I’m not proud when I say that I’ve never been a “yes” person. I was one of those kids who grew up busy, and I learned quickly how to choose my commitments wisely and then prioritize them. My free weekends, when I had them, were spent sleeping and studying, trying to already get ahead on the next week’s schedule. So, I had to guard my time. I had to say no to opportunities that I now wish I had said “yes” to. I’m less busy, now, than I was as a kid, but I haven’t been able to shake the habit of all work and no play.
This adventure started with one, big “YES”. It was 7:30 am, and I was on a treadmill in the Elon fitness center when I got the email from a friend that the Elon in LA program was opening its application past the deadline. I’m not sure whether it was an excess of endorphins, but I hopped onto the edges of the machine, belt still running, and shot J McMerty an email asking if we could meet and discuss my interest in the program. Before I knew it, I was setting up a meeting with J and begging my parents to consider the idea of sending me to Los Angeles.
Ever since that event on the treadmill, this has been my summer of learning to let myself say “yes”. That one decision turned into the catalyst for a much bigger re-examination of my life. For instance, I’ve never been the yogi type, but when my roommate asked me to go with her one night when we were at the gym, I agreed and found out that I actually love it.
I hadn’t done any type of dance photography since high school, but when the dance professor, Jen, and my roommate, Gillian, asked me to go on shoots, I jumped at those chances and they turned out to be so much fun.
Another roommate, Casey, asked me to be in her film project, and it’s been an incredibly instructive and awesome experience.
Now I realize that being nervous to try something new isn’t an excuse. Being busy isn’t an excuse, either. I’m only now understanding how very limiting these two crutches have been in my life, and it’s time to say, “YES”.