A couple of years ago at work, I got the bright idea for my next project. I was going write about my intentional experience known as ‘The Year of Yes’. I love trying out new ideas to keep myself engaged in expanding my mind and all that life has to offer and this was the perfect excuse for just that.
It was simple, I was going to say ‘Yes’ all year.
Not to everything though. “What about if someone asks you to get a dumb tattoo?” a friend of mine quipped. Really? I expected better of my friends than the suggestion of six grade level dares.
I said ‘Yes’ to…
- Things I might normally say ‘No’ to
- Things that were harmless but seemed scary on the surface
- Things which seemed impossible
- Things with no plan at the time of proposal (Quite trying for my Type A self)
- …And most of all, things that took me out of my comfort zone
That year was one I won’t soon forget. I said ‘Yes’ to traveling 100,000 miles in 30 days around the world, I said yes to chillin’ with NFL players in a pizzeria at 1 a.m., I agreed to get my head shaved (undercut only!). I also took the leap and said ‘Yes’ doing my first and only live stand-up comedy routine on my birthday. I even said ‘Yes’ to getting married. And much to my surprise, I even said ‘Yes’ to microdosing regularly with really positive results.
I said ‘Yes’ to a lot of things and it scared the hell out of people but I was having a ball.
My ‘Year of Yes’ was a success in my eyes.
My man Isaac Newton said it best, “Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction.” This year is my opposite reaction.
2020 is my ‘Year of No’.
It sounds harsh but I’m going to make it as painless as possible for anyone other than myself. Just like the other year, I’m making up my own intentional rules.
I will say ‘No’ to…
- Anything I don’t need
- Anything that doesn’t add what I deem, true value, to my life
- Anything that drains me or makes me feel bad
- Anything that I don’t actually want, even if it’s expected that I “should”
Saying ‘No’ isn’t hard for me however I have a big heart, despite my RBF. You could call me what-the-fuck-dead-a.m. for a ride from the airport because you can’t get an Uber and 9 times out of 10, I’m your girl, I’ll come pick you up. Heck, I’ll probably suggest swinging by somewhere to get a snack. You did just land after all. I feed anyone who comes into my home, and offer up a spare bed freely, no matter the reason. You get about two weeks rent free and after three consider yourself an Airbnb guest. On occasions, I know full well my kindness is being taken advantage of but, I reason that by considering maybe I don’t have the full story on why someone is acting a certain way. Why they feel the need to abuse kindness in this way. It’s more a reflection on their internal conversation than anything. This is a rare occurrence though because I usually call people on their shit.
I imagine this year I’m going to piss some people off. As I stated before I am also constructing stronger boundaries for myself. I foresee getting into uncomfortable conversations after exercising my right to not oblige. I’m gonna bet, some people are going to be up in their feels but won’t be able to express themselves to me because a lot of adults act like children at their core.
I’m only seeking the same as before, to step outside of my comfort zone and see what new interactions and experiences feel like. Yet, somehow it will affect others oh so deeply.
My ‘Year of No’ is going to sweep people right off their feet and maybe out of my life…but who knows, that could just be wishful thinking.