When I read that Natalie Cole had passed away, I remembered this song. Non Dimenticar is Italian for “do not forget”. I can’t remember how or when I came across it. It’s buried deep in a Spotify playlist I titled “Late Nite Rides”. I played it a few times yesterday and sure enough, it put some things in perspective for 2016.
I rang in the new year up in Toronto. It wasn’t really a planned trip. I did know I wanted to be out of the house though. I wanted to be somewhere that would allow me to chill but also get to know some new people. Ultimately, the cost won out. With this trip, I also decided to do something I’d never done before.
Before, I’d make excuses to not do certain things I wanted to do because I wanted to do them with someone. I have so many date ideas and trips swirling in my head. Dating sucks because you have to decide who’s worth creating new memories and sharing fun things with. Although, I wasn’t going to dwell on what wasn’t when I had enough in front of me to be happy about.
That’s what saying “yes” can do. It gives you permission to see what’s in front of you and even if it’s not ideal, still be happy.
I wrote down a list of goals that I have for the year. Shockingly, the list isn’t long at all.
1) Close on a home
2) Find a person that feels like home
3) Do dope shit at home and everywhere else
Easy enough, right?
One of the reasons why people can’t sustain happiness is because they’re too scared to make a decision. We exhaust our anticipation by thinking of the worst possible outcome. We overthink to the point that “no” becomes the only answer. Have you ever asked yourself what could happen if you say “yes” to something that scares the hell out of you? When’s the last time you said “yes” to something that made you feel good even though mentally you forced yourself to believe it’s bad?
It goes without saying that I’m not talking about situations that are dangerous or toxic to your life. I’m talking about taking a chance on something that could change your life for the better. I’m talking about those dreams you obsess over. Or that trip you’ve been dying to take. Or that person who makes you feel like the most important person in the world.
We’re constantly fed the importance of saying “no”. Saying no can protect you, re-direct you, or empower you. We lull ourselves into this struggle narrative about being spared from the pain, disappointment, and heartbreak. Guess what? That shit is a part of life. Nobody can avoid those experiences. What we don’t talk enough about is that saying “yes” can do the same things that “no” can.
To illustrate my point, I wrote about finally getting a dog. In terms of relationships, I’ve broken hearts and had mine broken. But I’m not using that fear of hurt to keep love away.
If self-improvement is a goal of yours, then be decisive about the times you’re going to say “yes”.
Instead of making a list of resolutions that you’ll probably struggle to keep, challenge yourself to do new things. Explore possibilities.
Taking this trip to Toronto was about doing something that I kept putting off. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable. The new year is a fresh start that should be spent indulging in faith and drowning in gratitude.