Becoming a Yes Person

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I find myself expecting life to open doors to me–doors that will lead to surprising opportunities, adventure and change.  Maybe this is sometimes how it works but I read the phrase “being a yes person” recently and it stopped me in my tracks.  As outgoing and free-spirited as I am (or think I am), I’m not sure I’d call myself a Yes Person, per se.

1. I am a thinker.

I have come to recognize a very prominent duality in my basic nature: I need to be organized in order to be spontaneous.

GO WITH ME.

My bedroom studio space must be clean before I am able to begin a creative project (the end result of which is never not a full-on chaotic mess) and here, my room studio space is a symbol for my mind. Accordingly, when I go out, I like to know where I’m going and what will be expected of me in said place. Though I rarely adhere to these preconceived guidelines (ask me about the outfit I wore to a bowling alley in central Massachusetts, IT INVOLVES VELVET BELLBOTTOMS) I like to know what’s what–clearly and organized-ly– before I attempt to wow you with my exceptional maverick tendencies, haha. I think it helps me mentally prepare for the possible interactions I’ll encounter, to which I will be able to react with confidence (and less from a feeling of being out of my depth.)

2. A part of me still wants to convince the world that I have a plan.

You know that feeling when you are walking down the street and you pass an interesting flyer on a window? I have A REALLY HARD TIME turning around to go read it.  I think this stems from my hatred of tourists (come on, you hate them too; the way they meander unsurely down the sidewalk, wait for the wrong door to open on the T, and in short form an impediment for anyone with a place to go.) If an acquaintance stopped me on the street and said, “Hey, want to go to this new platypus habitat?” I would very probably say that I was busy even if I wasn’t. I had, after all, expected to go straight home after work, so this is the equivalent of asking me to make a U-turn on the sidewalk. Twenty or so steps later, I would begin to rethink my out-of-office autoresponse. A platypus habitat might be something worth seeing…

**Now there are extenuating circumstances. If it was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who stopped me in my tracks, or if I was literally over-the-moon about platypuses, I would DEFINITELY respond with a quick Yes. I think my point is that unless the opportunity is wearing a pink feather boa and yelling at me in Yiddish, I probably won’t recognize it as an opportunity.

Hence, I am resolving to be a Yes Person–the kind of person who says yes by default and then considers whether the decision was a good or bad idea.

The Magic of Handstands

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Do you ever feel like a walking lightning rod for crabbiness and hum-drum-ity? I do, I have my days, it’s a fact, I’ll fess up. Just as the world was once a vibrant and thriving amalgam of tropical biosystems, woodlands, forests, and plant life in general only to be paved over by concrete and astro-turf, SO TOO HAVE I BEEN. I do the same job every day at the same time in mostly the same way. Due to “fiscal responsibilities” I eat the same lunch for weeks on end and barely ever turn sunlight into energy anymore (this is a plant-based joke).

My life right now is mainly about making it in the real world, and I’m not bitter about it most of the time. But in “getting by” I sometimes find myself getting stagnant, and that leads to trouble.green-cups

My immediate reaction is to escape–jump on a train and don’t ask where it’s heading with a small (okay, large) bindle over my shoulder packed only with cheese wheels and a toothbrush. Someday maybe that will be the answer, but for now I’ve found that handstands work too.

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I’m a little tea pot, AVERAGE HEIGHT AND WITH A GREAT PERSONALITY. When things get to be too much, it’s actually going to be okay! I will just tip myself over and pour it all out. This is a metaphor!

Is it actually a bad thing to post only the positives on social media?

Mind Mess

At this point in the millenium, it is an accepted fact that our online personae are skinny-armed, cocktail-swigging, Clarendon-filtered versions of our real selves, giving the illusion of omnipotent perfection and happiness. While this can sometimes lead to bouts of FOMO and scurvy, there might be an important motivation for posting about our good hair days and leaving our bad ones out to dry in the wind.

For me, it is like a celebration of a successful (and by successful I mean happy by way of being fun/life-affirming/self-esteem boosting/ego-patting) experience. Posting an artfully-staged photo of the Wes Anderson-themed coffee shop where you spent three hours on a sunny Saturday morning drinking macadamia-milk lattes differentiates that moment from your regularly scheduled programming. Now, instead of fading into the past with the other memories of your daily activities, it stands out, memorialized on social media, available for you to revisit any time you want.

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Conversely, while posting complaints and negative experiences might be authentic and make you more relatable, it creates the same time-capsule wherein you must now relive those moments anytime you look back in your timeline, profile or g-dang tweet backlog.

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So when those winter vacation photos start pouring in from Fiji, don’t get sad–join in! Let them inspire you to find what’s cool and magical in your life and post away, my friend!

I bought yellow shoes and they’re changing my life

Style

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Do you have a power shoe because I do.

I was shopping for black pants, which is the most practical shopping you can do, and after an uninspiring 15 minutes in the fitting room I was on my way out of the store, ready and willing to hang up my shopping bag for the day.  I passed the shoe section, which at this H&M is really just a wall of shoes.  Amidst the brown loafers and low-heeled black boots hung an out of place pair of summery yellow slides.  One pair, my size.

I don’t need yellow sandals.  (Nobody needs yellow sandals.)  I almost put them back three times.  But I’m glad I didn’t and I will tell you why, Jim:

I LOVE YELLOW THINGS. So far yellow has been an underutilized color in the fashion world, so these shoes were a real diamond-in-the-rough situation. And the instant I put them on I become a free spirit who has plans of traveling through Europe but for now lives on a coastal surf village in southern California. For me, that’s an important quality in a shoe.

More importantly, they remind me that I’m not a practical person, screw the black pants.  From a distance, they make it look like I’m wearing bananas on my feet. I look down and think, ‘These are hilarious. I’m hilarious.’ Get a power shoe.