Why Saying ‘Yes’ To Strangers Is A Great Thing.
Back Once Again With The Old-Behaviour
You know the scene where Mikey discovers the map of One-Eyed Willy’s rumoured ‘rich stuff’ and utters the immortal line in The Goonies, “What if, you guys. Just what if?‘, Well, that’s me all over. I’m proud to say I am a Goonie and I will always wonder ‘What if?’.
So here I am sat down, planning what 2017 is going to look like, what bits from my business bucket list I am going to tick off and what ‘What if’s’ I am going to do. But first I am going to take some time out to reflect on the last few months.
I’ve done things I’ve never dreamt of in places I have never been before. I’ve met some amazing people and have conquered many personal ghosts that have been haunting and no doubt holding back for most of my life.
How? well, I don’t know. There was no set plan, no secret ingredient, no structure apart from just to keep saying ‘Yes’.
‘Yes’ to talking to strangers. ‘Yes’ to going out to places I would normally avoid. ‘Yes’ to start starting things that before I would have previously been able to give you a huge list of reasons of not to.
You can probably write your own list that is identical. You know the voices that get deafening? – The ‘Don’t be so bloody daft’, ‘That’s not for me’ ‘What if you fail?’ ‘Everyone is going to laugh at me’, ‘I don’t have time to do that’ or the classic ‘I am too old to do that’. Frankly, that is utter hokum, and this is why.
This my friend Vera. I met her quite by chance in a coffee shop a few weeks ago when she plonked herself down beside me. She got out her knitting and just started to talking to me.
Three hours later I had fallen a little bit in love. She is 97 writes poetry, she knits scarves for the homeless and loves meeting new people. Every day she goes out to different places to meet people and do things rather than taking the easy route and staying safely in front of the TV.
I asked Vera if she would like to come raving on NYE at TotRockinBeats, the event I was organising and she said yes as simple as that.
In the back of my mind, I was thinking ‘Shit, she is 97, and you are bringing her into a rave with huge bass speakers and hundreds of drunken strangers. She will hate it; it will be too much for her’. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Rather that hating it, Vera embraced it.
On NYE in front of a 1,000 people Vera came on stage and DJ’d, (with the help of the lovely Rob from StickItOn).
Yes, that’s right a 97-year-old DJ’ing at a rave. She stopped the audience in their tracks when she dropped her favourite songs ‘We’ll meet again’ and ‘The long road to Tipperary’.
The crowd of jacked up on Haribo toddlers and tipsy parents smiled widely and waved their arms as Vera led them joyfully in a singalong of wartimes classics. That moment Vera made history and proved that you are never too old to try something new.
This Saturday she joined me at a local gallery as part of the ‘Story Of TotRockinBeats exhibition that was taking place. We talked, she knitted and ate ice-cream with my four-year-old, while being interviewed by a local journalist, taking it all in her stride.
— Colonnade House (@ColonnadeHse) January 7, 2017
Now by saying ‘Yes’ and talking to strangers I now not only have I made a new friend who I am going to learn a great deal from, but she made such an impression I have booked her for our next event on Mother’s Day.
At the ripe old age of 97, Vera, the little old lady that you would quite possibly walk past and not think twice about has a new career as a DJ and crowd-rocker extraordinaire under the street name of ‘DJ Charming Vera’.
Next time you want to do something new, but those little voices in your head tell you not to, do yourself a great favour and tune them out, say ‘yes’ and then utter these words to yourself.
I am going to #BEMOREVERA