I used to be a person who second guessed herself about everything. It took me until April, 2010 my senior year to decide where I was going to college (fyi, tuition deposits are usually due May 1st). When I would go shopping, I would spend at least 45 minutes in each store trying to find exactly what I wanted for just the right price and usually only bought one or two items. I probably let half of my time pass making choices, both trivial and colossal. My world changed for the better when I learned how to be a certain kind of person—a “yes” person.
Not only have I been an indecisive person much of my life, but I’ve also felt guilty for wanting things. I cannot tell you how many times I have put something back on a store’s shelf because I felt bad for buying it. When I went to college, the guilt of splurging on myself every once and awhile went away. I bought the cute pink and gray clutch from Gap and the 101th WCU shirt that just “had my name written all over it.” But, I usually decided to splurge on experiences rather than things. I started going to more concerts—most of them on school nights— dining out more often, and I don’t know… spending a summer in Europe?!?! My bank account has felt the aftermath of my occasional self-indulgence, however, I would not take back a minute of the awesome memories I have made no matter what the price, even a whole year’s worth of RA money to study abroad.
Learning to be a yes person doesn’t just apply to finances. It applies to time and schedules as well. Even in Psalms, it states “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” – Verse 90:12. Each one of us only has a finite time on earth. Like it or not, our mortal oblivion is inevitable. And to make matters worse, we spend much of that time working, studying, or sleeping. Very little time is ours and ours alone, and when we do have time, we can always fill it with other chores that we usually can’t fit in. We need to stop working so much and become yes people, unafraid to go after what we want in life, big and small. Unafraid to give up mediocrity for something beautiful.
This weekend, I went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with my husband. Our only intent was to spend time with his family and take advantage of all of the free museum admissions for Teacher Appreciation Weekend. When we were visiting the Titanic Museum (which I would totally recommend, btw), I caught sight of something beautiful and marvelous: a blue and green hot air balloon! Anyone who has visited my iDream page or seen my bucket list on Pinterest will know that I have been dying to ride in a hot air balloon. Believe it or not, I am actually a pretty big adventure-seeker. Even though Colby and I had a ton of plans for the following day and we had spent a pretty penny at the Tanger Outlet Mall (again, shopping is hard on the wallet with my radical acceptance of self-indulgence), we decided to fit the experience in. Seriously… what was one hour of our time and $24 to check a major item off of my bucket list? In case you were wondering, the balloon ride was awesome. At 400 feet, we could see the whole city, and the Great Smokey Mountains made the most beautiful backdrop. Below are some of my favorite pictures of our journey through the air.
Too much Rock for one hot air balloon!
Colby is a little afraid of heights.
He thinks he can fake it for the camera, but we totally see him clutching that pole!
Sorry Miley Cyrus… life is not a climb; it’s a hot air balloon ride!
But one thing we can agree on: the view really is great.
In my short 22 years, becoming a yes person has greatly changed my life. I have taken more risks. I’ve went out dancing the night before a big quiz in my 8:00 class. I’ve flown to Paris on a whim. I’ve gone splunking and come out covered from head to toe in mud. And most importantly, I said “yes” to following Jesus and leaving behind an old lifestyle to which I was accustomed and very comfortable.
So today, choose time for you instead of time for work. Call up the friend you have not talked to in months and waste 3 hours on the phone instead of cleaning the house. Buy the shoes you’ve been dying for, or book a holiday vacation. Sometimes being a yes person also means learning how to say “no;” no to routines that do not make us happy, to relationships that are toxic, or to the places we find ourselves when we stop pursuing the goals that scared us. Our days are limited, and we have to learn how to say yes to all we’ve ever dreamed of.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson.