“Your best days are not behind you,” said Nik, my good friend from college a few weeks ago. We were at our friend Ankur’s wedding, catching up and reminiscing like we always do. We had way too much fun in college and we know my memory is creepy-good, so it’s always wildly entertaining. But this time, he stopped me. He said that he actually hated that whenever I saw him, I only talked about our epic, old memories. He wanted us to make some new ones. So that we did.
That night, we laughed hysterically and made new memories that will last us each a few lifetimes. But my favorite part of the night was everything we ended up talking about. “Your best days are not behind you.” It’s such a simple, beautiful sentiment but so hard to wrap my head around. I try to visualize it and speak it into existence, but I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes every time. I mean, what’s going to top my once adventurous, nauseatingly happy life full of friends, boyfriends, white coats and wild dreams?
Several years ago, my big, big Chaya made an intriguing promise to herself. She said it was her “yes year” where she decided to make herself say ‘yes’ to everything she would normally say ‘no’ to such as a blind date or a new activity. I always admired her bravery and boldness in most things, but especially in this endeavor. It’s like she was taking a proactive role in writing her own story instead of waiting for the world to act. She let her curiousity and open mind be her only guides. l think, starting with the night of Ankur’s wedding, I decided this was going to be my “yes year,” in an attempt to be brave, to be bold and to get out of my own way. To continue making new memories. I need to be open to the possibility of better days instead of being trapped inside my head, replaying my past on loop. But I can’t keep waiting for better days, I have to start creating better days.
Last night, I was in a weekly Zoom writing class with Chaya and about forty strangers from around the country. I love hearing other people share their work but I prefer to stay an invisible eavesdropper – on mute with my camera off. But last night, I swallowed my insecurities, ignored the terrified voices in my head, and texted Chaya “Yes year!” Then, I switched on the camera, unmuted, cleared my throat and recited a few lines from my piece. It didn’t go as planned – it was scary, emotional and embarrassing but so freaking exhilarating. (Ironically, the same feelings on the night of Ankur’s wedding lol). So ok world, I’m ready. Surprise me, delight me, challenge me, amaze me, I’m ready. But this time, I’ll meet you halfway.