Even before being forced to watch Yes Man, I had developed one of my “mottos”:
When in doubt, say yes.
I developed it very quickly and absolutely artificially: I wisely constructed it while filling my profile info at Hostelworld’s site. I don’t like the idea of having mottos, yet it seems that filling profile questionnaires online can in fact force you to make up your personality. Yeah, coz all you need for a truly conscious living is a list of fixed rules.
Anyway. I used this pseudo-motto very recently: some Fridays ago, a good friend of mine posted on facebook that she’s looking for company to go to the Positivus music festival with her. Not a number of awesome bands, I thought, but, my lord, Damien Rice will be there, and I should use my chance to see the guy as long as we’re on the same continent.
Friday… It starts the same day… Shit, and I’m still in Vilnius (the festival took place close to Estonia)… My bus to Berlin leaves on Sunday, I’ll have to be back here by then… Ahhhh, what to do, what to do???
And then that Hostelworld profile came to mind.
I am in doubt… I am in doubt… Then I guess I know what I should do, don’t I?
I called my friend. “You know what? Yes!!!” – and then a close-to-140 dB woohooooo! followed, from both sides of our unequally modern phone speakers.
(Wow, I’m teaching the youngsters to be faithful to what they post online. This cannot end well.)
What ended well was the weekend itself. It seems that I don’t even have to speed it up so much as I’m writing about it: it happened so quickly! Like in a failed attempt to make something close to Memento, my memories return to me in pieces: coming back home to my village for literally an hour, repacking my backpack, jumping into my friend’s car. Five hours later – Salacgriva, Northern Latvia.
Before I reach the point (yes, the points have returned), a quick digression.
This is what my friend and I were thinking before the festival:
“Hmmm, I only know Damien Rice and Keane. Ah, yes, and I have one song by Manic Street Preachers.” “Yeah, same here. Oh well, it’s fine, we’ll discover some new bands, great!”
On our way home that Sunday, we reflected on same topic:
“So, in a day and a half, we saw…three bands.” “Sounds about right.” “Let’s just youtube other bands when we get back home.” “Yeah, makes sense.”
I don’t know how, but we really managed to see only three performances during our time in Positivus. That is a ridiculously small percentage of what we could have seen, I reckon. Nevertheless, it felt so good to do what we felt like doing: to have a long breakfast by our tent, getting half of the morning’s calories from cider, then to slowly walk to the beach, inserting a small photo shoot into our schedule (explains the photo), then… How irrelevant seem the details of a whole that was just so perfect. Hey, it was no Burning Man, neither is it known to be some ultimate Baltic equivalent of it, but the love-peace-joy trinity was there, albeit around our tent only.
The point… The point… I promised one. “I’m teaching the youngsters to be faithful to what they post online” – hmm a dose of hypocrisy wouldn’t hurt now, but no! My point:
There is a question that at least I like to ask myself sometimes, especially before some unplanned trips or even longer-term decisions: it’s not exactly the moment of deciding itself but something comes a bit later. It’s more of the creeping “but should I really?” type of doubt.
It feels great, after every spontaneous or simply unexpected decision that has led to a positive experience, to look back at that moment of doubt and thank myself that I have indeed chosen to say yes to it. But for that “You know what? Yes!!!”, I could have erased the whole Positivus weekend, maybe my trips to Estonia, as well as everything I’ve seen and everyone I’ve met in Asia. Certainly, there are cases in which I’d gladly turn back time and slap then-Juste in the face in the middle of her saying “You know wh…?”, but…even bad decisions lead to good ones in the future, ay?
(Unless these decisions literally destroy your future. Then you’re screwed.)