Crying into my Patatas Bravas, she reached for my hand over the table and squeezed it. “Just say YES, Liz, to, like, everything!”
That was the advice from a wonderful friend of mine. We were sitting in a bar one evening, the table full of wine glasses and plates of tapas and greasy napkins. My heart was broken and I was feeling lost and fucking terrified and everything else that crashes in when a relationship screams to an end.
To, like, everything.
To everything. No. No. No. I was in a NO place and that’s where I was staying. I was miserable and moping and sad. No. No. No. You want a yes? No. You’re not having one. No.
But then…….s.l.o.w.l.y, I started to hop around the idea of saying yes a little. Yes to a coffee on a Sunday morning with someone I hadn’t seen in a while. Yes to signing up for a 5K race. Yes to going to the cinema. Alone. (I’d never done that before). Yes to remembering that I liked nothing more than lying in the bath with a glass of red wine and reading a book. Yes to lighting every candle in my house. Yes, yes, yes.
It feels good to say yes. To life. To things you automatically want to say no to. Because that thing might be a little scary or weird or different or woah, it might challenge you in a way you’ve never been challenged before. I said yes to meditation several weeks ago and now, now I meditate every day after years of being royally shit at meditating. I still can’t quite believe it. I am saying yes to daily walks where I take the time to notice the ways the trees are changing from green to brown to the most beautiful golden orange. Yes to writing even though somedays, the fear of being judged for my writing floors me so much I want to curl up in a little ball and never write a single word again. Yes to Netflix documentaries about all sorts of things from Colombian drug runners to 800 kilometre adventures to this guy. Yes to spending next Summer living in France. Yes to buying a big, yellow chair for my office. Yes to looking people in the eye and saying hello (or Hallo in German) and smiling at them. Yes to doing my ankle rehabilitation exercises every day even though they’re boring. Yes to playing with my son, getting down on all fours and crawling around the room with him pretending to be a lion. Yes to leaving my phone at home when I go out for dinner so that I can have a conversation with the person I am with. Yes to openly crying and getting real and telling the truth. Yes to FaceTiming my friends because I get homesick. Yes to deleting Twitter and Instagram because my brain hurt with all the incessant scrolling I was doing. Yes to my Not Another New Year’s Resolution Project that just launched. Yes to learning more about neuroscience because it fascinates me. Yes to signing up for a 5 mile swimming race even though I currently cannot swim 5 miles. Yes to coffee. And red wine. And mashed potato. Big dollops of it. Yes to moving dead mice from the doorstep that my cat brings me, even though dead mice and dead birds give me the heebie-jeebies. Yes to moving to Germany and being scared out of my mind most days but knowing deep down that it was the best decision we ever made. Yes to eating apples straight off the tree. Yes to being me. Which is so hard sometimes. Because I am judgemental and really a bit of a shit to myself at times. Yes to all of that.
What are you saying YES, to?