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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Gallier

What I’ll Do Anything to Avoid

"I think we should stop asking people in their twenties what they 'want to do' and start asking them what they don't want to do. Instead of asking students to 'declare their major' we should ask students to 'list what they will do anything to avoid’” -Amy Poehler

While reading through Amy Poehler’s memoir/advice book Yes Please, I came across this quote. As someone who’s had a pretty shitty 2019 so far, it made me think…

Maybe this time in my life is about finding out what I DON’T want instead of what I DO want. Maybe all these failures and false starts I seem to keep having are here to help me weed out the versions of myself that I don’t want to become.

At least I hope that’s the case.

So I’ve been asking myself, what are the things I don’t want? What are the things that make me feel drained, unappreciated, and uninspired? What are the things I’ll do anything to avoid? Let’s see…

I would do anything to avoid…

1. Being in a relationship that makes me feel bad about myself

It turns out it’s really hard to see that you’re in this kind of relationship until you finally snap out of it. The last thing I want is to be in another relationship where I feel unsupported, unappreciated, and unimportant.

2. Working for a company that doesn’t have good values & Is abusive to its employees

One of my false starts was when I was offered a job as a flight attendant- if I made it through the training- which turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life. Not only was the company policy and culture sexist, but the way the trainers treated and talked to us was dehumanizing. l left after two weeks. I did learn an important lesson though: No job is worth sacrificing your personal values and putting up with abusive behavior.

3. Being friends with people who don’t have my best interest in mind.

It’s really hard to make friends as a graduated 20-something living on your mom’s couch while you try to get your shit together, but it’s even harder when you realize that some of the good ones you thought you had were really not that genuine.

4. Putting up with hypocrisy and bullshit

Doesn’t matter who it is, you don’t have to put up with it. And I’ll do anything to avoid putting myself in a situation where I have to.

5. Doing things that have no potential for growth (whether it be in my career or in my relationships)

If you wouldn’t stay in a job with no potential for growth, why would you stay in any relationship without the potential for growth? I have no interest dealing with people who refuse to grow or learn from their mistakes.

6. Living a life where I can’t pursue my passions in some way

Yeah, life gets hard, but making time for the things I really care about it what keeps me going. I will go out of my way to give myself time to do the things I love.

7. Accepting mediocrity

Life is what you make it. Don’t accept mediocrity, complacency, or pessimism.

8. Losing myself

Turns out there’s things that make me feel like myself. Working out, going to dance classes, writing, and exploring whatever city I’m in are things that make me feel like the world makes sense.

9. “Finding” and/or defining myself

I don’t want to lose myself, but I also don’t want to find myself. The minute you define yourself, you stop growing. The last thing I want is to say “this is it, this is who I am."

10. Trying to be something I’m not

I don’t want to step into any roles and I don’t want to have to pretend to be perfect. I don’t want to sacrifice my individuality for the sake of any job or relationship.

…and I guess the list will just keep growing. Here’s to hoping that in the process I find what I DO want to do and who I DO want to be. But hey, who am I to doubt Amy Poehler’s advice?

Anyway, In the words of Leslie Knope, “Everything hurts and I’m dying”

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