Question to Ponder

Liss at Shakesville asks:

What pervasive negative cultural narrative kept you from trying something for a very long time that you ended up liking?

I’m a big contrarian Jew, so for me, the narratives that keep me from trying things are the positive ones. For years, I resisted trying the Italian food because everybody loved it, so it had to be horrible. When I finally tried it, I immediately felt in love with it. I never went to Florida because everybody else did (I’m from Montreal, which my students described as “the place where all the Canadians go”). When I finally did go, I adored it.

As we say, Jews get everything at a huge price. But they get everything.

How would you answer this question?


4 thoughts on “Question to Ponder”

  1. What comes to mind is, quitting therapy. The pervasive cultural narrative was that if you didn’t like it and were uncomfortable / suffering with it, then it was working and was good for you, if you didn’t think you needed it or need this form of it, that proved you did, etc. However, quitting was great.


  2. Oh yes, and related: taking control of my life back. This was supposed to be scary but it was an incredible relief … perhaps because I had had a life before, but I think because I am so unfeminine by therapeutic standards (in US therapy you have *got* to be kind of hysterical if you are to prove you are “in touch with” any “feelings”).


  3. I grew up around nurses and heard nothing but complaining about the job. I was NOT going to be a nurse. In fact, my first degree was in French. I went to nursing school at age 40. The profession is actually a very good fit for me, much better than teaching middle school was.

    Strangely enough, my best friend for most of my life went to nursing school but wound up going back for a teaching degree a few years after I went back to school.


  4. Oh, I was told something was bad, which turned out to be pretty good. The racists were wrong. Black Zimbabweans are far more similar to me, temperamentally, than white Zimbabweans.


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