When routine hits a plateau and I’m no longer being challenged, I realize that I need to step outside of what’s most comfortable in exchange for something that’s not. I found myself countless times venting about feeling stuck during these moments only to be told by friends to put myself out there, take on what scares me, or do something out of the ordinary.
Those words aren't as encouraging when you're hesitant to take on something new. But last fall, I read about a woman who took to heart her New Year’s resolution of saying yes to things: invitations, dates, adventures, get-togethers…life in general. Her story resonated with me so I took on the same mentality – only after my friends told me the exact thing this woman was advocating for.
At the time, I was dying to cut my hair short, I wanted to feel happy again after the loss of my boy Chubby, the thought of turning 29 made me uneasy, I wanted to take a solo trip, I wanted to step out of my comfort level in ministry, and the pressure to not be single hit me like 10 bags of Maseca Corn Flour all at once.* Oh, you mean the heavy flour bags Hispanic moms use to make tortillas, you ask? Yes, those! In addition, I couldn’t stop comparing myself to other women my age who seemingly had it all together.
I threw myself a temporary pity party but I got over it once I decided to say yes to things in an effort to change my circumstances.
Fast forward a year later, saying yes for me has meant taking an unrestrained approach to embracing opportunities, people, and experiences. See, there’s something beautiful about being spontaneous and stripping away all inhibitions, or in my case, trying not to think twice before I commit to plans, going for the hair chop, and just taking on something different from the ordinary.
I decided to say yes when I realized I wanted to interact outside of my circle, check off certain to-do items on my lists, give dating a chance again, preach a few times here and there, and become happy again. In return, I met wonderful people, faced my extreme fear of stage freight, found ways to celebrate life, became comfortable with taking time for myself and learned to focus on the things I could only control.
I hope you understand that saying yes isn’t about exhausting yourself for the thrill of saying you’ve done something. Whatever you say yes to should have meaning, excite you, scare you, make you grow a little, empower you and force you out of your element.
Saying yes has taken a new meaning for me over the last year, and in fact, over the last few weeks. So, in the spirit of always growing and finding your happy, I challenge you to take the one thing you’ve been putting off and say yes to it without hesitation. Do it! And after you do, I hope you'll say yes to the next thing on your list, and the next.
*If you’re Hispanic or particularly Central American, then you know how much these bags weigh and if you’re single, you definitely understand this pressure is deeply rooted in our culture (insert eye roll emoji).