Why Not: The Beginning

It is December 2008. I graduated college a year ago and had been working at my first post-collegiate full time job for 4 months. I really hadn’t done anything though. I felt in all my life I had accomplished one thing. I was a stellar student-athlete. That’s what my one wild and precious life had consisted of so far. And now I wasn’t either of those. Both my student and athlete careers were over and had been for a year. I needed something new to do but I had no ideas what I wanted to do. So at the beginning of the month of December I made a decision and didn’t tell anyone what I was planning to do. I decided the best way I could figure out something new to do would be to say yes to everything. If someone invited me to do anything, barring it being illegal or against my morality, I would say, “Yes.”

On December 3rd a few of my coworkers asked me to surf with them after work. I had surfed a handful of times before. I wasn’t terrible and I wasn’t good either and that always puts some pressure on. “Yes,” I said to them and out we went. I had the best time I’ve ever had surfing that day. I was good that day. The waves were perfect for my skill level and I felt like I was flying on top of the world. We walked across the street afterward to one of the guy’s apartments for dinner, drinks, and board games. While we were playing games after dinner, one of the guys I had surfed with earlier was seated next to me and he leaned a little closer to me and asked, “Do you work tomorrow?” “No,” I answered. “Me either,” he said, “want to go fishing with me? I was going to go on a party boat out of the marina tomorrow morning.” Complete stranger. Public boat. Middle of the ocean. Other people would be around. I don’t even know his last name! Nothing illegal. I love fishing. You promised yesses this month…. “Yes, I’ll go with you.” The next day I met him at the marina, we got on the boat together, the mate obviously thought we were together. We didn’t sit close together. We talked. Small talk. Didn’t catch a thing. Drove away from each other in the parking lot. I still didn’t know his last name.

Fourteen months later I married him. All because I said yes to a fishing trip 3 days after committing to say yes to opportunities instead of my usual, “No, thanks,” with a smile.

That month was a wonderful experience for me and I haven’t done anything like it since. I’m feeling like I need some adventure again. Do you ever feel like you need a good reason to do something? I do. I often weigh if something is worth the time/effort/organization before committing to it. This year I want to approach opportunities with a “why not?” Instead of requiring a good reason to do it, if I can’t think of a good legitimate reason to NOT do it, then why not?

That question makes me wonder what might happen.

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