If you have not read Shonda Rhimes’s book The Year of Yes then you need to hustle to your library or local bookstore and grab yourself a copy. I read this book over a year ago and think about the messages written by her on a near daily basis.
I tend to dislike the “self help” aisle as I associate the books with narcissists who write Pinterest-like quotes of inspiration for basic white girls wanting to get skinny or get over their tumultuous relationships.
My coworker and I were sitting in my hotel room sipping gin and sodas after a long travel and work day and she asked me how I became so adventurous. I was embarrassed to be asked the question because honestly I do not find myself all that adventurous. The most exciting thing I have done is traveled to Tibet to hike to Everest base camp. It is not as if I summited Mt. Everest. And in all honesty, if I can do it ANYONE can do it.
I have been lucky enough to travel to places like China, England, Italy, Japan, etc. but I feel a lot of people have as well. I never thought of it as an achievement. I recently went skydiving because friends of mine asked me to, but again I told myself that so have a lot of people. I realized most of the “adventurous” things I have done are just because someone has asked me to do them and I complied.
“Do you want to go skydiving?” Yes.
“Do you want to climb to Everest base camp?” Yes.
“Do you want to learn how to snowboard?” Yes.
“Do you want to do a 5 mile trail run in the rain?” Not really, but yes.
I realized the reason my coworker had perceived me to be adventurous was because I was really good at saying yes. There is a such a thing as too much yes, like being people pleaser and saying “yes” to everything someone asks of you. What I am referring to is saying yes to things that scare us. Feeling scared of an opportunity or an adventure and saying yes anyways.
This past year, without realizing it, I had said yes to almost every thing that scared me. I said yes when my coworkers wanted me to take the lead on our surveys, I said yes when my friends asked me to skydive, I said yes to being in a commercial for a jewelry store and I said yes to meeting up with someone I did not know to coordinate and host a charity drive. I said yes even though all these things terrified me because conquering fears is where the magic happens. When I said yes and did things even though I did not feel comfortable or ready I learned something and I grew. It also allowed me to feel more comfortable the next time something I was scared to do came up.
This past year of 2019 was about trying different avenues to improve my overall health. I spent 30 days at a time trying new things and learning about myself, what works for me and what does not. 2019 was about saying yes to commitments, to growth, to adventures and even to failures (if I at least tried something new). It was also about saying no to toxic relationships, bad habits, and clutter (physical and mental). The year 2020 will be about saying yes to self love and continuing on my journey into a more meaningful life. This next year is about saying yes to cultivating friendships with supportive people, nourishing my body and soul without judgment and shame, and making room (and time) for what is important while simultaneously weeding out what is not.
Cheers to 2020 and farewell 2019!