Say Yes to Saying Yes
This is my last “Just Say Yes” post for Davis Life Magazine. It’s been a wild ride, from spelling words onstage in front of 200 people to watching an oyster squirm under a spray of lemon juice and then swallowing the poor thing whole. Saying “yes” to new and scary opportunities has been the best way possible to get to know my new hometown of Davis and its friendly, fascinating inhabitants. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my experiences, from the Village Harvest group who faithfully shows up every week to pick fruit in Davis backyards to donate to low-income families, to the members of The Odd Fellows, who warmly welcomed me to their weekly charity bingo games. Every experience that I’ve had because of this blog has had a positive result in my life, from helping me to be less shy (playing trivia at the Grad with 6 strangers will do that) to helping me become cultured (the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento truly does look wonderful after the remodel–check it out!) to humbling me (they really should teach you how to make coffee in college before you hit the job scene and embarrass yourself). To recap, here are a few of my favorite “Say Yes” adventures:
Spell onstage: When I moved to Davis last September, I e-mailed the editor of Davis Life Magazine, Cary Arnold, right away to ask if I could write for the magazine. Her response was “Yes” (see, she’s good at saying yes too), and “I have an idea for you.” Cary suggested the “Just Say Yes” idea, and she even had something for me to say yes to: the UC Davis Department of Theater and Dance’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In the play, they call a few audience members up onstage to participate in the spelling bee. Although new to town and a mediocre speller, I said yes. So there I was, onstage in my new town, staring out at my fellow townsmen, as I spelled “Mexican” and then “insouciant”, which I spelled wrong and was led off of the stage by a choir of singing spellers. Scary, but actually kind of exhilarating. It was a good start to my blog.
Skydiving: A Groupon appeared last October for 2 minutes of indoor sky diving plus a DVD of yourself doing it, and I thought, “Here’s a way to impress my readers without actually having to go skydiving.” So I said yes, and three months later I headed down to iFly in San Francisco to hover horizontally over a giant fan. That’s really all there is to say about it–you don’t feel like you’re falling, you just feel like you’re floating 3 feet above a giant fan. Two minutes isn’t long enough to learn how to do any of the cool acrobatics that our instructor could do around the wind tunnel, but I did succeed in keeping myself horizontal for those two minutes, which apparently is a feat within itself. Now I’m ready to try the real thing (maybe)!
Flash Mob Dance: When Cary Arnold became president of the Davis Chamber of Commerce in January, she wanted to spice up the inauguration ceremony a little bit. Cary invited me to join a group of about 40 of her friends as well as 40 UC Davis students in a flash mob dance and of course I said yes. I had seen the YouTube videos of flash dances around the world (for my personal favorite, check out this one in Belgium), and I was so excited to get to be in one myself. We practiced a few times before the big day, and when the time came, we all burst into the room where the glitterati of Davis were seated listening to Cary’s speech, and began dancing a choreographed dance to Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me.” The best part was when about 40 of the glitterati themselves stood up halfway through and joined us in the dance! It was a blast, and thanks to saying yes, I crossed “participate in a flash dance” off of my bucket list.
Stomach Massage: Sylvia Sensiper opened the first Chi Nei Tsang (chee-nay-song) office in the area last year, and when I was invited to experience the ancient Taoist method of abdominal chi massage, I couldn’t help but say yes. It is a holistic approach to healing that involves physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects, and draws upon the same ideas as acupuncture in working with meridians, or the body’s energy lines. Sylvia was professional and gentle, and she had warm hands (my main concern). I didn’t feel any immediate difference in my body or my emotions, but I was very relaxed when I left!
Paintball: This is one that I had trouble saying yes to, but I am really glad that I did. My little brother played paintball when we were kids, and it always seemed like a violent, messy sport. I had no interest in getting shot with hard plastic balls that explode paint all over your clothes, but when Micah McGlocklin, the owner of Davis Paintball, offered me a few free rounds, I thought I would give it a shot. It was awesome! The people were really nice and welcoming, they are serious about safety, and I’m not as terrible at it as I thought I would be. This is one say yes experience that I would definitely repeat.
Thank you to everyone who wrote in with ideas for me to say yes to, and to all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way who made it fun. I’ll keep saying “yes” to things because I’ve experienced first-hand the new friends, life lessons, and just plain fun you can have by saying “yes” when your knee-jerk reaction is “no.” Go ahead and try it!
If you are interested in saying yes to new experiences and would like to take over for me, please e-mail Cary Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have another idea for a regular blog post, go ahead and shoot her an e-mail too!