Friday, January 25, 2013

llamas, braininade (brain marinade?)​, and an outfit any kei$ha would envy

I grew up being super into performance theater. In one of my improv classes, we were told to alwaysALWAYS say yes to the love. The bottom line is that in a scene, and, yes keeps momentum going, allowing stories to feed and grow as the people progress.
"What are you doing?"
"Shaving a llama."
"Where did you find a llama on Valentine's Day?"
Yes, you have a llama, and...?
Similarly, it was taught that saying no is an immediate shut-off valve for progression.
"What are you doing?"
"Shaving a llama."
"No, you're not."
This makes sense on a very fundamental level, and I'm not just talking about improv.
As long as I can remember, I've always been so particular about what and who I allow into my world, making automatic pro-and-con lists on nearby bits of paper to calculate everything from whether or not I should move across the country to what I'll have for lunch.
Scribbling frantically in fits of unwarranted panic, the worries and excitement would spill together in a blend of undiluted fear and excuses. The slips of paper, scratched nearly to death with over-thinking, would get put in a pile. Some lists would be duplicates. Some would be assigned point values in order to supply concrete, quantitative data for my racing and unpredictable emotions.
Often, the outcome was a resounding NO! NO WAY. NO HOW. NO. MOTHERFUCKING. THANK YOU.
I couldn't because I was too scared of what might happen.
I couldn't because I was too scared of how I might feel.
I couldn't because I was too scared of mights.
I couldn't because I was too scared.
Saying no to conversation, opportunities, advice, and adventure had been keeping my very conflicted and very busy brain locked up in the confines of my skull, marinating in the isolated crazies and steeping in uncertainty. My yes, and's were getting slashed to bits before they even had time for tea.
And then, slowly, I began easing the solid NO!'s out of the way. I had to push at first. But eventually I peeked my toe out, (driving to places I'd never been), then a foot, (going to the aquarium), and a leg, (designing and publishing my first-ever professional website).
To avoid a huge long list of terrible body metaphors, let's just say that in the last three months, I've seen more of people I wanted to see more of. I've written recklessly and am nearly finished with the rough copy of my third book. I went to a mixer for creatives where I mingled in a room full of talented people, knowing almost no one, and kindling the start of what would become a very passionate love affair with Leopold Bros gin.
And most recently, I've registered for an [un]conference in Vegas. I'll fly alone to a city I haven't seen since I was seven to be greeted by strangers, all with powerful stories and contagious personalities. I'll wear clothes I never thought I'd own, hug people I never thought I'd meet, and embark on one of my greatest adventures to date.
There's something so liberating about cranking on those say-yes-to-the-love floodgates, about throwing those doors open wide and letting myself experience the pure exhilarating terror that comes with consciously welcoming newness into my very routined brain. So, I'm a woman with a BA in poetry kicking ass in finance. I'm changing every day. And in May, I'm going to go make 75 best friends in Vegas wearing a skirt that has disco in the name.
Um. YES! And?


  1. Oh my gosh, I love it. Next time I find myself scared, or wanting to say, 'no,' I will stop and think what may be if I say, 'yes,' instead. Yay! I'll let you know if anything interesting happens.

    1. YES! I'm so excited to hear about itttttt! laskjdflasjdf.

  2. So, update, cause I said I'd let you know . . . A class mate asked me to meet up for a study date, and the party poop-er in me totally wanted to just stay home in my pajamas that Saturday afternoon. But I said, 'yes,' and now have a new friend and found a really awesome coffee shop that I would love to go back to. Yay! I am going to keep doing this. Maybe I'll start keeping a 'Saying Yes' journal or something.

    1. YAYAYAYAY! WAY! TO GO! I'm so excited to read that journal; you have no idea.

  3. (I was going to write a somewhat more profound comment than that but turns out my brain is fried so that's all you get.) SAY YES TO THE DISCO DRESS.

    Or something. I don't know.