How saying ‘yes’ for a month changed my life

Speed dating was not on my Life List of wondrous opportunities bonus new member I wanted to experience. But there I was, at a bar on a school night well after my bedtime, waiting for my phone to ping announcing my first eight-minute date.

I cast a nervous look around – and just like high school, the girls were in one corner and the boys in another.

In all honesty, I would have been very happy to stay with the girls. There was a lot to learn and these women were all over it. They explained the rules of the game and pointed out which men were regulars on the speed dating circuit.

What? There’s a circuit? There are regulars? Can I leave before it starts? But before I could plan my escape, my phone pinged and a picture of Giles* popped up, rudely interrupting my chat with the nice, safe women.

After what can only be described as a cross between a treasure hunt without a map and a game of hide and seek, I lost two of my eight minutes looking for Giles, who was skulking behind a potted plant.

What ensued was six minutes of awkward chit-chat, with me asking Giles a lot of questions and Giles not asking one question at all. Brilliant. And so on and so forth for eight dates. I was exhausted after number three.

It was excruciating and hilarious, and all in aid of achieving my current Life List challenge – to say ‘yes’ for a whole month to every opportunity that presented itself. AKA: ‘The Yes Quest’.

I have always been a goal-setter. My rules of engagement are fairly simple: each goal I set must satisfy at least one of the following:

  • It must be challenging – physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
  • It must be outside my comfort zone. It must have the squirm factor.
  • It must be new; something I have never experienced before.
  • It must be glorious – joyful, exciting, purely audacious.
See also  Misogyny among male fans rife but progressive masculinities rising

To be frank, I am also a bit of a control freak. In the past, I had always set my goals under tight, quality-controlled conditions involving a lot of planning.

And this was the exact reason why I set The Yes Quest in the first place. It was time to be spontaneous, let go of the reins, and plant myself firmly outside my safe little comfort zone.