Dear 'GMA' Advice Guru Top 20 Finalists: Carla Barnhill

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Carla Barnhill from Minneapolis, Minn., is a finalist in the Dear GMA Advice Guru Contest. Read her application below!

Essay

Dear GMA, It's clear from your letter that you are in the middle of a huge decision. You have thousands of applications in front of you and have to choose one person to fill this huge hole in your mornings. I get that. I really do. And I wish I could hop out to New York and fix this for you. But I can't. Not yet. What I can do is tell you that the answer is sitting right here in Minnesota. The answer is Carla Barnhill. Look, I know you've got lots of perfectly good options in front of you, but when you get down to it, I think you know that "perfectly good" isn't going to cut it on national television. That's where Carla can help. ... GMA, you are in a tough spot and there's no easy way out of it. But I'm convinced that Carla Barnhill can and will change morning television if you're willing to let her.

What's the best advice you have ever given? What was the result?

I've given my best advice to myself: Yes, you should move across the country by yourself even though you have no idea what you'll do when you get there. It will be worth it when you gain a sense of strength and independence you didn't know you needed. Yes, you should take the job that pays squat and makes you happy. It will pay you back in friendships, in memories, in confidence in your ability to make a difference in the lives of other people. Yes, you should marry that boy. He will make you laugh, make you angry, make you smarter, and make you a vastly better person. I keep telling myself to trust my gut. It has never steered me wrong.

Carla Barnhill is Finalist in GMA Advice Guru Contest

What would you tell this person: "Whenever there is an issue between my mother-in-law and me, my husband refuses to stand up for me. How do I get him to value our relationship more than the one with his mother?

You don't. One of the worst things a wife can do to her husband is make him choose between her and his mother. Instead, you need to focus on your relationship with your husband and your relationship with your mother-in-law. If you have issues with your mother-in-law, talk to her about those issues. Treat her the way you'd treat an irksome co-worker or a neighbor who gets on your nerves now and then. Be an adult, stay calm, talk about what's bugging you, change what you need to change, then move on. And keep some perspective. If these issues are huge -- she's abusive toward your children, she's cruel to your husband, she's stealing money from you -- then you need to take action to protect yourself and your family. But if these issues are the minor irritations that come from joining a family, then find a way to let them slide before they hurt your marriage.

What would you tell this person: "While cleaning my son's room, I accidentally saw on his Facebook page threatening remarks from his friends. I fear he's being bullied. What should I do?"

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