We say a lot of things when we're kids. Especially "I will never do this" or "I'm never going to be like my parents." We have a lot of expectations for our grown-up selves and imagine our lives in all sorts of ways - magical and full of adventures. However, it usually doesn't work out the way we want it to and we end up "disappointing" our younger selves. Probably the most common thing kids swear off is tobacco or alcohol, but most of them do try it when they grow up. And that's just one example.
This internet user asked, "What did you swear in your childhood you would never do, but ended up doing anyways?" and people flooded in to give their answers and stories. Some are more surprising than others, but you'll probably be able to relate to most of them.
Feel free to share your own stories in the comments!
#1Give up drawing.
I actually broke my own heart when I recently found a school project we did back when I was a kid. We had to write a letter for our future selves and mine starts with: "Hey, did you become an artist already? I really hope you did not become a boring adult with a boring job who gave up on his dreams and passions."
Well, sorry little me, but I kinda did.
Image credits: Aesma_
We talked to Patrick McGrath (Emeritus Professor, Psychiatry, Dalhousie University) and he shared some insights on why kids often proclaim they will "never" do something: "Many children have times that they defiantly want to be independent of their parents and times they want to be the same as them. This shifting back and forth is how they learn to be their person."
#2Get married. I was going to be the perpetual bachelor. Married over 30 years with 6 kids. Wouldn’t change a thing.
Image credits: Meta_My_Data
#3Gardening. We had a large garden. We raised and preserved what we grew. It was me and my sister's job to care for this garden. This was back when whipping your child was acceptable punishment. I was whipped sooo many times, because I hated that I had to grew and preserved vegetables I did not like. I hated it! Swore I'd never have a garden. Never do THAT to my kids. Then I had kids. A switch flipped in my head. I had to have a garden! I never made my kids take care of it. Gardening was my "me" time. But being little kids, they wanted to be with mom and "help" with the garden. I "gave" them an area and they were allowed to grow whatever they wanted. If it was a fruit or vegetables , they had to eat it. As a result, they both love gardening and neither are picky eaters.
Image credits: Eogh21
The professor also shared how he would answer this question: "I was raised in a large, Irish-Canadian family. My father had started his own business, a bill collection agency. I saw the demands of starting one's own business and I swore I would never start my own business. I became an academic clinical psychologist doing administration, seeing patients, and doing research at home (crfh.ca). Fast forward many years, and I have started several businesses. The latest is 90Second Health, 90Second Health Letters - Trusted Health Information. It is fun."
#4Become overweight. I’ve done or avoided doing everything else that I cared about, but am much bigger than I would like.
Image credits: stolid_agnostic
#5I have become my father.
Image credits: jer1303
We also asked Professor McGrath if kids often base their likes and dislikes on their parents or if it's just random: "Likes and dislikes are not random. Part of it is genetic. For example, some talents such as musical talent or mathematical talent are partly inherited. Much of our likes and dislikes are learned. Much is learned from our parents and also from our friends. Some are learned from the culture and social media."
#6Get into debt I can't pay off
Image credits: lilviviv
#7I grew up Mormon, sooooo...
Drinking coffee, green tea, black tea, alcohol, maturbating, having premarital sex, going clubbing, losing faith in God, dating a non-religious person, trying psilosyben mushrooms, becoming politically left wing, and getting a tattoo.
Image credits: Organic-Roof-8311
The professor shared how kids decide what they want to be or be like when they grow up: "It is a mixture of learning, genetics, opportunity, and chance. I was going to be a priest, but then I decided to become what some say is the equivalent, a psychologist. I was influenced by a visitor to my parents' home, a priest who was studying to be a psychologist (see 'Pioneer Paper: An Accidental Scientist: Chance, Failure, Risk-Taking, and Mentoring,' Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Oxford Academic [oup.com] for the full story). Many kids follow into their parents' occupations."
#8Tell my kid, "because I said so".
Image credits: deathbytb
#9stop talking to my friends
there used to be 6 of us
now its just me
Image credits: HolyStonks
Professor McGrath also shared some other insights: "I am an old man and I never thought I would do anything artistic because I had no talent and I refused to try. But my wife wanted to try acrylics, so I tried painting. I still don’t have talent but I enjoy it. When I retire at 99, I will paint full time."
#10Drank like my alcoholic mother
Until I got sober at age 31, thank God (and AA)
Image credits: EMHemingway1899
#11cry over a boy
Image credits: jloczx
#12I wanted nothing more than to escape my family for good and never come back.
They got help... I did not expect that...
Image credits: cutiegirl88
#13Napping on purpose
Image credits: ChaoticCherryblossom
#14Birdwatching. I used to think it was the lamest way someone could spend their time when I was a kid. How could anyone just sit around and look at birds? What are you, some kind of bird creep? ... 20 years later and I'm obsessed with birds. Love hearing their songs and seeing all the beautiful colors
Image credits: Koala-teas
#15Have sex before marriage. Thank f**k I never made good on that one since I'm 41 and have never been married.
