Year of Yes

So I turn 33 tomorrow! I made it and so far it looks like NO ONE WILL BE IN THE HOSPITAL!!!! Seriously the last 2 out of 3 birthdays were spent in the hospital, first with my dad then last year with my sister’s car accident. Although the nurses do love left over birthday cupcakes…. they’ll miss that this year.

That leads me to my YEAR OF YES. I came across this book thanks to Jenny Lawson, the author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, famous for The Bloggess site she runs. She had a down day a few weeks ago and to spread love and cheer for those of us in the same boat she asked for followers to create an Amazon Wish List with ONE book they really needed right now. I had 100% no idea what to put so I scanned Jenny’s list for inspiration. And I stumbled across Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes and Year of Yes journal.

Yes, THE Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder fame. Turns out this amazing person is just as much as an introvert as I am if not worse. Her older sister confronted her one Thanksgiving and said “You never say yes to anything.” And, like her, it was a bolt of lightening. I never say yes to anything, even if I really want to do it. And if I do say yes there is a damned good chance that I’m going to pull out at the last minute with some excuse and feel even worse about myself. Or, if it’s a Facebook invite, I ignore it and it goes away from my events list.

I’m only about half way through the book and she herself is just starting her Year of Yes but I get it. I 100% get it. It’s about doing the things that scare you or that you are missing out on. Getting over yourself, over coming that anxiety or whatever is holding you back to live life to the fullest. It took Shonda herself a while to come up with this plan but, like me, it was like a strike of lightening, the fire under our asses. HER YoY included things like going on Jimmy Kimmel Live, giving the commencement speech at her alma mater, playing more with her kids, no matter what was going on. Mine, of course, aren’t quite that dramatic (in the eyes of the world) but to me, it’s a big freaking deal.

So… what are my YoY plans? I’m still working on it but one thing I’d like to do is take a burlesque 101 class offered by a Facebook friend. I’ll probably never perform but it looks like so much fun and a big body positive confidence booster. I’d like to say YES to more drag shows or local musical productions, concerts at IU that are free and just as good as anything in New York. Yes I’ll do that 5K with you. Yes let’s gym it up. Anything to get me out of the house, active and happy. I’m filling up my Facebook events with things I’d like to do, a LGBTQ+/Ally picnic later in June to remember the Pulse victims and come together as a community. This Saturday is Spencer Pride Fest and I’d love to drive over for it. Birthday parties, general parties. If I can make it I’m saying YES.

Yes to travel. Yes to that amazing meal. Yes to hanging with a friend over drinks or going to that movie together.

YES to life itself.

When I think about it, I’m not going to lie, the panic and fear and anxiety already set in. What if I say or do the wrong thing? What if I get there and no one will talk to me and I’m the creep in the corner? What if I’m one of the only people there? What if, what if what if?! My life is a constant WHAT IF and that leads me to staying home, in bed, with my cats and my cell phone. Watching OTHERS go live their lives and enjoy themselves and wonder why I couldn’t have done that myself.

No more backseat, watching from social media. I’m starting my Year of Yes tomorrow.

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