Sometimes I really don't recognize this off the bat, but I've had some pretty incredible - sometimes horribly decided at the time - experiences thus far, which translate into posts like this. The most memorable one of my 20s, was hands down, the Summer of Yes (S.O.Y). Granted, I went to college, had a really cool job, won a ring, traveled during my 20s - all things that are mainly tangible, that many people can achieve. But my greatest experience came from something that some people would probably frown upon, and something that was also very personal and intentional. There's something about recognizing what’s faux-pas in the lens of what's normal in our society (which makes doing said thing, epic), but I've always been a rebel and never really conformed to what everyone else was and is doing....so, there's that.
April 2010 marked a few months after my roommate and I had ended relationships with our significant others that equally lasted at least 3 years. Speaking for myself, I was in a stage of exploration and really giving zero [redacted].
The short version of S.O.Y. was that we couldn't say no to anyone who asked us out on a date, unless we felt threatened (which, fortunately, was very rare). We made rules, had a point system, a white board to track everything, and an end date. This was literally a game, but what it turned out to be for me, was one of the best experiences of my life. (If you're reading this and thinking if you were one of those I dated during this time, the answer is most likely, yes :).
For the first time, ever, I wasn't thinking about who my next boyfriend, husband or soulmate would be. I didn't want to be in any sort of committed relationship, and made that very clear upfront.
The point wasn't to go on a specific number or dates, or break the hearts of the men
who selectively and willingly did to other women in the city. The point was to have fun. Literally, that was it. There were no ulterior motives. I'll spare all the juicy details because they're not important in this platform, but if you're curious and want the long version, feel free to hit me up.
Carefree, yet intentionally purposeful in my actions. Each of my personal experiences during this summer and the underlying feelings, conversations and connections that were involved, are all still relevant today.
Nearly five years later, I'm writing about this experience in somewhat long form, yet also recognizing how important this stage of my life was. In hindsight, I learned more about myself as it relates to what attracts me not only physically, but mentally as well. I learned about trust, forgiveness, love and most importantly, detachment - or the beautiful art and practice of letting go. I did the inner work, without even realizing that I was shedding another layer into recognizing my true self.
The key is to create similar experiences that not only scare you, but that push you over the edge. The ones that nobody is really talking about. The ones that result in inspiring others once you share your story. The ones that make you think, "should I really being doing that?"
The answer is probably yes. Taking what's probable into what's possible requires leaping.