I’m a New Yorker. Or so people have been saying. I’ve spent the past few weeks getting settled, introducing myself to the many neighbourhoods in the city, meeting new people and exploring fun places. All typical travel stuff but something is a little oh so unfamiliar to me here. I love going to new places and traveling when I get a chance but I have never actually been on a trip by myself. New York marks the first place that I am actually exploring alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been getting out and meeting people, going to events and connecting with people I know from home but being here on my own has a very different feeling to it. Truthfully, I actually like it. I have no problems getting out there and seeing some of the great attractions in this city, even if I’m visiting these places by myself. But even someone as outgoing as myself often has those moments when it’s easy to retract and hide out in my room or be super lazy and not leave the house when you don’t want to. The problem to being on your own is that no one is going to judge if you come home early, don’t do anything exciting in a day or hibernate at home. And if no one is going to hold you accountable for being exciting, it’s easy to become kind of boring.
That’s why I came up with the idea to practice the “yes man” theory (or in my case, “yes woman”). If you haven’t seen the movie Yes Man I’ll sum it up in a quick sentence. It’s a movie about a man, Jim Carrey, who leads a fairly boring life but it all changes when someone challenges him to start saying yes to everything and he ends up falling in love and doing things he never thought he would do. If you haven’t guessed it, my theory involves saying yes whenever possible. The turning point for me was my first week in the city when I went to an event and met a bunch of new people. I hung out, chatted, and even embarrassed myself for the sake of the groups amusement. At about 10pm a few of the people in the group said they were going out and asked if I wanted to come. I was exhausted from a late night before and pretty tempted to say I was going home. Plus, I had hardly talked to most of the people going and I felt a little uncomfortable going to a club with people I didn’t know two hours ago or barely knew. I had an easy out but the “yes man” theory kicked into affect and I went out. Guess what? I had a great night and made some friends which I am hanging out with this weekend. The point I’m getting at is everyday we are presented with a bunch of different opportunities and it’s easy to say no and make up excuses. By saying yes to the opportunities in front of us we are opening up doors we didn’t know were there before. My new motto of saying yes to everything has actually been very fruitful. I’m meeting more new people and doing exciting things with them. I’m eating and drinking at a lot of cool places, as well as trying out the local favourites. Ask me if I want to go to a hidden prohibition style bar? I say yes. Ask me if I want to try this drink I’ve never heard of from New Jersey? I say yes. Ask me if I want to ride in a Hummer for the first time in my life? I’m a little hesitant but I say yes. You get the point.