Just Say Yes

Three years ago I was a completely different person than I am now. I was in a dead-end relationship with no passions, no drive, and no reliance on myself. Sure, I could change a car tire and start a fire in less than five minutes, but what had I really accomplished?

I had goals. One day I would run a half-marathon. One day I would climb Rainier. One day I would travel the world. But my reliance on other people to motivate me and accompany me in all of my dreams held me back. I was waiting for someone else to make the first move. For someone else to guide me along to accomplish my dreams.

People like 20-year-old me piss me off. Despite a rather wondrous category of Craigslist telling me otherwise, nothing in life is free. Effort, planning, and money (especially) are mostly involved in everything. In fact, just sitting down to write this article is costing me something: opportunity. So many people forget about opportunity cost when planning for things. The time I spend at the gym, watching Netflix, or sitting on a plane is time that I will never get back. Just like those two years I spent with my ex-boyfriend.

The most useful thing I’ve learned in the past three years is that no one is ever going to help you truly achieve your passion unless they are also passionate about the same things. My desire to climb Rainier or travel outside of the country were pushed aside as a “one day” goal that would probably continue to be pushed aside. Which is why I branched out: why I took a ferry to Canada to spend a weekend there by myself as a big fuck-you, why I joined the Mountaineers and started learning how to climb, and eventually why I left my old life behind to start pursuing better things: myself.

Prussik Peak, in the Enchantments.  A trip I never thought I’d do

but am now planning for the second year in a row

A lot has changed in three years, including me. I’ve stopped putting things off. I’ve started saying “yes” to things. Anything and everything, as long as I don’t have to break other plans to do them. Three years ago I dreamed of backpacking in the Enchantments, but put it off as a “some day” dream because I never thought I’d win the lottery for camping permits. Last year I went with a bunch of people I barely knew because I thought I’d never get the opportunity otherwise.

This year I won the lottery. Literally and figuratively.

Facebook memories are usually terrible. Reminders from 6 years ago when I still wore braces and didn’t know what the hell I wanted from life. A memory popped up today from last year, when I went on a climbing trip to Utah with my boyfriend to visit my family but also to have the time of my life doing something I truly love. My caption from a year ago? “Never thought I’d take a trip to Utah almost specifically for climbing.” And it’s true, three years ago when I’d only ever gone to the climbing gym a few times—and hated it—I wouldn’t have guessed that I would be where I was last year, or even today.

I have said yes to so many wonderful things these past three years. Climbing, my wonderful (current) boyfriend, countless trips that made me nervous at first but were exhilarating after all was said and done, amazing friends that I would never had otherwise, and—most importantly—myself. I have, for the most part, stopped putting my dreams aside and said “yes” to moving forward. Yes, it takes hard work, dedication, sweat, tears, blood, and opportunity, but it’s totally worth it. Because I’m totally worth it. 

Leading a 5.10c in Vantage.  My endurance still sucks, but this was one of the best trips I’ve taken.

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