This March when I moved to Philadelphia, I was broke—25 years of living in New York, the past five of it as the breadwinner for my family, can do that. Don’t focus on making new friends, I told myself: Make money.
Yet my first move was the opposite. I did want to find my tribe, so when I was asked to teach fiction writing at a local literary center—$240 (total) to teach a six-week course—I agreed.
My husband was appalled. How could I waste my time like that? I’d practically taken on a volunteer job, he said. I know, I sighed, but I really like the students, their work is so ambitious, and I want to help them.
Weirdly, saying yes (when I could have said no) paid off. Three months later, several former students have hired me to work with them on a one-on-one basis. Those who can afford to pay my $130/hour fee do; for those who can’t, I barter services (one student’s husband is a sculptor and teaches my girls art).
So often there’s an impulse to say no, when the immediate economic benefit isn’t apparent. I’ve revised my strategy to a more open-minded “say yes whenever possible.” You never know what unintended gains could be.
Many thanks to DailyWorth for saying yes to me reblogging this piece. There’s more where that came from on their site and in their daily emails.
Here’s a related post from the Blogversation, Kim Ann Curtin on saying yes to life, including a lovely “yes” necklace she had made: Blogversation 2012: When did life hand you something terrible that turned out to be great?