I must say that January was a very big month for me. In 31 days I became reacquainted with three long lost friends over walks, coffee and yoga. I hiked trails that once intimidated me, including one with a sign warning of snakes. I tried different foods such as raw oysters, and eel. My hairdresser happily chopped seven inches off of my hair, and I joined both writing and book clubs. I celebrated other adventures, though some were very simple, like walking over and initiating conversation with a neighbor I didn’t really know. The point is this: Every day, I did something different, whether driving a new route on my errands, or simply picking an outrageous nail color for my pedicure.
Yet for me, January was all about reconnecting. I am a freelance writer who works every day for a variety of clients, so my days require solitude. At the last minute I can get an email asking for an article on current real estate issues affecting commercial development, or writing about the top ten free destinations in Las Vegas. Every day is different. Between being diagnosed with an illness a few years ago and creating my small little business, I’ve had some challenging days. Too much in fact. This is why January was so exciting, and truly feels like an accomplishment. Putting it all out here on this site makes me uneasy, but it holds me accountable on those days where I just want to stay put.
What did last month teach me?
That I’m having fun. I’m making time for myself without too much thought if I’m neglecting anyone else. Liberating? You bet. I now almost always say “yes” when before, I would automatically utter “no” if asked to step outside of my comfort zone, and surprisingly, this hasn’t been hard at all.
Not. One. Bit.
Nothing that I have attempted has been disappointing, even the raw eel, because taking risks, whether large or small last month, has made my life much more interesting. In other words, it’s okay to do something that may make you feel stupid. I was totally prepared to spit out the raw eel, or gag in front of friends and family when I swallowed the slithery oster. The pictures everyone took aren’t pretty, but failure can happen. Everyone makes mistakes yet as long as you find yourself challenged when trying something new, what can really go wrong? As the New Year approached, I wasn’t willing to allow things to stay the same with my fairly stable and safe life. After all, when there is no real risk, there is no reward.
Speaking of the New Year, here is a great book that I devoured over the holidays, and was just the perfect inspiration I needed to begin 2016. It also proved to me, once again, that no matter where you are in life, whether you have money or not, it doesn’t mean everything is peachy. Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator/writer/executive producer Shonda Rhimes appeared to have it all, yet in her book, Year of Yes, she describes being an introvert, shying away from any sort of attention as her fame grew. When her older sister muttered to her one day, “you never say yes to anything,” Shonda suddenly realized that by saying “no” she was preventing herself from doing anything that could possibly make her happy. Therefore, she made a declaration to say “yes” to anything that scared her for an entire year. Her transformation is amazing, both physically and emotionally.
February is all about food. I’m mixing it up, living a vegan lifestyle for a bit, (Is wine vegan? It better be), experimenting with juicing, cooking new menus with intimidating recipes, straying from our usual, favorite restaurants and trying new ethnic eatries that I’ve always wondered about. In fact, I saw this message below, which made my “brave” selection for this month so easy: