Giving up to Fear

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Two posts in one week? Wassup with me? Seriously!

The end of the year always makes me take a look at where I’ve been and where I’m going. This year is no different in that respect, except that it is.

This year I learned about my truth.

How could I NOT know my truth you may be wondering? Because I’ve always hidden it behind an inherent fear. Fear of the unknown. The cost. The social collateral. The financial collateral. Fill in whatever it is that people fear and I’ve probably used it. All to protect myself.

But what really is there to protect? My reputation is pretty good in areas that matter. I meet all my deadlines at work at a level that regularly gets me praise from others. I’m still confused about that as I’m sure I’m only giving about 55% effort and receiving 90% praise. Most people in my life think I’m useful in some way, even if it’s only to ask me to cook or bake them something (which can kinda get annoying, but whatevs).

You know what? I gotta go back a month or so. A friend of mine invited me to a virtual book club to read Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. I’m not a fan of book clubs, but this particular friend made it to my speed dial, so I figured why not? What have I got to lose? If I don’t like the book, I’ll stop reading. I am a unabashed quitter when I don’t like something.

But Shonda is like a much richer, better connected version of my introverted self. She was the introvert whisperer. And something in the first four chapters hit me like a ton of bricks:

I always say no.

Let me rephrase:

I say yes, then find a way to change it to no.

I’ve been sitting with that for two days. Mulling it around in my mind. Feeling the bitter taste of the truth. I always find a way to say no when I’m afraid that people will see me for who I really am. Kinda awkward 40-year-old who starts talking and forgets the points she makes, sometimes has extremely unpopular or contradicting opinions and is always wondering what the lesson is. And that was all fine until I realized that I was shortchanging myself. Missing out on experiences. Relationships. Life.

So the Year of Yes coincides with the Year of You. The Year of Yes means saying yes to things that scare me, things that get me outside of my comfortable, little D box. Things that make me try life, even if it’s one tiny sample at a time. Because of all my fears, what I fear most is looking up and being old wishing I had done some things, wishing I had put in the work for more relationships. Wishing period.

So on this almost last day of 2015, I commit to more yeses. More opportunities to live and love life. To not be afraid to expose myself and see what life brings to my door.

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