Back in college, we used to play a little game called “I Never.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it? One person says something they’ve never done and those who have done said thing must drink.
It’s an excellent way to learn people’s deepest darkest secrets, thereby creating lifelong friendships based on fear that the horrible things you’ve done could be shared. The game creates way stronger bonds than pinky swearing.
As my college years passed, more things were taken off my “I never” list. Some of these items were originally on the “I would never” list, and they may or may not have involved copious amounts of liquor-induced lip locking. Only the friends I played the game with are privy to the truth.
For many years after college, I still maintained an “I would never” list. Perhaps you have such a list as well. The top items on mine were:
1) I will never move back to the Midwest.
2) I will never become a freelancer.
3) I will never run more than a 10K.
4) I will never be a stay-at-home mom.
Well, last year I surprised myself by checking off the first two items. As of Saturday, when I ran my first half-marathon and began my first summer staying home full time with my daughter, the final two items on this short list were deleted.
My “I would never” list is now empty, and it seems that the possibility of me ever adding to it has been reduced to almost nothing.
I would like to say I will never get divorced, but I can’t. I can vow to fight with all my heart for my marriage, but I’ve seen even the most rock-solid marriages crumble. I could say I’ll never run a marathon or skydive—the thought of either makes me want to puke—but who knows what wild hair might provoke me to do these things in the future. I’d like to think I would never eat a hamburger again, but maybe I’ll get some weird disease that makes it impossible to continue a vegetarian lifestyle.
The older we get, the more we learn that anything is possible. We never know what life will bring us or how we will react to life’s changes until we face them.
When we say “I would never…” we close ourselves off to opportunities. We make our world smaller instead of larger. The world already gets surprisingly small as we age. So instead of saying “I would never,” why not say, “who knows, I just might”?