And Then I Said ‘No’.

I have always wanted to do everything, to be everywhere, to know everyone. My life experiences have stemmed from my desires to experience every situation, emotion, and possible moment that life has to offer. There is one thing that always weighs on me through my travels, my hobbies, and my time: money.


When I got home from Brazil, my credit card bill was almost to its limit and my bank accounts were dwindling. I don’t regret the extra travels before my journey home; I don’t regret the trip to Salvador or Rio. Nor do I regret the week spent in the Amazon Rainforest where two of my favorite people in the world and I fished for piranhas from a canoe and slept out in the forest on hammocks strung between trees next to each other. I don’t regret the one week layover in Colombia where we squeezed in three major cities, tours, hiking, birthday parties, and a failed attempt to go out dancing where altitude sickness led to public vomiting and emotional breakdowns from traveling. It would be nice though to not feel so stressed about watching the paychecks roll in as I daydream more adventures.


In less than 12 hours of landing, I was working at Bath and Body Works (a place where I had worked the holiday season the year before). The following day I was substitute teaching. By the end of the first week home, I had put in a handsome amount of hours between the two and only had more planned. My room is still disheveled because I haven’t stopped long enough to completely unpack and organize. But, I felt a little better.


In this time, I started applying with a company to teach online English as a Foreign Language classes. The classes would be one on one, set to my schedule, and a nice extra income. It seemed great at first. The application was easy to fill out, I sent in a video example of my teaching, and went through a round of a mock class. Then while scheduling the next one…I just didn’t want it. I hadn’t been wanting it for a while and I was just going through the motions.


I kept rescheduling, but there are only a few of those allowed. Today was the final chance…pull out of the process or go through with the mock class.


While driving to a neighboring town to pay our feed bill, the decision was clear. Why would I go through with a job that I don’t want, that doesn’t fulfill me, and that I don’t need? I had spent so much time worried about how it might look to back out, how it would be a nice addition to my income, and how it is extremely flexible. I hadn’t asked myself if I even thought I’d enjoy it.


The cancel button was easy to press and for one of the first times in my life…I said ‘No’…and there was no guilt lingering in the back of my mind tugging at me to fix it. In fact, it felt great. Now my afternoon before work is free to clean my room, or in more likelihood, hang out in the living room with my mom.


‘No.’ It’s okay to say it when you don’t want to do something. ‘No.’ It shouldn’t make you feel guilty because it doesn’t mean you don’t care. ‘No.’ Because it is my time and my emotions so I have to live with that decision.


And when Mom asks me if I want to go into town and run errands with her now that I’m not busy (even though I dislike running errands)…

…I’ll probably say ‘yes.’