Saying "yes" is something that I've always been pretty good at. I'm naturally inclined to go out of my way for others and I have such bad FOMO that I'm intrinsically motivated to participate in most offers that come my way.
This 'saying yes' assignment, however, could not have come at a better time. Let me set the scene a little bit for you...
I moved out to LA over the summer, with about zero friends, a new job, and a long distance boyfriend. It was quickly easy for me to bury myself in my work and in my relationship with a man who was literally on the opposite side of the country.
I found myself working about ten hours a day, and then going home to a Skype session and a glass of wine alone. Here or there I would be invited to grab a drink with a coworker or a friend, but often I would claim I was too tired and not pursue it.
At the time I didn't realize it - but I was lonely AF.
Then comes November. The boyf and I realize it's not working; we break up. I am sad for a hot second, but throughout it all I come to realize that I have nothing going on for me in California.
The epiphany eventually hits: I am the person who got myself into this lonely life in la la land, and I am the only one who can get myself out of it.
Three dating profiles and a few bottles of wine later, I decided it was time for me to say "YES"... yes to every opportunity that came my way. I had one month left of 2016, and I was going to make it the best month of my year.
Now, you were promised a story about how saying "yes" changed my life. Did I end up doing completely reckless, crazy things? Did I adopt a dog? Did I end up in a random country where no one spoke English with a guy named Klaus? Did I agree to sing karaoke and get discovered by Justin Bieber's agent? No.
But I did learn a lot about myself - and about finding happiness.
SO. How did I change my life?
I started making plans. I committed to going on at least 3 dates a week, and saying yes to any advances from age-appropriate and non-creepy men at bars. I stopped saying "I'm too tired" when I was invited to do something after work, or "I'll see if I can make it" to an event where I didn't know anyone. Instead, I starting responding "absolutely, I will be there," and "thank you so much for thinking of me."
I kid you not, I went from a circle of about four people in Los Angeles to a continually budding network of friends over 30 people deep.
Some highlights of my 'saying yes' adventure?
I sat in prime seats at an LA Rams game, a team I've never supported in my life but thoroughly enjoyed watching lose to the Atlanta Falcons
I got to go to a party in a $1,000 suite at a luxurious West Hollywood hotel
I went on countless Hinge / Bumble dates before realizing online dating maybe isn't my thing (but definitely broke me out of my shell)
I met my first celebrity at a quiet Manhattan Beach gathering
I committed to three exciting trips with friends in 2017
I went on a date to a beautiful Leonard Cohen tribute in DTLA and had potentially the most romantic kiss of my life
And most importantly, I learned that the ONLY way to live life is by saying YES, taking risks, and putting yourself out there
And, to give you a little follow-up info... the fun didn't stop in 2016.
So far in 2017 I have...
Attended a comedy show where I got to see Pete Wentz (yes, from Fall Out Boy) perform standup
I went out on a literal movie picture perfect first date, dancing down the Santa Monica Pier with the hottest Australian guy I have ever seen (yes, sexy accent included)
I went to an LA Kings Hockey game that I would have previously turned down for no reason at all
I agreed to go to the movies with the random man who kindly returned my best friend's lost cell phone to her after she drunkenly left it in an uber
I created, and then checked four restaurants off, my LA Eats bucket list
I almost got a lip tattoo (the place was closed, or else I'd proudly be sporting the word "yes" on the inside of my lip rn)
I have gone to four boozy brunches and lived to tell the tale
I lost my voice twice, and potentially have pneumonia (going to the doctor tomorrow... fingers crossed for me people!!)
Okay, so that last one isn't great. But you know what? I don't regret a single second of my 2017 so far.
I have spent every minute of this year living my life to the fullest I can. ALL because I learned how to say "yes."
And guess what? YES. I have never been happier.
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