Dare to challenge the things you think you'll never do.

Dare to challenge the things you think you’ll never do.

My sister recently found a list I’d wrote around the time I was 23. I love making lists, and my sister and I are very close, so it’s no surprise that I shared this with her back then.

The list is entitled, “Fifty Things That I’ll Never Do”.

I wrote the list while working my first job after graduating art school. At times, it was very dull. I spent a many workdays creatively occupying my mind. I wrote, drew, and researched interesting topics. I wrote my friends many a long winded email, began blogging, and created random lists.

I won’t go through the whole list, but here are a few chosen things I would supposedly never do.

Number 43: I will never move to Alaska, North Dakota, or Montana. Interestingly, a few years after I wrote the list, I moved to Seattle. The silver lining of my dull job was the time I had to research careers that would bring together my interests and skills. One day, I discovered urban planning, and decided that the best place to try out this new field was Seattle. While living there, I ventured throughout the Northwest. On one vacation, my family visited from Connecticut, and we did a guided mountain biking tour of the Lewis and Clark trail. The trip began and ended in Missoula, Montana, a quaint college town against the backdrop of the majestic Bitterroot Mountains. Contrary to my earlier declaration, I would live there.

Number 4: I will never like whiskey. My husband Dave and I met a year after I moved to Seattle. We had the most fun first date…ever. At a soul food restaurant that we both happened to love, we left our dinners nearly untouched as we giddily got to know each other over cocktails. Afterwards, we walked to a hipster bar called Smith. We sipped on whiskey, we laughed over alt-country music, and we never stopped dating. We got married in Seattle in 2009. The signature cocktail at our wedding was an old fashioned. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a whiskey drink.

Number 35: I will never own a king-sized bed. I’m not a large person and I don’t require much physical space, so I can understand why I declared this. But now that I have a husband, two kids, and a cat, on the mornings when most of us end up in one queen size bed, I can see the merits of a king-sized bed. One of these seemingly extravagant purchases may be in our future.

Number 29: I will never be a natural athlete. Now, this one is interesting because I’ve always been athletic, I just don’t like team sports. Growing up, I swam competitively, played field hockey and golf, water skied and downhill skied, and I’ve run the Manchester Road Race with my family since I was in 5th grade. During college my sister inspired me to start running regularly. It was cheap and easy on a student budget. I started racing after college, and have done countless 5 and 10ks, six half marathons, and I’ll soon begin training for the NYC Marathon (another thing I thought I’d never do). Hovering around my daughter on the slopes this winter, my core and quads burning as I teach her how to ski, I concluded that I completely disagree with my earlier assessment – I AM a natural athlete!

I’m surprised by the list. I don’t remember being especially close-minded at age 23, but then again I was young and my views of the world were still being formed. Today, there are different “things I’ll never do” in my mind, and I can’t wait to see how I contradict those assumptions as I continue to grow.

What things did you think you’d never do?