It’s a hard word for me.
No comes much easier.
No requires less thought. Less commitment. Less passion.
No you can walk away from. No IS walking away. No requires no change.
But yes, it pushes you forward. Makes you take another step. Let’s those you love jump ahead.
Yes is agreeing. Yes is partnering. Yes is acceptance and devotion. But Yes can be hard. Yes can be Work.
Fourteen years ago I got a call from this guy. This guy that I didn’t know, but had heard much about. He asked me to go on a date. And without knowing how he looked, how he smiled, how he dressed, how he acted, I said Yes. I said Yes to Hope after a few too many discouraging blind dates. I said Yes to his sexy voice. His hearty laugh. His guts to call. I said Yes because my romantic heart felt Yes. Even though my reasonable head was shouting No. No would have been easy. No would have been comfortable. No would have been continuing As Is. Yes was scary. But Yes felt exciting.
And when we met, my Head joined my Heart. And I felt Yes.
Ten years ago in a dimly lit bar at the same table we had sat on that First night together, full of questions, full of anticipation, full of hope, he held up a sign. A sign created out of stubs. Movie and concert stubs pasted together end to end forming angular letters and the words Will U Marry Me? (Although it seems he ran out of stubs for the question mark… or got lazy). From the day I said that first Yes, he had saved the movie and concert stubs from many of the events I had said Yes to. He had saved them, so many of them. Romeo and Juliet. Beavis and Butthead. Life is Beautiful. Enemy of the State. Saving Private Ryan. Erin Brokovich. The Bodeans. There they all were. And I studied the sign, stunned at those hard-to-make-out words and yelped a resounding Of Course (aka Yes). One more step forward. One more opportunity to show my faith in what felt right. No would have kept us where we were. No would have held us back. No would have been calling it quits.
Nine years ago I walked down an aisle lined with the loves of my life. Family and friends from our present and past as we said Yes to our future. I walked down this aisle while Pachabel’s Canon sang around me. The music sweetly playing in my head and my heart. I saw that man ahead who I had promised my love to, and all of me screamed Yes. He stood with that smile I had grown to adore, his hand outstretched to take my hand shaky with nerves. We stood under the chuppah decorated with roses and hydrangea, the Long Island Sound sparkling behind us. We looked back at our audience, all of whom had said Yes to this affair. Yes to bare witness to our vows and celebrate our new life beside us. And I looked at that guy, the One I had chosen to be my husband and (even after the hysteria of the totally messed up vows, thanks to a confused and forgetful Rabbi ), I said Yes. I Do. A promise to Yes. Yes I will be there. Yes I will support you, comfort you, dance with you, laugh with you. For all time.
And since then, we have said Yes to babies. To new jobs. To compromise.
Because Yes is a compromise. Often something else needs to become No when you say Yes. But Yes brings smiles and No brings tears. Yes brings change and No is status quo. Yes catapults us forward where No keeps our feet stuck in the ground.
I’m not always good at Yes. I get lazy and choose the easier route of No. But at this moment, as I sit outside with the sun shining on my face and look at this sign that Tim made ten years ago, I feel this desire for Yes. This desire to continue bounding ahead. Helping my kids move ahead. Letting go of old grudges, and making more possible.
It may be harder, but it feels good to say Yes.
This was the last segment of Momalom’s Five For Ten. The subject was YES inspired by our friend Aidan Donnelley Rowley‘s first novel Life After Yes, hitting stores TODAY (5/18.) Five For Ten has been amazing. Jen and Sarah from Momalom have been Rock Stars reading hundreds of posts over the past 10 days. Please go check out their beautiful blog and read some of the other posts all about YES.