The strong caffeine warmed us while we sat close to one another on the coffee shop sofa. Legs touching, our fingers were linked as we talked about a four-mile trail run I’d committed to do the next morning even though I’d never done any trail running prior. He asked why I agreed.
I didn’t reply that I’m just kind of an idiot, or that I’m having a quarter(+)-life crisis, or that I’m kind of in a place right now where I want to tackle everything.
Instead what came out of my mouth was, “Sometimes it’s fun to see what happens when you just say yes.”.
I could tell by the mischievous twinkle in his eyes he was delighted with that answer.
Of course, you KNOW that statement came back to haunt me later on in the evening. After a few wonderfully steamy first-date kisses goodnight, he boldly asked if I wanted to go back to his place. Still in his arms, I politely declined, using the trail run as my reason for bowing out early. He kissed me gently again. “Come on,” he said. “Sometimes it’s fun to see what happens when you just say yes.” Then his lips curved into an impossibly charming grin.
I give the guy credit. He may have only been 24, but he was a smart 24.
I still said no.
But looking back, my own yes-related words surprised me. I didn’t know that yes-ing was what I’ve been doing until the statement was said aloud. In a hipster coffee shop. On a first date. With someone ten years my junior.
Yes, you read that correctly.
And you know what? I am saying yes a lot more. It feels damn good. I’m living again. I’m doing what I promised myself I would do – putting myself first for once in my damn life and just trying to BE HAPPY. And in order to do that, I’ve had to stop being afraid to try new things. I’ve had to be brave and figure out what *I* want and put it out there for all the world to see. It’s meant letting go of fear and of no longer finding excuses not to try something new – like trail running. See also: Riding a motorcycle. Speed-dating. Going to Vegas. Running a race in a tutu. Going to Portland. Going to Camp Mighty. Or yes, knowingly going on a date with someone ten years younger than me. Because really… just… why the fuck not?
What in the world do I have to lose? Not a damn thing.
And no, there hasn’t been a second date. That’s okay. I have plenty of other things lined up to say yes to.