Image credits: squid1891
#16Turn into a cold-hearted 'monster' with no emotions.
Image credits: Partially_At_Fault
#17Diet sodas. In my youth I swore I'd just die of diabetes before I drank that swill.
Now I'm in my 40s and unless the soda is sweetened with real sugar, I actually prefer diet/zero sugar options. Corn syrup sodas are so gross to me now. Oh, and once I stopped drinking high fructose corn syrup, I lost fifty f*****g pounds. Corn syrup has no place in our drinks.
Image credits: anon
#19Get a degree in math.
Image credits: JunkBondJunkie
#20Divorce, I've done it twice so far.
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#21I said I wouldn’t curse unless a nuke was dropped on my house. That was a f*****g lie.
Image credits: -notjosh-
#22have an abortion.
i was raised pretty evangelical by both (veru divorced) parents. i grew up believing being queer was wrong (BOY did puberty rock my world, lol) and that abortion was straight up selfish and evil. for more reference, i did a speech biography project on jesus f*****g christ in 6th grade and later on did a debate project on being anti-abortion in 8th grade (which my teacher properly f*****g schooled me on, as teachers are wont to do).
my senior year, still kind of a christian but very much less so, i got pregnant. my boyfriend at the time pressured me into protectionless sex, which we had never done before, and i foolishly gave in. lo and behold, i found out the day after my senior graduation that i was pregnant.
his mother, who actually really disliked me, helped me make and get to and from appointments with planned parenthood. i was 18 and i got government assistance. i was early enough to qualify for a medical abortion and i spent a few days with that boyfriend at my best friend's house (she is still my best friend over a decade and a half later) and had the abortion. she took care of me like i was a child. i messed up my medications meant for pain and nausea, and she wiped my forehead and cradled me and cleaned me up like i was an infant. she is an angel, i love her so much. she was my only support through the worst time of my life. that boyfriend ended up not only ignoring me and not supporting me, but cheated on me multiple times with teenage children. i still wonder to this day, so many years later, if he'll show up on the news. i bet he will.
long story short, i did something i never, ever thought i would do. i am a very happy and very loved mother now. i eventually met a wonderful, gentle, beautiful partner and we made a beautiful baby together who is now in school :) i am happier than i ever thought i could be, with a person who i'm crazy about. none of this would ever, EVER have happened if i didn't abort so long ago. i would do it over and over and over again to get where i am now.
#23Become a teacher. My dad was one and people always told me I should do it and I'd be good at it. I swore I'd never do it, and hated the very idea of it. When I got to 26 and still didn't have an idea of what I wanted to do with my life, I got a teaching degree. I hate teaching. It was a mistake.
Image credits: zooperdooper7
#24I had kids. As a child all the way up until I was about 26, I was anti child. I ended up having three.
#25Go to bed early.
Image credits: GypsyLove27
#26Yearn for romance
Image credits: purple-marmalade
#27Work in a sterile office building. The cringe I felt and what I now put up with.
Image credits: PizzaPoopFuck
#28Stop believing in Christianity
Image credits: Anime_sad
#29Pretend to be someone or something I'm not for the sake of safety, comforts, and social inclusion.
I use to believe that the coolest people were the ones that had the courage to be themselves and pursue their dreams. No matter how hard it was. If they failed, they simply got back up and tried again. If others didn't believe in them, they found the will to believe better of themselves. But no matter what, they never gave up, never let someone else tell them their worth.
I had family in America. And I saw all those cheesy movies and show, heard stories and such. I thought that I could be normal, too. So I dropped everything and went there. It wasn't long before I realized I wasn't normal, and people could tell. So I started the whole "fake it till you make it" routine, and thus, my slow decline into madness. You ever heard the expression "some people fall, and just keep on falling..."?
What happened? 2 decades later I woke up and realized how hollow my life became. I was on autopilot, hard-core. Before I knew it, I couldn't do jack without someone else's approval. I worked jobs I hated, went on pointless dates, went to stupid parties. To make it worse, I had a new set of obsessions, mainly internet, materialism, and social acceptance at any cost.
Best part is, I have no one to blame but myself. I get to live that guilt everyday. Yay.
Image credits: Murky-Hat-3619
#30Smoking, alcohol, weed, soft drugs, hard drugs, I wish I would've listened to my younger self
Image credits: 420_diego
#31I would never say "While you live under my roof, you live by my rules".
I said it a few months ago to my 17 year old.
As I was saying it, and realized what I was saying, I blushed and cringed on the inside. I can't even remember what the argument was about, but I sure remember the shame of what I said. I wonder if my father went through the same self questioning when he said it to me?
#32Move back in with a parent. Done it twice now.
Image credits: jim_deneke
#33Become a nurse. My mother was a nurse. Both of my grandmothers as well, and I always swore as I grew up, listening to mom’s gross stories it was something I would never do. Had a different career in my early 20s only to become a nurse by 30.?
