"Say Yes to the hard way, yes to the tricky part, and yes to the big ideas. Whisper yes to the early morning sun, yes to the very next breath, and yes to the earth under your feet. Proclaim a burning yes to perspiration. Declare yes to the people, yes to the messiness, yes to the risks, and yes to the wonders that make this life unpredictable, magical, and100% yours. Make yes your new favorite word!"
So.. what does that mean? I found this quote on a card from Compendium and it really made me think about my own life. As I get older I kind of feel like I needed this kick in the ass, because it's easy to get stuck in the safe zone. I've been pretty open and daring most of my life and I mostly attribute that to my parents. They were always big champions of me doing my thing (as long as I didn't embarrass them..), and they took a big risk when I was ten and moved the whole fam damly to West Africa when I was. Their motto was "If you don't try things that scare you, how will you grow?" and also "Third times a charm" and "All good things come to those who wait.", but we'll discuss those later... I'll hit more on West Africa later too, but for now I want to talk about risks.. We are so eager to jump blindly into things when we're young, but when we're in our 40's and older, do we stop risking things? It seems that the world gets scarier as we age, and for the life of me I can't figure out why. Do we become lazier or do we just know more? Do we fear peoples' opinions more as we age? Is change just too much work? These questions resonate as I embark on my new project: The Wether Girl.
Risk. That's an interesting thing. I know a ton of people who really don't like this idea. Change, difference, opposing ideas, new perspectives... you name it. For me, risk means chance, but for many it means fear and I completely understand. When you reach my age, you've experienced enough to formulate opinions and you've probably figured out what brings you joy and what hurts you, so you gravitate toward the joy and you avoid the hurt. That makes sense. But I think this also makes us less apt to take risks. Safe corners don't promote growth and I am here to tell you that corners are boring. Step on the stage friends, and start saying yes again.
When I was in my teens and twenties I sang in bands. I sang whenever I could and for whomever would listen. I sang in dive bars, in front of an audience of three, and then at events with audiences of 3,000. I don't know if I was that great, but it brought great joy to me. Then I got married, had babies and my life's focus changed for beautiful, obvious, joyful reasons, and I stopped singing in public. And then life has a weird and wonderful way of pushing you towards your passion if you are open and ready. After ten years of storing my microphone in a drawer, a friend asked me if I'd be interested in auditioning for a position of lead singer in a local cover band.
You can imagine my first thought was, "No way." as in "No frigging way am I doing that." But the more I thought about the opportunity, the more my heart wanted this to happen, so I agreed to the audition. I was 46 at the time, mind you.. no spring chicken. I got the call back.. and then the next call back.. and finally made the cut. So my "yes" to the unpredictable happened and my risk ended up being a great new positive change in my life after all. So what's the big deal???
I think my point is that when we put ourselves out there, try something completely new, or do something that's risky, or scary, or out of our comfort zone, we grow. I feel like when we say yes, we grow. When we embrace change we grow. When we try scary new things, we grow.. even when we're approaching 50, we grow.
Deciding to take that audition isn't the biggest risk I've taken, for sure, and I know it won't be the last. It was simply an example of deciding do get out of my comfort zone, make a commitment to a new activity, and it's been a gift that I gave myself, to be honest. Becoming a part of a local band has brought me closer to my community, brought new friends into my life, made me more connected to the place I live, and has given me an outlet to one of my creative needs. Saying yes to the new, the crazy, the fun, the scary is good.. no matter the age. So girls, my advice is to say yes more, try new things more, and challenge yourself to do the things you dream about more... at any age. This is how we grow, Just say "YES"!
You can check out our band schedule by going to our facebook page @SoundslikeDolores !