Somebody once asked me to describe myself in one word. My response flew out of my mouth before I had a chance to think it through: paradox.

Yep, that about sums it up. I am my own contradiction. I am consistently inconsistent. I embody irony (despite a low iron count). My illogical response to logical situations baffles those who know me well. Thus, I spend a lot of time alone, where I can argue with myself and win and lose at the same time. That’s okay, because I am both the judge and the jury.

There are two things you should know about me. First, I give great advice. I’m talking about the rock-solid, grounded advice that is embedded in common sense, integrity and principled action.

I preach the “stand up for yourself” kind of advice. Don’t let anybody treat you like you’re less. I have talked friends off ledges (literally) and convinced others to take courageous career leaps with no net. Just jump.

I have great quotes to handle everything from grandiose gossip, to jealousy and betrayal, friendships gone sour and even the occasional parenting gem (though I do my best not to offer that, since I don’t have a clue how to do the most important job I’ve ever had).

I give honest relationship advice with diplomacy for both sides and even forgive my friends when they don’t listen, get hurt and do it again. I am no relationship guru, but have helped save a few and have helped others pack it up and move on.

I can ease anyone’s day by reminding that person there is always a tomorrow, a silver lining and another chance to make things right. Encouraging others to find life’s lesson in the mess they’re in is done with great care so as not to rub their noses in their messes.

And I will champion anyone to do just about anything, believing whole-heartedly it is possible to achieve goals. I mean it too. I believe in the ability of others to do anything they want to do. Dream big. Aim high. Get’er done. I am the best cheerleader you’ll ever meet – without, you know, the whole pom-poms and mini-skirt jumping into the splits thing (‘cause yeah, not gonna happen).

This leads us to the second thing you should know about me: I never take my own advice. Ever. I can dish it out but I can’t take it in. None of the above has been applied to myself, for myself, by myself.

I hate to make mistakes despite the fact I learn the best lessons by making them. I know that, but I resist the obvious. I push the freak out button long before I pull down the oxygen mask.

Telling me to calm down is like telling a toddler eating candy to sit still. People still say it will all work out, but honestly, will it? What do they know that I don’t? I’m paranoid, but I believe them. It helps.

They say we reach a pinnacle of self-acceptance in our forties, and this is mine: I am quick to have compassion for others, yet I am the last person to give it to myself. You know what else they say: admittance is the first step. Walk on.

Sign me up but I can’t commit, though I am committed to the cause.

Go figure.