#34Be single. I thought that, by the age I am now, I’d be settled down with the man of my dreams and have a couple of grown-up kids. But here I am, not even dating, never had children, living the corporate life in a big city. Weird.
#35I wanted to die by 30. I'm 34 now
Image credits: cutiegirl88
#36Not quite childhood, but it immediately sprang to mind: kind of f****d up my undergraduate university selection process and wound up at my last-choice school VERY begrudgingly. Luckily I wound up loving it, but told myself I would not make the same mistake for graduate school. Then I made the same mistake. To doubly compound it, I'd also told myself I'd never take out student loans, and then I did as part of my graduate school mistake. Oops. Lifelong debt and regret!
#37Turn into my parents.
Image credits: long-term_lurker
#39I always wanted to be this thin dainty woman as a kid, I hated my muscly calves and thighs, I hated that I had broad shoulders. I didn't think any man could possibly find it attractive, let alone finding myself attractive and lovable.
That went right out the window the moment my stubborn brain decided to join a male dominated field requiring muscle. I love myself in ways my younger self could never imagine, I'm proud of physical achievements my younger self would shy from.
From the bigger girl constantly trying to be smaller to the muscly woman trying to get more.
Oh and I have an absolutely gorgeous boyfriend who brags about his girlfriends muscle - and my tinder profile was very successful in hook-ups. So I guess I'm hot (well not ugly enough to not get hook ups) and have a decent enough personality.
#40[tw suicide] >! Live past 34. When I was a teen I decided that 34 was the cutoff for becoming a boring wrinkly drone and that I would off myself if I lived that long. Lol, kids are silly. !<
#41Become like my sister.
In elementary school, we had to write a one-page letter to ourselves as adults, about our expectations etc.
I wrote I never wanted to be like my oldest sister, because teenage her kept slapping me whenever she was annoyed, and was overall horrid to me.
Well, she changed when she got pregnant at 17, turned her life around, stopped doing drugs, finished school after having my niece (with lots of support from my parents), went to uni with her daughter in tow, married my BIL, lived in England for a year, became a teacher, and is now one of the people I admire the most.
We're now living less than half an hour from each other, both married, both with two daughters, living in a similar village right outside the same city. I spent a year in England, too, even in the same county, and of my 4 siblings, she's the one most like myself in temper, tastes and looks. And I really don't mind.
#43Being a grumpy old man who gave up on his hopes and dreams. I swore I’d be the fun person and never be grumpy, that was before I nearly died due to my health and have been doped into a state on constant drowsiness and anger due to the same meds saving my life. Sorry young me, I failed you. I failed a lot of people, I go to my 9-5 never advancing, putting on a smile so fake I don’t even think people know it’s a smile, I take my salary home, pay the bills, have enough left over to put away for a rainy day because it isn’t enough to do anything substantial. I’m sorry little one, I’ve failed you, I’ve become the very person you hated so much
#44Alcohol. I learned that it doesn't need to make me throw up, have a headache or be hungover. Only if i overdo it. Which i don't.
#45I used to think it was silly people cared about their lawn so much.
I am now obsessed with manicuring my lawn in the summer months
#46Not sure I ever explicitly said I wouldn't do this, but young me would be surprised that I stopped being religious. I was legitimately considering attending seminary after HS for a while there, but somewhere along the line it all just stopped making sense to me.
I also *did* say I'd never attend college in my home state, wanted to get the hell out of here but ended up at the University of Iowa anyway because in-state tuition.
I *also* said I'd never drink heavily or try drugs, but again... University of Iowa, lmao. Thankfully never made a habit of those things, but I did my share of partying.
#47I said “i never will be like those adults whose faces looks like they shoulder the world” well, here I am now.
#48Stopped liking new music. And now I just listen to the music that was around when I was growing up.
#49Not believing in god.
But now I know we are on our own.
#50Loving a girl named Mandy. I thought it was a dorky name and this girl who had a crush on me in primary school had that name. So naturally because I was like 8, I hated the name. Then when I was 19 I met another girl named Mandy and we've been together 12.5 years now.
The Universe is an ironic son of a b***h.
#52I got a dog, and I put clothes on her. I always said I would never do either thing. She’s really small and we live in a cold place, so she has to wear a coat when we go outside. My sister had a chihuahua who would bring you her clothes and beg for you to help her put them on!
#53Get fat ?
#54Two kids before I turn 30 and livin in the burbs. Oh well , I’m happy !
#55Well, grew up supperrrr religious. Like homeschooled, on a farm, church 5x a week, the end is coming, street evangelism at 6, swear to your dad before God that you will stay a virgin till marriage at 13, religious. SOOOO, I intended to save my first kiss for marriage. Currently having amazing kinky sex 4x a week with the man of my dreams with an engagement on the horizon. Also, I'm a bisexual witch. woooooooooo cutting off my parents soon hopefully
But then I got cancer.
Weed's my bestie now.