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5 words I’ve been waiting 5 years to say.

5 words I’ve been waiting 5 years to say.

What do you whisper to yourself that you cannot yet say aloud?

What do you long to say that you can’t quite say yet? What do you dream about? What starts with, “If only … ” and you’re just not quite there yet?

Yes, of course, you can say anything, but what would you like to say that isn’t quite true yet? Here’s a collection of 5-word phrases that make people terribly happy:

  • I have lost 10 pounds!
  • I got a huge bonus!
  • That was my fastest run!

Note the exclamation point after each statement. My 5 words don’t have an exclamation point, it’s more just a soft-spoken, grinning pride.

They’re just words, right? But this particular selection and order make me proud, relieved and just plain happy. Just 5 little words, not even complex words, but they meant a great deal to me. All I said was:

I don’t do that anymore.

I found myself saying it to an old client about the work I used to do and telling her that I would no longer be doing that work for her. As I said it, weight lifted from my shoulders and I knew it was the right thing to say.

When you’re searching for change, hoping for a transformation, you might say a lot of things that you’d like to believe, but you don’t truly believe them. You might even convince others that you’re serious, but if you haven’t convinced yourself, then it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Finally I said the words and was able to believe them, to feel them, to know that they were true and that my past was no longer my present or my future. In a way, I can’t believe it because I’ve been wanting to say this for so long that they just seem like dream words, like words I’d like to wish were true, but it just couldn’t be so because no way would that part of my life ever be over.

But you can change. Small steps lead to journeys. Small change can lead to big change. It’s all there, it’s all in front of you, it’s yours for the taking. It has little to do with the past and, although that’s hard to understand, it has everything to do with the present and how that shapes your future.

I don’t know if everyone has such a hard time with a career change, but this felt like those mussels that stick to the bottom of a boat and no matter how far I traveled or how rough the seas were, they were happy to stay right where they were and I couldn’t get them off. I felt like what I was doing was, well, just that: what I was doing. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but it was what I was doing and that was just as simple as that: it’s what I do.

Not anymore. Now I can safely say: I don’t do that anymore.


  1. Mom

    That really applies to me, doesn’t it? “I don’t do that anymore.” Sometimes you have to make changes because you have to make changes, not because you want to. But the end result is the same, or could be. You can look back, or you can look forward.

    • Bradley

      Looking back can be nice, “Oh, remember when?” That’s nice. But 80% should be looking forward. Yes, sometimes you have to make the changes, but hopefully, most of the changes are because you want to make them. In fact, I think we can avoid or prevent the changes we “have to” make by making choices earlier that we “want to” make.


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