Last summer, my friend invited me out to her cottage in British Columbia. I was all ready to say no. What about work? I had so much to do. What about my mom? Who would take her to do all her errands that week? What about? What about?
And yet, I really wanted to go. So I said yes. My friend and I went for long walks, we drank tea, we got up late, we had naps, we went on a beautiful hike, we shopped, we cooked and we killed ourselves laughing. I love spending time with her – and it was a lot of fun. Even now, when I think about it, it makes me happy.
The universe has endless possibilities for each of us. But it’s not like Walmart, where everything is readily available. You have to make a conscious effort to go for what you want. You have to take a risk, it's a leap of faith, and you have to trust that it will work out. And there’s the problem for some of us.
I always like to play it safe, and I’m waaaay more comfortable with no. But the problem with playing it safe is that you will never know what could have been. It closes a door before it can be opened. So this year, I’m starting with the premise of yes, and walking through open doors. No, not every one, but certainly a few more than I ever have before. I’m starting with five.
1. I’m saying yes to a new restaurant. I know what I like to eat. And so, I often end up at the same places with the same dishes. I’m always happy with my meal, but I know exactly what I’m getting all the time, and there are so many amazing restaurants and dishes out there that I have never tried. How do I know if I will like them or not unless l try them?
2. I’m taking a creative writing class. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve said, “I'm sure there’s a book inside me just dying to get out.” But I've always been afraid to write creatively, in case it's not good enough. In this case, I’m owning my fear and hopefully, a creative writing class will give me confidence.
3. I’m saying yes to a trip with my two sisters. I love them, and we've never been away together just the three of us, and we've been talking about it forever. I’m hoping it will be a really good memory for us.
4. I’m saying yes to a piece of cheesecake. My friend Erin just said yes to one. I said no. I feel a little resentful. There were so many reasons to say no: it’s too high in fat, I don't need it, I had a perfectly healthy lunch. But I can’t stop thinking about this lost opportunity to eat a delicious thing. No, I’m not supplementing my daily diet with cake, but I am going to have a piece of one if I feel like it.
5. I’m defining my dream. This week, my friend said yes to a move to Singapore with her husband and young child. She said that oddly enough, she always wanted to live in a place where she could wear flip-flops year-round. Now she’s going to live her dream. And it made me think, what’s my dream? I don't even have one. Seriously, if you don't have a dream, how can you live it?
How about you? Do you ever say no when you want to say yes?