Declared "Never Again!"

Continuing with the #reverbbroads11 theme, I am a big fan of today’s prompt:

List 10 things you would never do.

This has been a big year of making intentional changes to be the best version of myself. And no one word better embodies that than my one word for 2011, “balance”. Some of my choices will be inspired by that, others will just be things I will never do.

(1) I will never run a marathon. I ran my first half marathon in 2011. In fact, I ran my first 4 half marathons in 2011. And I have become a big fan of that distance. It is liberating to be able to push myself that hard, and rewarding to cross the finish line knowing that my body has achieved such a feat. But as I’m learning now, in yet another stage of recovery, that liberation and that reward comes at a cost. I don’t want to pay the price of achieving that feat twice over. Additionally, running for that long gets boring. If at mile 12, I’m starting to wonder what else I could be doing, I don’t think I have the focus to go twice as long.

(2) I will never sleep with my phone on again (without just cause). A tremendous part of 2011 has been conquering my anxiety, and a few of these items will relate to that theme. One of the best things I’ve done is to turn my phone off when I’m ready to go to sleep. I realized once that I was terrified of missing a call or a text, so I left it on. Now, I don’t even sleep with it in the same room. I sleep infinitely better, and feel much more relaxed as a result. That being said, there will be cases in my life- kids at a sleepover, sick parents, an unlikely but possible move into res life- that could change this for me. But as it stands right now, I like the arrangement. One small way I’m better for the small choices I make.

Other Anxiety Related List Items:
(3) I will never have a TV in my bedroom. Same reason, really.
(4) I will never be afraid to say how I feel. Sometimes, voicing your opinion on a matter isn’t always appropriate, and sometimes can even get you in trouble. But more often than not, there’s nothing scary about saying how you feel. One of the grads in our office said it best: “Fear of the thing is always scarier than the actual thing. Always.” And one of the best things I’ve done for myself this year is stop being afraid. I like how its turned out, to be honest.

(5) I will never close myself off to opportunities. As my last blog post stated, I am ending 2011 in a place that I never thought I would- a large public institution in Florida, rather than the small public institution in the Mid-Atlantic or New England that I envisioned myself working at. And I love it. That lets me know that I should absolutely be open to anything that comes my way. No fear, right?

(6) I will never stop learning from my students. I have no immediate plans to go back to school- it’ll probably be about 2 years before I start doc work. That said, I learn so much from my students, about everything. I really appreciate the opportunities they give me to learn- about the institution, about them, about the world- and I don’t ever want to stop being so curious.

(7) I will never grow up. I have watched more kids’ movies this year, I truly believe, than in my entire life. And I’ve never been more okay with that. I am, at times, mature for my age. But as evidenced by my obscene knowledge of Disney and my extreme enjoyment of cartoons, I also have it in me to be silly. My dad has taught me that you can be as old as your age says, but you should always have fun with life. And I intend to continue, Disney movies in tow.

(8) I will never be a “girl’s girl”. As I’ve said so many times before, I have a very special relationship with the guys in my life. I have developed an equally important and meaningful set of relationships with women in my life. But at the end of the day, I love dresses and sunglasses, and sparkly things; but I will love sports, sneakers, and all those other stereotypically boyish things more. I’m throwing out stereotypes. I’m not girly, I’m not a tomboy, I’m me. I’ll watch hockey while wearing heels, and run for miles in a pink T-shirt. I’m the most comfortable with myself I’ve ever been, and it’s a great feeling.

(9) I will never stop smiling. One of the greatest unexpected side effects of getting over my anxiety issues is a newfound sense of nearly constant positivity. I don’t think it’s Pollyana-esque, because I understand that there are bad things that happen, and they will be difficult. But I’m no longer watching the sky, waiting for it to fall. I look upward and “Watch the sky” (as the tattoo on my foot says in bold script) because I’m excited for the opportunities that lie ahead of me. I didn’t expect to be called a “positive” person, but I like that I can uplift people by being happy, and I love that I’m not afraid anymore.

(10) I will never stop setting goals. This year was a big year for goals. Run 400 miles, read 50 books, get a job, create a new home for myself, make new friends, conquer my anxiety, fall in love. I have accomplished or am dangerously close to several of those things, and did that in just under 365 days. Imagine what I could do if I work as hard as I have this year, and believe as strongly as I have! I’m excited for the possibilities ahead of me, and to see where the new year will take me.

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