I Don’t Know, It Depends: Wisdom from an Unwise Person For Lori

I have a Facebook page for The Big Blue Mess, which I don’t really go around advertising since it just mirrors my normal Facebook page and is mostly there to say, “Look, friends who read this thing. I made words with my hands again!” And if I’ve done my job and the FB algorithm gods ate the right sacrifice, my friends respond with, “yay!” usually via emojis or flat-out ignoring I did anything. I mean, nothing says “Loved it!” like that, right?!?! Anyway, it’s there and has about five followers – my true blog devotees. You go, my self-flagellating diehard fans. (Not to be confused with Die Hard fans, although there is likely some crossing over, because GREATEST CHRISTMAS MOVIE EVER MADE, am I right???)

I digress.

This isn’t new.

So, last week, I alert the five and my personal feed about the writing of the words, and I received a question (and she agreed I could answer in a public forum – or at least on Facebook, which I mean, this will be posted on FB, so that counts, right?):

But I do have a legit question that I need a wise person to answer…why do I keep making the same mistake over and over again? How do I fix that? Be as hard and direct as you need to be!!


Before I dive into that or whether I’d make a good Dear, Abby (hint: I would not), let’s start with a serious disclaimer (where we put the joking hat aside) and where I state quite plainly that while I agree with they Hippocratic Oath, I have not taken it.

SERIOUS DISCLAIMER: Whether I’m wise or not is up for debate; however, what is absolutely not up for debate is the fact that I do not have, nor do I pretend to have, a background in psychology, psychiatry, or social work. I am not a licensed counselor.

But I am a friend, so I can offer thoughts from a friend.

So, to that end…

Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again?

Here’s my honest answer – the only true one I can offer you given the disclaimer above.

I don’t know.


It depends.

If we’re talking grammar, math, or using baking soda instead of salt (or something like that), I’d say there’s a chance that the person who taught you didn’t teach it in a way you understand. Find others – more than one – and have each of them teach you – have each of them explain in their own unique ways. Sometimes hearing information explained in different ways will allow you to find the one that just clicks with how your brain works – and will get you to that moment when everything falls into place and you arrive at that big ah-ha moment. (A truly great feeling!)

Of course, I suspect the question isn’t about comma splices (I’m a huge abuser), basic geometry (love it), or how not all white powders in the pantry work like baking soda (they don’t?? rude) so I’ll answer the best that I can given that my minor was in English and could have just as easily been in anthropology or philosophy. (Hey, I love ALL things Liberal Arts. Don’t judge.) Anyway…

Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again?

Honestly, I don’t know, it depends.

Without knowing the specifics, I’ll offer that I think we (the big “we” – the “all people” we) are drawn to things that are familiar to us – patterns – patterns we know – patterns we understand which form our baseline for what is “normal” (whether they’re actually normal or not). Once we’ve established our normal (again, for better or worse), change can be a challenge. We may not have the ability to recognize a need for change because what we’re doing/how we’re experiencing the world or interacting with it is “normal” to us.

How do I fix that? Be as hard and direct as you need to be!!

Ok, here’s my honest opinion. If you’re ready to tackle whatever it is leading you to make those same mistakes, then seek out and talk to a professional – someone who can help you identify your patterns and pitfalls and where things may be a big wonky (not a real medical term). Someone who has the training and can guide you down a path to create new patterns/new approaches/new normals. And if you meet with them a few times and it’s not working, then find someone else. If you don’t like the next person, find someone else. Keep trying until you find the person who works for you. As I mentioned above, sometimes it takes talking to multiple people before you find a person who can explain things in a way that just clicks/resonates with how you think.

You’re worth it.

There’s your wisdom from someone who strives to be wise but isn’t quite there, yet.