Whether you’re currently underemployed or have made it out the other side, you never know what could come down the road to affect your life. An economic downfall could make your dream job your worst nightmare. One chance meeting could see you moving to the other side of the planet to begin a new life. The world could see your profession as dated and unnecessary, so goodbye dreams!
For these reasons, I’ve thought long and hard about my New Year’s resolution. Not only does it apply to my work, ensuring that underemployment does not haunt my every waking moment, but I hope it will also advance my personal life.
As a Brit, I watch my friends and family live their lives through the concept of No. That one tiny, universally acknowledged, evil, son of a bitch term has dictated the entire lifeline of those I love and cherish. It could be as simple as hearing it, forcing you to give up on an idea. It could be your inner demons hissing it at you as you lie down to sleep at night. Maybe it was a high school teacher, or even an elementary school teaching assistant, that scoffed at your dreams. Believing in No, will leave you on your death bed, regretting all of the things you failed to do.
I’m big campaigner against No. When I turned 18, I had a big party at my house. All of my friends and family were invited. Looking back on it, this was the turning point for me. It was a rough point in my life, and I knew I had to change something or I’d end up killing myself. That night, a night that my family still rave about with glee, was actually fucking dreadful.
I won’t go into too many details, but let’s just say several fist fights occurred in the weeks after, enemies were enforced in steel and bone (and yes, I think it is good to have enemies, but that’s a story for another week), and a drastic choice was made changing the way I make every decision I’ve made ever since.
How Do I Want To Remember This Moment?
That was the resolution that changed my life. Any time I was faced with a scary, tough, or intimidating decision, I always ask myself, How Do I Want To Remember This Moment? The idea is three fold in the way it helps bring positivity to my life.
- I could make a decision, based on what I think I want, and discover that I’ve made a huge mistake. From this I can learn something new about myself, and adapt to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
- It forces me to face my fears, and the elation in the moments later are better than any other feeling one can experience. For example, I recently made a choice to take a bold leap into a new, less than conventional relationship, and right now it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If it goes wrong, well fuck it – I only have myself to blame.
- I can lie on my death bed, knowing that I always did exactly what I wanted. As long as my choices do not hurt others, I know I have lived life to it’s fullest.
However great this resolution was, it still left a margin of error. The error code of No continued to let me miss things. Chances. Opportunities. Being unable to say No in other circumstances has also left me at a loss. Sometimes No can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.
This year, I will no longer say No to the things that I truly want. At a business lunch yesterday afternoon, I was offered an opportunity I never in my wildest dreams thought could become a reality. I sat there, calmly, pretending that all of this was totally normal. In the back of my head, No came screaming into the space behind my eyes where my migraines always begin. She sat there, pinching and screaming, and kicking and biting at me.
Say. My. Name.
“I would absolutely love to.” I smiled as the words came out of my mouth, my heart pounding in my chest. Sure, this choice could piss people off, and I’d be without my loved ones for a week in the cold, but if I had said No, I know that I’d be lying on that death bed saying, “You should have gotten on the plane.”
It might be a little premature, but I’ve slowly been implementing the necessary changes to get the hell away from No. Almost all the people I love say No, and they are all dissatisfied with their lives. They say No, because it’s easier. They say No, because they’re scared. They say No, because they care more about what other people think than they do their own internal happiness.
So, when you get offered the opportunity to go and work in South America for six months, a year, or forever, take it. When your boss asks you to do something, and you’re unsure if you’re up for the challenge, tell your boss, but say Yes anyway. Yes is your best friend. You’ll never make an enemy saying Yes, because it is your choice to make the mistakes.
My advice to you, my wonderful readers, is to stop saying No. Guess where No gets you?
That’s right, it gets you Nowhere. So stop fucking say it, and start fucking living. I challenge all of you to make one big, brash, scary, stupid decision a month in 2017. Whether it be leaving the person you’ve been in a shitty relationship with, spending a lot of money on a treat for yourself, or getting that tattoo you’ve always wanted, just FUCKING DO IT!
No more No. 2017 means saying Yes, and starting to live.
Kay Smythe, The British Bitch in America.
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