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August 30, 2010

Saying Yes Is A Good Thing

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Remember that post I did a while ago (ok just two weeks ago) about where I heading to next?  Apparently, I don’t either because those plans changed nearly as soon as I hit the publish button.  In fact most of that was written before I changed plans to go back to Lake Louise and didn’t put out a post for two weeks.

What do those two times have in common?  Saying “Yes” to a better opportunity.  While it sounds like the easy and natural thing to do it isn’t always.  We’ve all had those pangs of regret looking back wondering, “why didn’t I talk to that person” or “I wonder what the gross local delicacy actually tastes like”.

Yes, I’ve taken a step that many never do in deciding that I wanted to take control of my life and do something different with it.  That doesn’t make me any less guilty of missing opprotunities.  In some ways it’s worse since there are so many more new experiences presented to me.

Also going against me in my natural inclination to blend in and not be the one who needs to be taken care of.  Saying “No” is easy for me.

“No, I don’t need a chair, I’m fine standing.”

“No, you have the last serving, I’m good.”

The good is that is something I’m aware of and working on.  If you’ve been following along on my journey you’ve seen how many people I’ve met along the way who’ve helped me out or just swapped stories with.  You’ve also seen all the incredible places I’ve been and may be wondering what the hell I’m talking about.

Reflection On Emerald Lake

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Reflection On Emerald Lake

 

The thing is that everytime you choose to do one thing, you are also choosing NOT to do all the other options.  I choose to go back to Lake Louise both to see another part of that area I missed the first time and to spend time with someone I’d just met.  At the same time I was deciding not see southeast Alaska which is an area I was looking forward to.  Skipping the Pacific Northwest meant missing out on its coast and my friends there so I could go to Burning Man.

Burning Man isn’t an event on my bucket list or even somewhere I’d pictured myself going.  And I think that is why I decided to go this year.  Why not go see what it’s about, who goes, and what really goes on?  I know other people who have been, they all survived and some go back every year now.  Maybe I’ll find more in common with the people there than I expect or a part of me will find something its been looking for that I wasn’t aware was missing.

If I don’t go, I won’t know.  All we can do is try to make the best decision at the time and then go forward and make the most of it.  Southeast Alaska and the PNW aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Sure Alaska’s glaciers may melt and put Seattle underwater before I get back, but now I can say I’ve climbed mountain peaks in Canada and by the time you’re reading this I’ll be hanging out with hippies in the Nevada desert seeing things I’ve probably never imagined.  So before you say “No” to the next random idea or offer you have think about what you may be giving up by not saying “Yes”, I know I’m trying to.

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