It’s Okay To Say ‘No’

It’s Okay To Say ‘No’

The past few months I’ve been practicing saying ‘yes’ to more things in life. From opportunities like attending CitySTRONG and organizing a Meetup group, to friends asking me to go to a concert with them, saying ‘yes’ has lead to a lot more fulfillment in my social life. I could definitely write an entire blog post about this, so let me know in the comments if you’d like to read that! But for today’s post, I am actually going to focus on the idea of saying ‘no’, which can be just as important as saying ‘yes’.

This morning my friends invited me to go to the greenbelt to hike and swim with them. Normally, I would have said “heck yes!” I love going to the greenbelt, and it is finally starting to be nice and sunny here in Austin. However, this morning I chose to say ‘no’. It’s been a really busy, social weekend for me, and I just felt like I needed a day to myself to get some work done (like write this blog post), do my laundry, and relax. I’m someone who loves being around people most of the time, but I also need alone time to recharge and decompress. If I don’t get this time to myself, I tend to get burnt out and feel overwhelmed.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 5.34.42 PM
Photo I took at the greenbelt. Who WOULDN’T want to hike here?

Knowing this about myself, and knowing it is Sunday and therefore my last chance to get a solid amount of free time before the work week starts back up, I told my friends I would have to take a raincheck. This was actually pretty difficult for me, even though it may sound like a tiny decision in the grand scheme of things. Like I said, I’ve been doing a great job of saying ‘yes’ lately, and in some ways this ‘no’ felt like a step in the wrong direction.

However, I realized the policy of saying ‘yes’ should only be taken as far as is healthy for your mind and body. What I mean by that is, if saying ‘yes’ will add more stress, exhaustion or discomfort to your life in any way, you shouldn’t feel obligated to do it. For me, I knew I wanted to take today to be productive but also get some relaxing in, and that I wanted to do this alone since I had been around people all weekend. While going to the greenbelt would not cause me any serious harm in any way, it would make me more tired and prevent me from getting my desired me-time. So I said no. Simple as that!

So here I am writing this blog post at one of my favorite coffee shops, drinking a frappe and eating a brownie, and feeling content as could be. Sure, I still have a bit of FOMO after seeing my friend’s Snapchats at the greenbelt, but I know I made the right decision for me and my needs today.

Mozarts
Blogging and treating myself to some deliciousness at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

What do you all think of the concept of saying ‘yes’ to more in life, and how to decide to say ‘no’ when you need to? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!

The Difference Between Giving Up and Moving On

The Difference Between Giving Up and Moving On

The past two weeks I’ve been agonizing over one simple decision: whether or not to continue taking my improv class. I completed four levels (each six weeks long), which is definitely much more than I expected to complete.

At some point towards the end of Level Four, I started thinking I might not want to continue to Level Five. I had a few different pros and cons, which I found myself weighing over and over again with the help of my friends, boyfriend and family. (In case you can’t tell, I am a very indecisive person). The gist of the pros is that I enjoy having a hobby that allows me to step outside of my comfort zone while spending time with new friends. The gist of the cons is that I often feel overwhelmed with too much going on each week and it was starting to not be as much fun for me as it was in the earlier levels.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that what I truly wanted was to stop improv, even though I knew I might feel some regret about my decision. I’ve never liked the idea of quitting something, and in a way I felt that stopping before I completed all six levels was a form of quitting. However, I decided that sometimes you have to move on from something, and you don’t have to think of it in such negative terms as ‘giving up’ or ‘quitting.’ Everything in life has an ending, and there’s nothing wrong with choosing to stop doing something if you no longer wish to be doing it.

My friend Heather told me a really great quote the other day, which went something like: “If you’re not saying heck yes to something, you shouldn’t be doing it.” I really liked that because it made me think about what I am saying yes to, and what I should be saying yes to. The fact that I was so unsure about whether or not I wanted to do improv proved that I shouldn’t be doing it anymore, because I was giving it an I guess so at best, rather than a heck yes! 

Saying yes to another level of improv when my heart isn’t fully in it would not do me any good. Instead, I should be spending my time doing things that I know with certainty I want to be doing. I’ve decided that means putting more energy into this blog. Writing blog posts brings me a lot of happiness, and I have been wanting to take it more seriously for a while now. Here’s my chance!

IMG_5520
My improv class 

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know in the comments if you have ever struggled with the difference between giving up and moving on, or if you have had any particularly tough decisions to make lately, and how you were able to come to your decision.