are. If he is not, it just makes it that much more imperative for you to take the reins. This means acting professionally, at all times; dressing professionally for work; not sharing or referring to or slipping into knowing references about the same personal setbacks; and not rising to any bait whatsoever from the doctor-boss, be it over-friendliness or sniping. As Madame Olivia’s mother used to say to her, Let it roll off your back. Try not to get nervous if it happens, as it well might. Treat these things as a good challenge and be cordial and unemtional. If you can stay in charge of yourself, you will not be at the mercy of other personalities or the situation, and so far from slipping back into old ways, you can triumph and begin to carve a new path.
Madame Olivia has the very strong feeling you can do this. You have figured out what you want, now go for it. She sends you all the courage in the world, along with the best of luck. All peace and happiness to you.
Dear Madame Olivia:
I have been married for one year. Yesterday was my birthday and my partner forgot it completely. I am heartsick and devastated. Does this mean he doesn’t love me? What should I do?
Forgetting your birthday has nothing to do with love. Some people simply do not remember important anniversary dates: they are not wired for it and/or weren’t trained by family. Try to get your head around this. Not being remembered hurts you so badly but it was simply an oversight for him.
You can avoid this in the future by one simple tactic: next year and for however many years it takes, bring up your birthday two weeks ahead of time with something like “I would love to go to Vegan Village for my birthday next Saturday.” Be explicit about the date and also about what you want! And give him a heads up! And on no account ever wait to see if he remembers because this is what defense attorneys call entrapment and will only lead to misery. Note too that if he asks you what you want for your birthday (or any other event involving gifts), tell him! Do not be coy with “You should know” or “Surprise me,” especially if you’re going to nail him with criticism if you don’t like what he gets you. Just tell him what you want. The more specific the better, as in “I really want the umbrella with the lizards on it I saw online at Nonsense Gifts” or if you’re less choosy “An umbrella” and let him choose.
For now, best be matter-of-fact and say “I would love to go to Vegan Village for a belated birthday dinner. What do you think of Friday night?” It is to be hoped that he claps his hand to his forehead and says “I’m a dunderhead! I completely forgot!” but in his shame and misery there’s no telling what will come out. In any case, do not lay recriminations on him and above all no weeping. Be calm and be honest but keep the emotion quotient low, eg “I’m sentimental so it did hurt me but I’m getting over it.” Being honest without lying or laying on guilt is a fun challenge. You can do it.
Madame Olivia sends you warmest birthday wishes for a glorious year ahead.
Dear Madame Olivia:
I am getting married in a few months to a person whose parents are rich. My betrothed and I are adherents of simplicity and don’t want a big fancy ridiculous ostentatious brouhaha and are enjoying keeping the expense to what we can afford. Apparently my future mother-in-law is crushed that we will not be throwing a big party and is crying herself to sleep at night. I don’t want to have a wedding that violates our belief system but I don’t want to cause her suffering. I hope you can help me or more correctly us.
Very promising! That us you add at the end, Madame Olivia means. Madame Olivia is getting a very good feeling about this union. You sound like a kind and sensible person. Sensible is good but Madame Olivia adores kind.
Look, presumably the mother-in-law got to prevail at her own wedding. Now it is time for her to let you prevail at yours. It’s really a simple, logical system, though in-laws have been known to blubber things like “I didn’t get to have the wedding I wanted and this was my last chance” but again, this wedding is your celebration to design as you wish.
Madame Olivia has a fabulous idea. How about asking the FMIL to take charge of one element? One that leaps to Madame Olivia’s mind is the cake, though admittedly cake often leaps to Madame Olivia’s mind. Or the flowers. Something that requires some planning and design, not just expenditure. If you do this, it is to be hoped that the FMIL will consult you about favorite flavors or colors and you can certainly say something like “We both love chocolate” or “We were thinking shades of purple” but here comes the time for heroism on your part: let her choose it as she likes! Decide ahead of time that you are going to be okay with however she executes the assignment. And be sure to thank her in front of everybody! She will bask, I assure you. This will help get things off to a splendid start.
Wishing you and your beloved all the joy in the world, dear Simpleton!
Dear Madame Olivia:
When will it be my turn? When will I have somebody to just hold me?
With all my heart,
Your simple question is poignant and touches Madame Olivia deeply. She has two thoughts for you:
1) Let yourself feel this without restraint. Later today decide on a time limit for it, be it an hour, a day, or a week.
2) Turn to a dream in another realm and pursue that with energy. You will be astonished at what doing this will pull in its wake.
Wishing you the very best, dear Yearning.