I Vowed to Start Saying “Yes” in 2018

On January 1st 2018, I decided to start saying, “yes,” to more. Instead of cowering away, I spent the last 365 days doing things I’ve never dreamed of.

On January 1st 2018, I decided to start saying, “yes,” to more. Instead of cowering away, I would start agreeing. I wanted to go out and do more. I couldn’t tell you what it was, but there was something within me that was pushing me to take more control over my life. There was so much I hadn’t experienced. There were things I wanted to try, but just never did. The excuses were endless: I didn’t want to go alone, it was too expensive, I was too busy, there was no time…

I made the resolution to commit to saying yes, to commit to trying, to attempt to leave the house more, see new things, meet new people. Whether it was trying new food, (a terrifying experience for a picky eater like myself), or flying on an airplane for the first time, I was ready.

I will not lie to you. I expected this resolution idea to last a week, maybe two. At most, I would enter February completely comfortable in my pajamas on the couch, watching Law & Order: SVU reruns for the 300th time.

Spoiler Alert: I did it.

I spent the entire year doing new things. You should know that some of these are going to seem really mediocre to you. That’s okay. Some things were smaller than others, but they were still just as important to me.

No matter how you break it down, here’s how it went:

January

January was both simple and yet difficult. I found myself excited and making a list of things to try and do right away, but struggled with things that could be done in Michigan. In January. Most of my list included things that required it to be warm outdoors.

With this in mind, I started rather slowly. The activities of the month started almost two weeks in with an ice festival I hadn’t been to since I was a child. I walked around with one of my best friends in freezing temperatures, looking at the sculptures and chatting. It was a nice way to start my resolution.

Soon after, I attended a celebration for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was interesting, and I felt good about actually doing something on the day, rather than just sitting at home sleeping in. As the month began to come to a close, I tried both marinara snackers from Olga’s (which I did, in fact, enjoy, and I have eaten many snackers since) and edamame. The edamame did not go over as well as the snackers, as you can see in the photo below.

edamame

February

February quickly came and went. My biggest accomplishment was mid-way through when I took my first ever vacation that was not a family vacation (look at this adult, right here!) and I flew on a plane for the first time. Not only had I never even entered an airplane before, but my first flight was done completely and totally alone!

sky

My view from the plane.

On top of my plane ride, I was able to attend a training on LGBTQ youth in the classroom and even eat pancakes on National Pancake Day at The Original Pancake House.

Quite honestly, my first “solo” vacation was fantastic. I was able to visit Walt Disney World with my best friend for a few days. It was such an enjoyable and relaxing experience. I cannot wait to vacation again someday soon. However, I must say that I prefer IHOP pancakes over anything else.

March

March is when things really started to gain some traction. I started the month by attending my first drag show only three days in. By day 15, I was performing an original piece in my first ever paid performance experience.

me bona

Me mid-performance of an original piece.

With St. Patrick’s Day, March also brought along my first stand-up comedy performance in a few years and a taste of the mac ‘n’ cheese from Noodles & Company.

April

The fourth month of 2018 included a lot of time spent with my niece and nephew. We did things like visit Chuck E. Cheese, give the dog a bath together, and make some crafts. April also included a few new restaurants, and some planning for things in future months, but nothing too groundbreaking.

May

It was in May that the weather was finally getting warmer and I was hoping to be able to add more outdoor activities to my list. I was successful in a few, but it was still Michigan. The warm weather was not consistent.

I was fortunate enough to spend the month of May in a pretty relaxed state. I visited the state capital on a field trip with students, saw my favorite comedienne, Kathleen Madigan live, and consumed an Edible Arrangements smoothie, which I didn’t even know existed.

My favorite thing from the month was being able to make my own smoothies and lay in the hammock in the yard.
smoothie

It may seem small, but I’ve owned that hammock for 3 years and I lounged in it most this year, in May. It was always something I wanted to make time for, but never did until I committed to doing so. I learned that I’m a pretty good smoothie-maker and an even better hammock-napper.

June

June coming meant (rather consistent) warm weather. The most significant event of this month was starting this very blog and writing one of the most important things I have ever written. Effects of that writing included friends reaching out to me, understanding me better, and changing the way our friendship looked and operated (in all good ways!).It meant becoming stronger, being vulnerable, speaking the truth, and advocating.

It meant change.

It also meant my first writing on Thought Catalog.

On a smaller scale, June brought more fun things like theatre shows, odd Mom ‘n’ Pop places for dessert, new friendships, and many hours playing cards with my grandfather.

dessert

July

July brought trips to the beach, science experiments outside, and sunburns. It also meant passing my first state test for teacher certification, and trying my hand at building a miniature. The miniature is still in the closet… 1/100th put together.

miniature

August

August! The time to prepare for school and fall. For me, the last semester of college was coming and I was preparing to student teach. After attempting an aerial park for the first time, August also included kayaking and cutting my hair the shortest it has ever been.

 

 

 

It turns out I love both kayaking and my short hair. I kayaked a few more times after this, that the weather would allow. I also tried my hand at paddle-boarding. As far as the hair goes, I continue to cut it shorter and shorter.

September

September meant school starting, and finally getting a taste of being the teacher I had always dreamed of being. It also meant learning to love myself, post linked here, becoming more confident in my abilities to be a teacher, spoiling myself with tickets to Tig Notaro, and my second published writing on Thought Catalog.

I also started crafting more, and with the advice from a friend younger than myself, created a page for that, too. miss crowl

October

With the leaves and Halloween approaching, October brought about news from The Mighty that my post was being published, a trip to the apple orchard, another stand-up comedy performance, and the experience of seeing a show I did not know I would love so much, She Loves Me. At the apple orchard, there was a corn bin for children. Naturally, I played in it, too.

apples

November

With holiday season fast-approaching, November brought a lot of inspiration. Before Turkey Day, the 11th month brought about my first latte, a new breakfast place I ended up loving, and my first experience canvassing for a political party (article linked here).

latte

My first latte was a vanilla something-or-another. I drank the entire thing.

December

The final month of the year has brought about a lot of things. It’s included happiness and sadness, new friendships and the loss of old ones, the ending of past journeys and the start of new beginnings.

The most important things I’ve done in December have been graduating college, becoming a certified teacher, and upgrading this very blog. Since the whirlwind of the holidays and graduation, I’ve had the chance to examine the past year and truly identify some new things I want out of life.

I feel that I have successfully completed my 2018 New Year’s resolution. For 2019, I’ve decided that I want to give time and effort to those that give it to me, foster new friendships, and most of all, stop apologizing for who I am.

2019 will be an interesting year, and hopefully one where I continue to grow, change, and prosper. I can only hope it will be as successful as 2018.

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