The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

On saying “Yes” more often

I have decided that 2016 is going to be the year of the yes. Life is short, and we don’t know when our life decides to end. And due to the aforementioned turning thirty, I find myself wanting to do more than what I used to, because of circumstances and events I cannot control.

Now that my life is a little bit more under my purview, I want this year (and the years to come) to be more of a year of saying yes. Yes to things I haven’t tried before. To experiences that I might not initially find enjoyable, but will grow to love. I am getting too old (see: knees) to keep saying no before I literally cannot physically do some of the things I’ve been asked to do (see: parasailing). It is time to get out of my bubble and see the world, try crazy things, see more of my people (actually, find out who my people really are).

One such Yes was a dayhike last January 9th. Our friends who have been climbing mountains for more than a decade had asked if we wanted to go along. On a whim, my sister and I said yes, not really knowing what to do, what to bring, what gear we needed. They just said it would take 2-3 hours to go up the peak, and the same going down. So we thought, easy peasy right? Wrong.

How could I forget about my almost crippling fear of heights that doesn’t even let me go on the rollercoasters on theme parks? Or the fact that my knees make me wince just bending down to pick up my bunnies? Or that the shoes I was going to wear were for running and have been worn down considerably in the last 4 years?

Well. I forgot about that and just went along. I even went for a few bottles of beer the night before to get the edge off.

That was a mistake. I couldn’t sleep the night before and we got there painfully lacking sleep and completely unprepared. While the views were spectacular and the air quite fresh, I couldn’t focus much on the beauty of the environment so much as I tried to concentrate on not falling down unto it. My shoes were wrong and kept slipping, my feet and instincts picked the wrong footholds or the most difficult paths. My knees were, like my spirit, a wreck, that I stopped at one point and refused to go on, knowing that if I did, it would just make my trip completely unenjoyable. The part of the path that made me give up was steeply pointing down with no foothold, loose soil and rocks, and nothing to hold on to. So I sat next to the dog that came along, the better footed golden retriever named Blue who was the highlight of my day. I stayed at the rest stop, enjoyed the view, had a ton of chips, lukewarm water, shots of wine and whisky, and ate the rest of my snacks. As it was a literal line (with an actual rope) up the summit, our whole group didn’t stay long past my “quit point” anyway.

So my first jaunt up the mountains wasn’t a resounding success. Most first attempts for me are. I want to try again though, with better shoes and hopefully, stabler knees. I’ll make a mountain goat of myself yet, and if not, at least I can say I tried for real. Because that view was, even if it made me shake, beautiful, and there is enough in me to want to.

What did you say yes to recently?

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