Recently, I sat all alone in my favorite café enjoying a glass of white wine, surrounded by the glow of newlywed couples and bustling families.
I had my consciousness absorbed in my phone, and when I looked up, I was greeted by a cute, blonde waiter who made a beeline just to discretely pass me a plate of chocolate truffles.
“Shh,” he said, placing a finger to his lips.
It wasn’t the first time he’d given me something free with my order, and so on this occasion, I cheekily replied with, “I hope your number comes with that.”
It was a bold move and it made him smile. Fast forward a few weeks and a few dismal dates later, the waiter turned out to be an arrogant boy and it never eventuated to anything.
Nevertheless, something I learned from my spontaneous confidence was that if we never take a leap of faith and do something different, we’ll be staring new opportunities in the face all the time, letting them pass us by.
So, upon reaching another birthday milestone, I realized there are a few life lessons we could gain just by saying yes to a few things every day:
Talking To Strangers
I know there’s a massive stigma around this one and I can understand why. Everyone’s had a bad experience and I don’t condone talking to the random creep at the bus stop who is either overly charming or just a little off.
I do, however, believe that in the right social setting, we should always take the opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone new.
I met my best friend at a birthday party. He was wearing a blue jumpsuit and reminded me of a cute Smurf. After gossiping about everyone else, we traded email addresses and the rest is history.
Seriously, if I had a dollar for the amount of times people scowl at each other on the streets, I'd be very rich. How much does it take to say yes to a smile?
Whether it’s your boss, the taxi driver or the bartender, give someone a smile. It’s free, attractive and scientifically proven to make you feel happier.
Who cares if it’s the middle of winter and your apartment needs to be cleaned? Go away, get out and smell the air for a couple of days.
Too often, we get stuck in the mundane habits of everyday existence: work, eat, sleep, rinse and repeat.
I’m not saying drop your college debts to go on a Contiki tour, but how much effort would it take to fill up the car and take it for a hiatus into the country for a day?
It doesn’t seem like much, but the benefits of escaping the city and smelling a different kind of air are endless.
I used to be terrified of interviews and the pathological lying that comes with being a professional bullsh*ter.
However, I’ve come to realize that in order to strive for your dream job and build a good rapport with your potential future boss, you need to take them on board with all of your accomplishments.
So your best friend’s boyfriend has just turned 21 and he’s holding a massive house party this weekend. The only problem is, you’re too scared to attend because you have no chaperone and most of the people you know are either engaged, or at the very least, in blissful couplehood.
You don’t want to be the only single person walking around drinking Absolut vodka all night, so now what? If you never go anywhere on your own without a preconception, you’ll never get the chance to experience freedom.
Besides, Mark Darcy’s doppelganger might be at the bar wearing a reindeer jumper for all you know.
Relax, it’s a party.
Experimenting In The Kitchen
Goji berries? Kale? Chia seeds? Huh?! I’m horrified to hear that my 20-something peers don’t experiment with new foods or even cook for themselves.
Yes, at 6 am on a Monday morning when I’ve just emerged from the shower bleary-eyed and zombie-like and I'm walking my way toward the jar of coffee beans, I’m not thinking of being the next Jamie Oliver, either. However, I’m also not surrendering to packet noodles and Pure Blonde when I get home from work.
Doing Something Out of Your Comfort Zone
Never skinny-dipped? Never asked someone out sober? Never learned a new language? Never fished under the moonlight? Do all of it.
Say yes to all of it; life is too short not to experience every little bittersweet facet of your world.
Photo Courtesy: Tumblr