When was the last time you did exactly what you felt like doing? Not what you “should” do, not what you kind of wanted to do, exactly what you wanted–no compromises. How many times a day do we tell ourselves, “not today” or “one day?”
I woke up about a month ago and for some reason, something in me snapped. I had to buy a Macbook Pro that day. Of course, my mind tried to talk me out of it, “it’s so expensive,” “your other computer works fine,” “wait until later,” “you can’t afford it,” but nothing would dissuade me. I went to the Apple store on my lunch break that day and bought the computer I had wanted for 4 years.
The following week I was buying groceries at the market, and I passed by the music store. I’ve passed that store a dozen times, always telling myself “you’ll buy it one day” or “now is not the right time.” “You just bought a computer; you definitely don’t need to buy a banjo.”
I walked in just to browse but strutted out with Eliza, my new banjo. I’m a lefty, and there are not many lefty banjos (and even fewer lefty Youtube videos and books, I’m finding). The banjo had literally arrived that day, and I was the first one to play it out of the box. I have wanted to play banjo for years, but I always had an excuse.
I LOVE IT! Every time I hold it, or play, or sing along, I’m incandescently happy. I have two amazing teachers, Jenny Kerr and Jim Chayka, who are teaching me different styles: old-time & bluegrass 3-finger style. Both play professionally and are incredible musicians. I highly recommend checking them out.
There have been many other “yes’s” in my life as of late. “Yes” to a 10-day vacation, which will take me to the sacred sites of Peru. “Yes” to dancing around my apartment to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” “Yes” to visiting a friend in Boulder and to a day at Cataract Falls. “Yes” to buying myself flowers.
Of course, there’s also a time to say “no,” (as I’m finding with saying “yes” to too many chocolate bars and ice cream) and to temper. Sometimes saying “no” can actually be saying “yes” to oneself and one’s needs. Ultimately, we create our lives and decide how many “yes’s” and “no’s” make up a lifetime.
For more of Tian Jiang’s photos, click here.