You know the old phrase “Never say never?” Yeah, I used to ignore it, thinking I knew my heart and wouldn’t change my mind. Now, not so much. As I’m getting older (all of 35) I’m coming to realize that most of the things I said I’d never do are exactly what I end up doing. There are more examples, but here are a few that come to mind:
Exhibits A and B (they are related)
I was born three months premature. I mention that only because I had a lot of health problems when I was young (but thankfully nothing nearly as serious as it could have been) that required me to be in and out of the hospital. Hence, I developed a hatred/phobia of hospitals that lingers to this day. So, naturally, when I was old enough to start thinking about my career path, I swore I’d never work in a hospital or in health care.
Toward the end of high school and early into college I was a big Days of Our Lives fan. During that time, they ran a storyline where Carrie – the idol of most young girls at the time – was a PR representative for the local Salem hospital. I’ve forgotten the particulars of the storyline, but I very vividly remember a scene where she was hounded by reporters asking for a statement. I was so stressed just watching her deal with them that I swore I would never work in public relations, especially for a hospital, because I didn’t want to go through that.
Fast forward about a dozen years. I’m in my second (and current) job. Doing what? Working in the PR department…of a health system (corporate office, not hospital, but still).
In the past, I’ve made no secret about not being a huge fan of the romance genre. The root of my issue goes back to when I was about 10 or 11 and my great aunt gave me my first romance novel, Navy Brat by Debbie Macomber. Obviously, I was too emotionally and sexually immature to be reading that book because it scarred me for life, even though it was nothing compared to some of the books out there today. I remember thinking while reading one sex scene, “Why would you do that and how is that even physically possible?” After that, I swore I would never write romance novels.
Cut to December 2014: I’m not only a writer, but a writer of romantic comedies (in addition to historical fiction) who just joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA). What’s more I just entered one of my books their Golden Heart Awards and am considering writing a short story for an upcoming anthology. I still prefer the sweeter/less graphic side of the romance genre, but I’m quickly coming around, despite my previous vow.
In the ultimate case of irony, when I first started taking my writing seriously, probably back in 2009 or 2010, my best friend Courtney suggested that I start blogging. I was adamantly against it, saying it would take away from my writing time and that I didn’t have anything to say that anyone would want to hear. I was dead set against it and I swore I would never blog.
I really, really need to learn to never say never. It’s not that any of these things are bad; on the contrary, they have all turned out to be wonderful opportunities. My training in public relations is very valuable to my job as an author. Blogging has helped me meet so many wonderful people (I love all of you readers) and gives me an outlet for my endless research and constant opinions on everything. Joining RWA has already opened some amazing doors for me, not to mention opening my mind to the genre.
Based on this, I’m starting to wonder if I should say, “I’ll never get a book contract” or “I’ll never be a best seller.” If my previous pattern holds, all I’ll need to do is wait a bit and that will be exactly what happens. Nah. On second thought, I’m too much of a believer in manifestation to utter such negative phrases. But I will watch what I say “never” about from now on!
Can you relate? Do you have your own “never say never” story? I’d love to hear it in the comments.