After reading Yes Please! by Amy Poelher (full review here) I found myself reflecting on the moments where I had really stood up and said “Yes please” to whatever life threw my way.
The humbling realization that I arrived at? I don’t say it nearly enough.
I’m really good at giving other people advice, telling others to “put on their big girl pants and chase the adventure” or to “forever live legendary.” Well, while that’s great advice, I need to take it myself. So I have drafted a letter to both my younger self and my future self encouraging myself to say “yes please” to adventure.
Hopefully this time I won’t tune myself out.
Dear younger Madilene and future Madilene,
You don’t know this now, or you may only have the slightest idea, but you were created to do big things. You are stronger than you believe and have more passion and enthusiasm than most people have in their little finger. You are a dreamer, a doer, and someone who sees possibility everywhere. You my dear, are the hero of your own story. Every hero has a fatal flaw however, and yours is that you become so focused on future and what you can create that you forget to be spontaneous and don’t ever prescribe to the idea of “Say yes and figure it out later.” That has to change. I am by no means suggested that you stop pursuing your dreams. I’m saying take a break.
Yes my darlings, you both need to put down the color coded planner now and be willing to just go for it. You both need to stop saying “maybe later” and instead let out a resounding “yes please” when life offers you an adventure.
I promise you, you will survive. More than merely survive, you will become a better version of yourself.
Young Madilene, you need to unwind. You’re too young to be acting as old as you do. Relax. I promise you that work, your spin classes, and your in need of-a-deep-clean messy apartment will still be there when you return from adventures. Trust me on that one.
Your first taste of spontaneous adventure will occur over Labor Day in 2015. You will decide in a span of 30 minutes that you are going to abandon all of your carefully laid plans, purchase a plane ticket, and fly across the country to spend three days with people you’ve never met in a city you haven’t visited since you were 9. You will love it and it will be serve as a reminder for years to come that just because you don’t have a plan doesn’t mean you’re lost.
Future Madilene, you need to take a few deep breathes and remember to pick your head up from your textbooks occasionally. I know that you constantly feel overwhelmed and like there’s a mini hurricane spinning inside your body. Deep breathes in. Those accounting and finance classes you have to take? You’ll make it through. It might take tears, several bottles of wine and an IV of coffee, but you can do it. Keep the faith – your MBA is worth fighting for. You can do this.
This life is one filled with beautiful, chaotic, messy, unplanned adventures and you don’t want to miss a single moment of them. Remember the moments when you hoped on a plane just because you could, or when you stayed out until 4 am gallivanting through the streets of Edinburgh only to catch a 6 am train to St. Andrews. Channel that energy, that thrill, that rush of “I can’t believe that I’m doing this!”
You can believe it, because you did it. You can’t stop and you won’t stop. Don’t lose it because it will be the catalyst for your next adventure. The best is yet to come.
Darling Madilene, remember that like Queen Esther, you were made for a moment such as this. Be prayerful, persistent, joyful and expectant. Always leave sparkle wherever you go. Your life depends on it.
What advice would you give yourself? What are you saying “yes please” to? Let me know in the comments!