Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Year of Yes

This has been my “year of yes."

I said yes to Africa when my Peace Corps friend invited me (see photo above), yes to Amsterdam when my husband asked , and even yes to speech-giving lessons when a woman I met at a party offered them.

After years of practicing saying no, I’m loving saying yes.

The phrase “the year of yes” comes from a book of the same title by Idaho native and aspiring playwright Maria Dahvana Headley.

Feeling like she’s “dated and then hated every man in Manhattan,” Headley resolves to stop being so picky and say yes to anyone (within reason) who asks her out on a date. No drunks, addicts, violent types, or cheating husbands. Everyone else gets a nod.

Headley’s first date is with her building’s Puerto Rican maintenance man, who shows up to fix her toilet and ends up asking her out.

The second is with a 40-year old classmate who speaks mostly Polish.

These encounters are followed by dates with a gay guy, a career-driven woman, and a 70-year old Latino who claims to have 11 children.

Needless to say, Headley’s year isn’t working out quite as well as she’d hoped. But just when she’s almost given up, she finds herself falling in love with a fellow playwright--and saying “yes” again when he asks her to marry him.

It’s a fairy tale with a down-to-earth message:

There’s such a thing as being too picky, too sure of ourselves, too closed to the magic of life.

It’s all well and good to know what we want and what we don’t, and to be assertive in setting our boundaries. But saying yes when we’re inclined to say no can lead to the unexpected.

And more often than not, that’s precisely the place where dreams come true.

Photo Credit: Sybille Caira (from the website:


  1. Anonymous7:02 PM

    This "year of yes" is a curious and motivating post. Thanks for sharing and, as always, it's good to hear from you.
    Your fellow BWS member and author,
    Brenda Nixon - who loves your book Defying Gravity.

  2. Thanks, Brenda! Readers may or may not approve of Headley's dating strategy, but I was inspired by her daring. In reflecting on the book, I realized that I, too, had been reaping rich rewards from saying "yes"-- even when my practical side said "no."