The Year of “Yes”

I thought I would end 2020 on a positive note.

On December 2019 I was diagnosed with depression. That surprised me.

If you and I have ever met, that might surprise you too.
I started antidepressants a year ago. I remember the morning they started to work; I woke up and felt energy for the first time in years.

I realized that I had previously been so consumed by fog and lethargy that I could barely get through the day. Getting up was hard, staying up was harder, sleeping was all I could do not to feel sad or tired.

My meds took me from this hollow-feeling husk of a person to a person I had not been in years. Myself.

I had energy to think, try, and do– for the first time in a very long time.

But I was scared to try anything new.

In part because I am a perfectionist and I get irrationally angry when I can’t do things perfectly the first time. In part because I didn’t want to be embarrassed or uncomfortable if the thing I created wasn’t what I wanted.

That’s where the Year of “Yes” came in.

This year, any challenge that I met with an audible or internal “I can’t do that,” immediately had to be done.

At this beginning of this year I “could not:”
– Write – Garden
– Draw – Walk more than 2 miles (without my feet hurting)
– Bake – Get involved with my community
– Cook – Code
– Play Soccer

I have gone on to do all of these things! Not perfectly and not even well. But each imperfect attempt was a step towards letting go of the insecurities that have held me back over the years.

Learning to sit with the imperfect and to lean into my mistakes has been a gift to me this year.

The year of yes has taught me the importance of the process. The journey matters more than the destination and you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your triumphs.

If you, like me, have been standing in your own way, I encourage you to try the year of “yes” approach. I never regretted anything that I tried, and I have found joy in so many places I never thought possible.

This year has taught me that I can bake a wonky pie, draw an ugly picture, and throw-out the third plant I over-watered from the farmer’s market and the world will keep going.

Better still, so will I.

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