“You’re meeting up with someone you haven’t seen in 19 years?”
“Yes, I am!” That was my answer as I sat on the train about to see a high school friend I hadn’t seen since the day we graduated, June 2, 1995. “I’m saying YES to life.”
And so it begins, I’m finally starting a blog. I’ve been told for years that I should do this, that I’m funny and witty and people would enjoy what I write about. And for years I have hesitated, hemmed, and hawed, never really considering it, well, not at great length anyway. Then I met up with Dana, a high school friend. I haven’t seen Dana since we left Portage Central High School for the last time on June 2, 1995. We’d known each other over the years, but were never great friends. She Facebook messaged me a few weeks ago letting me know she would be in Chicago and wondered if I would like to join her for a drink to catch up. Immediately, when Dana rounded the corner of the elevator at the Blake Hotel, it was like I had just seen her yesterday. She looked the same. Same vibrant smile and same exuberant personality.
“So, June 1995…what have you been up to since?” Dana and I each ran through our 19 year college and career history, you know Michigan State, move to Chicago, taught 5th grade for 6 years, am now in my 8th year as a high school counselor, loving my job, loving living in Chicago, this and that and the other. For Dana it was, Western Michigan, Detroit, a lot of amazing travel for work around the world, and then, New York City, back to Michigan and her own business.
On my way to meet Dana my friend Sarah, another high school connection, and I were texting. I told her that I was meeting up with Dana because I’m “saying yes to life.” What can it hurt to meet up with someone you haven’t seen in 19 years? Sarah texted back, “I love this.” While Dana and I were chatting she brought up a recent daily post thing from the internet called #100happydays. Basically you take a photo of what made you happy that day and post on Instagram or Facebook. After a personally dark year, #100happydays helped me look at the little things in a day that make me happy. Some days it was an obvious thing, like dinner with a great friend. Other days it was harder to find something, so I had to look more closely at the little things. Even the little things like a perfectly ripe avocado, can make me happy. It’s all about saying yes to life. So I said yes to Dana, we had the best time, and her spirit filled me up so much that here I am, just like her friend told her, “Like a peacock, you need to let your feathers show.”
So here I am, letting my feathers show and saying yes to life. I don’t know what this blog will be from post to post, but hopefully it will be fun, sometimes serious, hopefully not lame, funny, and maybe, just maybe, it might reach someone. Who knows? Something I have recently allowed myself to rediscover after this past year is that I am full of life and love and that it is ok to let the darkness fade. It’s time to Say YES to Life!