I came into 2013 with very low expectations for myself. Instead of creating a list of resolutions that I would undoubtedly fail at, I decided to have only one rule: say yes. Not maybe, not perhaps, not possibly, just yes. It’s a simple rule that’s completely changed the way my world turns. I used to say the word “No” constantly and all it did was become a roadblock that would hamper creativity and conversation. Now, I wake up everyday and the only thing I seek to do is to say yes. Say yes even when it scares me. Say yes even when I don’t feel up to the challenge. Say yes even if it’s a little inconvenient.
It’s not always easy, in fact it’s usually hard but it’s worth it. I’ve said yes to putting myself out there. Yes to helping friends out. Yes to random conversations that lead to a sunrise and an idea. Yes to being free. Yes to keeping my heart open. Yes to apologizing. Yes to taking on daunting projects at work. Yes to discipline. Yes to loving myself. Yes to admitting my faults. Yes to barring my soul. Yes to improving myself. Yes to protecting myself. Yes to working on my relationship with my mom. Yes to being brave. Yes to talking to strangers. Yes to taking on my dreams, even if they seem beyond me.
Take a deep breath and let “Yes” into your life. Just please don’t ask me to bungee jump.
Money has been so incredibly tight recently. I’m still paying for months of careless spending and mindless generosity but I’m chipping away at debt, tightening my belt and doing everything I can to save. This has included
1. Not sniffing to see if milk has gone bad anymore. What’s the point?
2. Putting on a sweater, letting down my hair or swapping for a pair of sunglasses just so I can swing round the samples table again at Trader Joe’s.
3. Flirting with my favorite silver fox of a Tender Greens server, hoping he’ll bring me some free mashed potatoes or lemonade. My current “free stuff” tally is at a 5.
4. Believing tacitly that my car can run simply on unicorn poop and happy thoughts.
5. Signing up for “share economy” sites like TaskRabbit, Lyft and DogVacay.com to squeeze every dime I can get. Lyft is a community marketplace that let’s you put your car up for rent during certain hours of the day. Strangely no one has put up a bid on my 2005 Camry with peeling paint and a heart of gold.
6. Unsubscribing from all emails from deal sites, shopping sites and entertainment sites. Well, this hasn’t happened yet but it probably should.
Anyhow, I’ve felt incredibly grateful in the past few weeks. Some friends, family and even coworkers that know I’m struggling have reached out to lend me a helping hand, or a pint of beer. Because beer always helps. I’ve been showered with free concert tickets, gift cards, movie tickets and beer with absolutely no strings attached. It makes me incredibly excited for the day I do have money in the bank because I can’t wait to give back. I can’t wait to be able to buy a struggling young adult a meal because I know how much it would mean to them. I hope to one day buy a tank of gas for a starving student. I was in tears when my dad did that for me this weekend. I just hope I can continue to remember what it feels like to struggle because I truly feel it is shaping me into who I will be tomorrow. And that my friends is Priceless.