I can distinctly remember sitting next to a colleague telling her, quite emphatically, that I would never move back to the area where we were teaching. I was 27 years old, pregnant with my first baby and had just bought a house in another county . Not only was I was appalled at the prices of homes in the county where I worked, which also happened to be the area both The Husband and I grew up in, but I was just young enough to think I knew everything about being a grown up and not old enough yet to know I had no idea. I was so sure that I would never come back that I was pretty much shouting it from the rooftops. My wise colleague just smiled at me and said, “life has a funny way of outmaneuvering you. Never say never.”
Three years later, as I rocked my second baby, mourned my mom and my job while unpacking boxes in my new home 1.2 miles away from that school, I thought of her and wondered how hard she was laughing at foolish old me. Now here I sit, in New Jersey, working for The Church, raising three kids and in graduate school again. I am certain I have learned that the only thing I’ll never do is say never again.
I am wiser now and what I know for sure is that I don’t know much. I have figured out I can’t conclusively predict what I will or won’t do because so much of my life is decided in the moment based on the information at hand. I don’t feel like I can safely say never about much of anything. While this sounds terrifying, I have made my peace with it because I have learned about myself and finally have the real confidence to be pretty happy with who I have turned out to be. So while I can never say never about most life choices, I am clear on a few things about myself I never will do-no matter what life throws my way.
1. I will never switch my team allegiance. If this football season has taught me one thing, it is that I will never be desperate enough to ditch my MD roots. It was tough to move to Rival Country (hello, Yankees, Giants, Rangers) and I even found myself softening to the pinstripes in summer and figured the welcome Oriole success is what kept me hanging on. But this season, when my football team feel deeper into ruin and that cheeky little Eli refused to go down without a fight, I could have jumped ship pretty easily and free of judgement. And yet, I continue to wear the burgundy and gold, so it’s pretty obvious I’m never leaving my losers, no matter what. Because it can’t get worse, right? Right?!?!
2. I will never dress my dog in a sweater. My immediate apologies to all who accessorize their pooches. I am sure you have your valid reasons and I judge you not. But I can promise, I will never, not ever, make my dog wear a costume, a sweater or any other human-clothing like item that exists. They have fur and for years and years survived without us dressing them. I plan to continue to keep it that way. To Patches-I apologize for the shower cap and my t-shirts. I was young. To Jack and Riggins: May Your Dignity Be Ever Preserved.
3. I will never ski, again. I. Hate. Snow. I hate snow in theory and in reality. I don’t get mooney over all those white Christmas photos. If I had my wish we’d throw tinsel on a damn palm tree. I can acknowledge that it is sometimes pretty from a warm distance, but if I never saw snow again, I’d be fine. Seriously, all you “I love the seasons” people (I’m looking at you Husband) can take winter and put it, well, you know where. I need heat, sand and ocean or I am one unhappy camper. So the fact that I moved to the land of winter vacations (contradiction in terms?) and ski house rentals is just comical. No matter how many lovely people I know who do it, I will NEVER purposely go out in the cold and snow to hurl myself down the side of a mountain. I have tried. Multiple times. Each time, I hated it as much as I expected to. So, skiing? Never. And, if I am ever forced to attend such a weekend, I will be curled on a chair, near the fire with a book and a hot toddy. Amen.
So there you have it. Three things I know I will never do not matter what the world decides. What are your nevers? Leave them in the comments below. I need some fun today-there is a threat of snow!
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
O and that opening line is a quote from a Common song called, “the questions”
Why they say,”never say never”, when you know that ain’t right? Cuz when you say, “never say never, you done said, “never,” twice.
My fifteen years ago self was smart, funny, endearing, and CLUELESS. I made some of these similar assertions. While I never moved back to DMV, I regret being so closed off to the idea in the early oughties.
I love your line, “I was just young enough to think I knew everything about being a grown up and not old enough yet to know I had no idea.” This is so true, but we have these adult looking lives, early on and everyone freaked us out sufficiently about the perils of being a teen, that we figured we had made it. We had not. This is the one thing that I shared with my college students in the way of advice (never been much of an advice guy). But I told them to be more mindful after graduation than ever. You’re still developing into who you become (and I’m not actually sure when that stops). I wish some cool older guy had been there to tell me that.
And no. As long as I suffer, I’ll die in this [fill in name of future Washington football team] jacket.
Hail to us, the loyal, stupid, fans.