I came to a realization the other day. Not a fun one, either.
I am closed down.
I am joyless.
I am sleepwalking.
I have been saying no for a long time. As a method of self-preservation, which seemed like an honorable, even necessary, choice at the time. I was emotionally devastated after my miscarriages, and I needed to take care of myself. That is true. But I took it too far, curled too far into myself and shut out the light completely. And if I’m being honest, I have been saying yes (the wrong yes) to inaction and complaining for much longer than that. For years. For most of my life.
I wanted to travel. Instead of saving the money and going, I complained that I was too broke, then spent all my money on other things.
I wanted to be a writer. Instead of sitting down and writing, then sending those pieces to publications, I complained that I would never get noticed.
I wanted to find a purpose. Instead of pursuing what I was interested in, the things I already knew were my passions, I turned away and complained about not knowing what my path was.
It was all so much easier. Saying no, protecting myself, taking the safe route and never taking a chance. Those things are so easy.
But I can’t do it anymore.
I have this deep fear of wasting my life. Soul deep. It paralyzes me sometimes. Okay, it paralyzes me a lot of the time. It gets so huge and so overwhelming that I end up freezing, doing nothing, so overcome with the need to make it count. So, of course, I have ended up doing nothing most of the time. Which is such a waste.
Oh, the irony.
The other day, I finished reading Shonda Rhimes’s book, Year of Yes. I powered through it in a matter of days. Everything she said spoke right to my soul. Spoke right to the thing in me that was saying no to everything that came up in my life. And I realized that I was hurting myself. By saying no to living, I was attacking the core of who I am.
I want to live. I just want to live while I’m alive. I want to be here. I want to take up space. I want to say yes, I want to fail, I want to succeed, I want to try and try and try some more. I want to open up to life. It doesn’t have to be big. I don’t have to be Shonda Rhimes or JK Rowling for my life to be meaningful (but hey, if that’s in the cards, great). I just have to, you know, live.
So from now on, I am saying yes. I am saying yes to things that scare me. I am saying yes to stepping outside of my comfort zone, to taking steps, to doing.
From now on, I am saying yes to being alive.