Saying No to Yes

After a leisurely summer of naps, beaches, and cocktails with umbrellas, you would think I would ease back into the schedule I had so easily left just a few months before. This past winter and spring had overflown with gigs, work deadlines, and social events that my brain could not possibly keep track.  I took a break from dance with ease, relishing in the fact that I would have four months of evenings and weekends to myself.

Of course, those four months flew by in a blur with only a bad suntan and a few extra pounds to show for it.  I was eager to get back into class and see my friends who I hadn’t laid eyes on in months.  I grinned in earnest at the thought of the new choreography I would be working on in just a few days time.  However, I knew I had to ease into it.  While young, four months was still a long time to take off from such a strenuous activity.  There was no need to rush into things.

So what did I do?

You guessed it!  I dove right in.  There was no dipping of the pinkie toe into the shallows to test the waters.  There was no easing in step by step until the water reached a temperature other than ‘frozen bones’.  Nope.  I dove right in, head first. Since auditions just a few weeks ago, I have not been able to say no.  I am in rehearsals four nights a week (compared to two nights a week for the past two years).  I have also said yes to every upcoming gig that we have in the next few months and there appears to be no end in sight.

Why can’t I say no?

Why can’t I say such a simple word in order to gain some semblance of my leisurely life back?  Sure, I love dance, but I also love reading, writing, and spending time with my boyfriend.  Sleep is also nice.  I miss sleep.

While I’m not unhappy, I worry about not seeing my friends for weeks at a time. While one set of relationships is renewing, I fear others are already suffering.  I keep telling myself that this hectic schedule will only last a few weeks.  After my first gig next weekend, will I be able to take some nights back for myself or will I crumble into submission once again?  Will I finally be able to say no?

My best guess would be an unsurprising and resounding no.  My constant need to please everyone around me has turned me into a ‘yes’ man.

Arden, can you rehearse every night this week and perform two gigs over the weekend?  Yes

Arden, will you have dinner with my parents on Tuesday after work but before rehearsal?  Yes

Arden, can you take on this extra project while Susie Q goes on vacation?  Yes

I’ve run myself into the ground before and I see myself doing it again.  It is not a matter of if, only when.  Hopefully, this is my turning point.  Hopefully, by realizing my ‘yes’ mentality beforehand, I can stop it before my body gives out as it did last spring.  Hopefully, I can finally learn to say no before I let down myself and everyone around me.


Awesomeness Awaits at Yeah Write!

23 thoughts on “Saying No to Yes

  1. It’s a common thing for creative folks. My hubby and I are musicians, and we rarely turn down gigs. Him especially; he’s a musical whore when it comes to playing in big bands. Look on the bright side, your body will eventually give out and make you stop when it’s time. No decision needed on your part! Huzzah!

    1. That’s why I took the summer off in the first place. I was starting to despise going to class/rehearsal. I’m happy to be back now. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.

  2. I said yes to a ton of stuff last June and it’s all coming to a head now. Yesterday I kind of wanted to just run away. Today too. I get it! Good luck and try to take it easy (I say this with absolutely no intention of ever really saying no to anything).

    1. Haha! I’m trying real hard to say no but no luck so far 🙂

      That being said, I do have a nice and relaxing long weekend coming up so at least I can rest!

  3. “Hopefully, by realizing my ‘yes’ mentality beforehand, I can stop it…” As a fellow “yes man” I think the worst part is knowing that you’re doing it and STILL not being able to stop…but at least you’re in good company! Great piece!

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