All The Things Swore I’d Never Do (aka My Current Life)
I haven’t sat down to write a blog post in far too long. And just look at the last one… all about how something sad and depressing brought me back to life. All I can say is this: Each season has its own spark. I had a sad spark. Next I had an undefinable spark. And now, due to all the things I swore I’d never do, my life now has a rare, dignified and exciting spark that causes me to pinch myself every once in a while.
To say that life didn’t turn out how I thought it would is an understatement. In fact, almost every single aspect of my life includes or is due to something happening that at one point I completely swore off for good. I love the element of surprise. I also love being proved wrong… especially if it’s proving myself wrong. I’ve learned that making ultimatums simply doesn’t work and that life just IS. It’s incredible, challenging and fun.
Though I’ll admit, the rough parts had to happen exactly as they did in order for things to work out. I couldn’t see it at the time. And it’s during the low points that I made a few of my “I’ll Never” statements. I’m so glad I was wrong. These statements include but are not limited to:
- “I’ll never get a divorce.” Welp. Since you’re reading this, you can probably guess that I was once married. I’m one of the thousands upon thousands of people who at one time said those fateful words: I’ll never get a divorce. Just like being in a car accident, no one thinks they will. The statistics show us that more than 50% of us were wrong. Alas, life goes on.
- “I’ll never move away from the place I love so much. And I’ll never, ever live in the Midwest.” I lived in Albuquerque, NM for more than seventeen years of my life. It was home and I loved it there. The mountains, the people, the restaurants, the streets, the air… it all amounted to what I called home. I never felt stuck or trapped there. I simply felt a restless urge to move to a new place and “start over.” It became a matter of moving forward in adventure rather than getting away. Now I live in small town Wisconsin. I OFFICIALLY survived my “first winter” and it’s largely due to my giant parka. I not only moved away from home, but I somehow chose the midwestiest place possible.
- “I’ll never do online dating.” I did this. I can’t say it went terribly well. But I did it and learned and now have at least three funny stories to tell. I didn’t end up with someone I met online, but I did learn a lot about myself and make a few new friends.
- “I’ll never cut my hair short.” I said it for many years. Until one day I woke up and decided to buzz it all off. Rip that bandaid off! Without hair on my head I had to learn a new form of confidence. I felt stronger almost instantly. I had less to worry about, began to care less about what others thought and learned that hats really do come in handy.
- “I’ll never play an instrument and I’ll definitely never sing in front of anyone.” This was a fate I gave myself for my first 23 years of life. Then one day I decided I could try to be musical, even if it didn’t come easily. I started playing banjo and I still play to this day. I also formed a band with my twin sister. We called ourselves Plain Jane Glory and we had more than one show. Before that, singing was reserved for car rides alone and special twin sister time growing up. The first time I sang on stage I didn’t even open my eyes. I was terrified, but it helped me learn yet another fact about myself: I can do things that terrify me. I also don’t have to be perfect.
- “I’ll never be able to do life on my own.” I started life with my twin sister and then got married young. I had very little alone time. Suddenly, I lived in a place where I knew almost no one and had more alone time than I imagined possible. I did almost everything alone for seven months. In fact, I still do. Everything from making dinner to running to the store to folding laundry. Being alone has its advantages and I now enjoy the silence. I enjoy getting to know myself in these precious moments of solitude.
- “I’ll never be with someone who has kids.” This is the best one. I met someone with not one, not two, but three kids. Now, I can’t believe I once said this out loud. I just had an idea in my head of what that would mean, but I honestly didn’t know a thing. I now know that choosing someone with kids means getting to see a side of them that wouldn’t exist otherwise. I get to see this man care for other people and love unconditionally. This is rare and beautiful. It also means I get to learn about four people and let them teach me about life in unique ways. It’s not what I thought… it has it’s own challenges, but all relationships do. It’s turned out to be an excellent part of my life. It’s all I never knew I ever wanted. :)
So there you go. My current life and how it is basically comprised of a list of things I said out loud that I’d never do. I thought I knew best… I thought I had it alllllll mapped out in a way that fit. Preconceived notions are hilarious. Turns out, I didn’t know a thing. Life threw me some curve balls and they’ve all been surprising, real, and life-changing. Like I said before, I love surprises. I love waking up and not knowing what will happen that day. I’m thankful for this ongoing theme in my life. I hope others realize that even if their plans fall through, there’s probably a joyful life in store for them.
And it’s most likely full of things they are swearing off at this very moment.
Cheers to that!
Love, Lou (who recently held a chicken and her heart is still bursting)