There have been many times in my life when I have said I would never do some thing or another. It could be something I had already done, but vowed to never to a second time, or it could be something that I believed in one moment would never be desirable to me in any future moment.
Here is a brief list of some things I vowed I would never do, and then did:
Wear make-up: As a child, I wrote and signed a declaration that I would never wear any make-up, and if I did succumb, my parents had permission to throw it all away. I never did under their roof, and I have tried to do it now, but I have stopped on my own, finding it to not feel true to myself. Ironically, my 14-year-old sister wears make-up every day and when I let her do me up, she does it better than I ever could.
Wear jeans: In middle school my brother and I both started wearing sweatpants from the boys section of the department store. These served me well in high school too, after my brother discovered the joy (or the cool factor?) of jeans. Jeans are a hard sell to someone who has been wearing soft pants every day. They pinched my legs everywear, and they felt heavy and stiff. In the summer they were too hot, but I was also refusing to shave my legs at that time of my life, so I just switched back to sweatpants, but allowed a few gypsy skirts and uncool retro print pants for summer.
Trim my bush: Although I still vow never to get a Brazilian wax, I caved on this one rather impulsively, and have decided it is better. I have never felt ashamed of pubic hair, feeling more awkward about hairy underarms and legs…they were out there for all to see when I was keen at defying society’s standards for women to be practically hairless. The only people who would be seeing my pubic hair, wouldn’t care, or so I thought. I did not believe the first person who told me what a Brazilian was! And I was appalled at the landing strips of Playboy Bunnies, when I looked out of curiosity. I still fully believe that every person should wear their hair, both on their heads and on their body, however they see fit! I cannot believe any partner would expect or demand their partner to do something only for their own benefit. So like Caitlin Moran in How to Be a Woman, I believe in claiming my bush and being proud of it, so I can take the trim or not, but it is my choice completely.
Live in New York City: I visited NYC three times before I moved here. The first two times I had fun, but it was more fun to leave. My brother and sister-in-law had moved here, so I visited again for a third time. This time I had a friend living here as well, and my brother knew the place better, so I did much more awesome things. I soon saw how I could easily fit in among the many weirdos and maybe find some more like-minds. Then I took the plunge and here I am, paying way to much for everything, and having a blast!
Use a Kindle: I am a Luddite, and that is ok. I like my books with paper pages and covers, spines and bent corners. I wanted to resist the future, even as I revered Star Trek. My boyfriend bought me a Kindle, saying he knew I would never have gotten one for myself, but he thought I would use it. At the time, I loved him, so I believed him and gave the Kindle a chance. I am still skeptical, and find myself forgetting I have it, especially now that my boyfriend and I broke up. But, suffice it to say, I like it enough to keep it. Sometimes it is useful.
Get meditation: I tried to meditate in high school, but my mind was not tameable then. I just kept thinking about not thinking until I was all tied up in mental knots. The School for Practical Philosophy has presented me with something my mind could understand, but it was a trick! I meditated and now my mind is becoming tamed. If you set boundaries, the mind gets used to them, so now I am seeking meditation not as a mind, but as a being, a Self.
Although this list has its lessons too, there are other times I have thrown the “never” word down like a gauntlet, daring the world to test me. I have said I would never love anyone else, but X. When X left, I said I would never love anyone else, but Y! Stubbornly, I charged ahead. Y, too, exited stage left, I looked to stage right, for Z, so I could do it all again. I hope this is slowly starting to sink in as a silly way to love.
I am still tempted to make sweeping declarations, imagining myself as a king, raising my arm and addressing my devoted subjects, vowing that this, whatever it is, will never happen again! But I am not king of Never-Never Land. Although, I would love to say I will never make a mistake again, for there is a great sense of power felt when doing so, I know will make mistakes again. My mistakes are what are teaching me all that I truly need to know.