Two and a bit years ago as a way of healing from a breakdown and as a way of getting back into the ways of the world I decided to take a leaf out of the Danny Wallace book “The Yes Man” and say yes to as many things as possible. There were only really two rules unless it was illegal or immoral or would make me feel uncomfortable then I should give it a go. Moving out of my comfort zone is good, leaving me in a quivering heap from a panic attack – not so good.
It’s amazing how the simple change in thought can bring about huge differences to your life. I did things I’d previously never had the chance to do. Some, like bowling, were the norm for ordinary folks but for those suffering from crippling depression a venture out into a scary but exciting world. I went to karaoke, the opera, on so many meals. I went to Barcelona and tried squid. I even ended up on a weekend away with several work colleagues and a few strangers resulting in lots of drunken conversations, avoiding the hot tub but then feeling smug while the others compared chemical burns after way too much time in the bubbles.
I joined the Open University and started down the route of an English degree. Then things came to a crashing halt late last year. My second OU course was a huge mistake, rather than start an English module I foolishly thought that I could learn about the Enlightenment and Romantic periods through Humanities. For me I found it dull, difficult and very stressful. Dropping out of the module should have been a blessing but resulted on a career & study crisis that sent me trying out courses in counselling and retreating into my little house and hiding away.
I decided this week to start the Yes game again. And it’s ended up as the craziest week. I don’t know if playing the game you give out an aura of positivity that makes people ask you things or that enables you to see opportunities you may have missed but it always seems to bring these things out in abundance. Just when I think I’ve got a handle on the stress things come along to remind me that I still have some work to do on myself.
A Facebook posting about starting a book club has brought the start of two new friendships and links to a Mental Health charity that I need to follow-up as well as the actual book club. I’ve got links to interesting people to read their stories and use them for their knowledge of Leeds. I’ve been invited to a birthday meal which will always get a yes answer. And most importantly the career/study crisis is over.
I feel like I went on a huge journey to end up in exactly the same place as I was. But that’s ok. I like my job and I like my degree path. I should stop trying to creating possible careers just because I think other people would want me to. I think I sometimes have very warped ideas of what is expected of me, forgetting that the simple answer is people want me to be happy and I want to be happy.
I love what happend when you open your mind to what is out there. Bring on next week….