Perhaps one day I shall write a book, turn it into a screenplay and ask Jim Carrey to play me with a long blonde wig. But for now, I’d like to separate my Year of Saying Yes from the hit and miss ‘Yes Man’, if you don’t mind, because I will likely, occasionally, be saying ‘no’ (to avoid winding up in ridiculous situations with any greater frequency than I already do) and because I am not a two dimensional character who hitherto has had problems saying ‘yes.’
The Year of Saying Yes has come about thanks to one of my closest friends being in a mirror image situation and conversations of the Wine Philosophy type. This dear friend of mine moved to Dublin around the same time I moved to Muenster and together, via email, text and Skype, we’ve flailed around in our new waters (sometimes swimming, mostly just keeping our heads above water) and stubbed our toes on the daily stumbling blocks, wine glasses permanently in hand (there is no greater soothing agent).
One of the biggest and hardest things we’ve both found about being in a new city, is establishing a social circle. When it happens, it’s bloody brilliant and life takes on a whole new colour, as we’ve both gleefully discovered. But making it happen has been something we’ve spoken a lot about on this tandem journey. Having a group of friends around to meet for coffee on a whim, or see a movie with, or to just get pissed with because it’s Friday, is something you don’t even think about until you don’t have it there.
Making it happen led to us agreeing we needed to say Yes more. It was a basic rule of thumb; accept more social invitations, as enticing as bed, www.ch131.com and a glass of red wine may be. And then saying Yes became not just about social invitations, but about everything (here the wine Philosophy kicked in). It became about getting the absolute most out of our situations. Because, here we are, both in new cities with a whole new year to play with. And the absolute beauty of having Europe on our front doorstep.
The rules are simple; in a situation where laziness, nerves or instinctive shyness would usually see us politely demur … we say yes. It could be to something as small as a coffee date or a night out with a group of people we barely know. It could be to a road trip with new friends, a weekend in a new city because flights are cheap and we’ve never been. This isn’t about bungee jumping or sky diving, or any of those obvious things people do off the back of reading self help books. It’s not about being irresponsible or dangerous. It’s about being open. Open to where things lead, open to not knowing what’s next and open to seeing what this year, this age and this continent can and will do for us. Boom.