Have you ever seen the film Yes Man? It is based on a book by Danny Wallace. Yes Man is the story of what happened when Danny, after a chance encounter with a mystery man on a late-night bus, decided to say YES to everything, in order to make his life more interesting. And life definitely got more interesting!
I went through a time in my life where saying yes wasn’t really an option. Being in a long-distance relationship, a large portion of my life was spent travelling to see my partner or having him visit me. We would try to fit in weeks of a relationship in just a couple of days, and lived only half a life in our own cities in order to try to maintain a relationship over the distance, scared of building up too much of a life where we were out of guilt or fear of it pushing even more distance between us. When we broke up (amicably, I must say!) in the latter part of 2013, I suddenly found myself in a strange place. All the time in my week that used to be taken up with visits, phone calls, and long Skype chats, was suddenly being spent quietly sitting in front of the television. Having not built up much of a life in my city, I had a choice. I could continue to live the half-life that I was living. Or, I could make the effort to go out and do things. I chose the latter. So I started to say “yes.”
The results of this “yes” approach to life are already evident.. Whether it’s helping someone paint their living room, or going Ceilidh dancing on a Friday night, I will try just about anything. And, boy, has my life changed!
I’m so much busier and my social circle has extended significantly. When I saw the new “Fresh Meat” intake for my local roller derby league, I jumped in skates first and not only found a new sport that I loved, but a whole host of new friends with fun and interesting new stories and adventures. I’m learning new things, too. I’ve sewn a skirt and a bag (neither of which were hugely successful, but still an achievement!). I’ve learned to cook new dishes using new types of food, including a hilarious and disastrous attempt at Chinese cooking which ended with smoke alarms blaring and having to write apologies to my neighbors for the burnt ginger and garlic smell that lingered longer than it should have! I’ve learned how to skate again and by some miracle can stay upright on 8 wheels. . . although I’m still perfecting the skill of stopping before crashing into the wall!
I’m taking adventures and challenging myself. I always loved an adventure and I am definitely no stranger to the spontaneous. Yet, somehow over the past few years I seemed to be having fewer and fewer adventures and getting more and more stuck in the day-to-day. A few “yes” moments later and I’ve got the next bunch of adventures lined up—three weeks in Ecuador this summer including sleeping in the Amazon jungle for two nights, a shark dive later in the year, and a trio of running challenges over the next few months.
Who knows where the next “yes” may take me?!
And so, I would like to take on the manifesto that Danny wrote in his book.
“I, being of sound mind and body, do hereby write this manifesto for my life. I swear I will be more open to opportunity. I swear I will live my life taking every available chance. I will say Yes to every favor, request, suggestion and invitation. I WILL SWEAR TO SAY YES WHERE ONCE I WOULD SAY NO.”
What will you say yes to?
Lynsey Logan is a hopeless romantic who believes in the good in this world. When she’s not teaching, she’s usually found trawling vintage stores, attempting various crafty projects, writing about things that matter, and daydreaming about and planning her next adventures! She blogs about things she cares about here and tweets her random thoughts here.