Yes Means Yes

September 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

You know it’s bad when the WordPress no longer has you logged in. Anyway. Gonna shake the dust off.

About a month ago I was working the final concert of our series for the city, and I got into a conversation with the intern I had been managing all summer (who is in high school), and he was wondering if I had any advice for his senior year, college, etc. I am sure that I just stared blankly for a moment (advice, me?), but in truth there’s a big difference between 18 and 23.

When I started my senior year of high school I was only 17 (not really relevant for the most part), I had just started dating Chelsey, I was getting ready for my last year of football, for one final musical. I had just recently gone to Europe for the second time, and traveling always opens up your eyes to new ways of seeing things. My perspective on a whole host of things was changing, quickly, and then I would head to college and my world would spin again. Then you graduate AGAIN, and do it all over.

The last 6 years have been full of love, of loss, of music, learning, living, goodness, greatness, pain, and everything in between. There are a lot of moments that have crystallized in my heart, and something that will forever stay with me is the way you can sometimes just taste those days or nights, because your heart can feel that something new or special or grand is occurring. 

So in that moment where Robert asked me for advice, my mind swirled with all of that. Of all the things he was going to experience and the adventures he would have. I’ll admit to feeling a tinge of jealousy, because you only get one run at life, and only one chance for the world to be so fresh and new. 

I told Robert that the most important thing I’ve learned in life is how to say yes.


Always, to everything, as much as I can handle (and maybe a little extra, just to see where the boundary is). I feel like I may have known this somewhat intuitively, but after spending time with Danny Schneider I saw what it could do for you. Danny, if you don’t know him, is one of the best people on this planet, and (at least from my perspective) I feel like a lot of that comes out of how he lives his life. If you need help moving, or writing a song, or doing just about anything, Danny almost always says yes. You need a volunteer for something, he’ll do it. Whether it was consciously a choice or maybe it just jived with the kind of person I wanted to be I’m not sure, but I found myself saying yes more and more. I found myself going on adventures, talking with new people, and putting myself out for risks and opportunities. The reason I’m still working for the City of Vancouver is because I kept on saying yes to everyone. Sure, I can do this project or that project. I made myself useful.

I think the reason yes is so powerful is because it’s freeing. You aren’t limiting yourself to what you can or can’t do, and you’re exposing yourself to a wider world. No is closed off. No means you aren’t doing, aren’t being. I want to believe that I can be everything I’ve ever wanted to be, be the kind of human person I know I can be, and that starts with yes. I am not talking about “no I’m busy” or anything like that. I’m talking about letting fear (of the unknown, of consequences, of failure) stop us. If you open yourself up to the world, it gives back in a big way. 

So I told Robert to say yes to those midnight runs to Shari’s, to say yes to intramurals and going out on a Tuesday night. Work incredibly hard, play hard, be a genuine, helpful human being and see where it takes you. So that’s the advice I gave him, and sort of by extension am giving the world right now. I am not perfect, I sometimes close myself off, I am a work in progress. But I never want to be that person who thinks they have everything figured out. I don’t ever want to be the person who can’t be bothered to give a stranger 15 minutes or an hour of my time. I don’t want to say no to the things that make me uncomfortable at first, because then I would be missing out on the things that take time. I would be missing out on the challenging and rewarding bits of life, in all forms that takes. 

Uncertainty is something that can gnaw at me, but there’s one thing I can be certain of: that I’ll keep on being as open as I can. Yes, I can.



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