On some days, I forget how many yeses I have received in life and am angry at all the no’s that I am getting as well. It is so much easier to focus on the negative things happening around us. It’s easy to forget the great things that have happened. Why are our minds wired like that?
Sometimes when I have an idea, my mind will tell me, “No girl, that won’t work, don’t even try!” But what if I try and it works? What if I get a yes?
I was 21 years old when I moved to Houston, Texas, and my life was filled with no’s.
“No, I won’t leave my village in the Netherlands,”
“No, I won’t be able to succeed in another country.”
But then, I had to say yes as it was my only way out of an abusive relationship. I had to say yes to the unknown, to escape my own life filled with no’s. America is the ultimate place for dreams to come true, at least it was for me over ten years ago. I was enrolled in culinary school, and did I dare to dream I would do well? Yes I did. I never did well in school, but I was the best in my class in culinary school.
Did I get a side job working at the best hotel in town? Yes, I did. I called them and asked to speak with the executive chef and he invited me for an interview. Did I think my approach would work? No, my very down to earth Dutch mentality did not let me think it would work. But the yes girl inside me wanted to dream, because she wanted these amazing things for herself, and she asked for a yes.
When I moved to China four years ago, I did not have even an inkling of the things that this country would give me. I said yes to my husband’s dream to move to Asia for his work as a chef and that meant I would be a boring trailing spouse. But I said yes to that. Soon after I arrived, I realized that was not going to happen because my inner me wanted adventure and community. And who would have thought that I would encounter an English parenting magazine that was looking for parents to join their team? Can you imagine the girl who loves magazines with her whole body and soul working at one?
My yes girl inside me said,
“Hell yes! I can imagine you have something inside you to bring to the table.”
But my No Mentality opposed and told me to stop being ridiculous.
“Pauline, girl, you are dyslectic. You are not even a native English speaker!”
We all know who won. The yes girl won and I had a very successful career at the magazine. I still can’t believe the amazing pieces I wrote and the fun photo shoots I directed. My mother always told me, “You will always have a no but you might get a yes.”
It’s easy to get stuck in the No mentality and I know that some countries bring out the no beast in me, while others unleash the yes beast of me. But I think the yes and no are always inside of me and they travel with me anywhere I want. I am going to ask for more yeses. And yes, I think I shall do just that.