Letting Go And Saying “Yes”

We all have the moments, times we should have kept our mouths shut, places we would have rather not been, but where we are right now would honestly not be the same without them.

At risk of sounding like a lunatic, I truly believe every awful, awkward thing that has happened to me has shaped me into who I am today. As a person with anxiety, I find myself wanting to say “no” all of the time. I am terrified of planes, of long car rides, of being lost, of crowds. This limits me when it comes to the things I enjoy like traveling, going into the city, and going to parties.

For a long time, I said no because I believed my mental state was a lot more important than a few crummy photos of the Empire State Building or a road trip to get to the world’s largest ball of string.

But, I soon realized that plenty of people were going on these trips and parties and random outings and surviving. Not only that, but they were creating memories that I would never be a part of simply because I was too anxious.

That’s when I decided to not only prevent my anxiety from getting the best of me, but to consciously defy it. I understand that not everyone has this option, but it worked for me. I spread this not only to my fear of travel and small spaces, but to my fear of looking silly, of bothering people, of talking too much.

By consciously defying not only my anxiety but also my fear of looking stupid or not enjoying the activities, I honestly started overcoming the very things that I fear.

I am a much happier, more well-adjusted person now that I choose to say yes to life, but it is not without its challenges. I probably look stupid to a lot of people. I have a lot more things to look back on with embarrassment; I have a lot more moments that make me absolutely cringe (anyone with anxiety knows what I’m talking about). But, what is more important to me and what I choose to put in perspective is that I have moments at all to look back on. I have made memories and I have survived.

I understand that my case is rare and less severe than others, but for anyone who has even minor social anxiety, I implore you to say yes. Say “yes” to one simple thing a week. Say “yes” to getting ice cream even though looking the clerk in the eye may be terrifying for you. Say “yes” to that road trip even though not driving may be scary for you. Make conscious decisions (that you can handle) that will make you feel more alive, and I promise you will survive. I did.

That’s a terrible lesson ya have to learn, isn’t it? Wastin’ life ‘cause you’re frightened of it.

Photo By Abbie Redmon

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What are you saying “yes” to? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @litdarling.

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View Comments (2)
  • So yes, every awful thing in your past shapes who you are today, but is that a good thing? Or rather, are you okay with that; would you not go back and change those things (depending on the severity, I guess) from happening?

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