Essay: emma friary

Essay: emma friary

Just Say No


I have started saying no to everything. The opposite of “Yes Man,” I have turned into “No Way Jose”. I am no longer the person who says yes to every hang-out, is willing to go out at the last second with a dollar in their wallet, who is working 10 times harder with people to make plans and further connections when the people barely call. I have just been saying no. I have found a kind of freedom in just being able to say no. People think this is wild in a way they can’t understand because they too are always saying yes.
“Why turn down plans?” they ask.
“I’m tired,” I respond.
“Humans are social animals,” they argue.
“I need a break,” I say.
The issue with this tends not to be that I feel like I’m missing out but that I am wasting that time delving into YouTube instead. I’m still finding that balance.
But saying no is exhilarating. It is uncharted territory for someone who is always trying to please. I go out of my way all the time, so being able to take a step back and only do things for myself is a kind of wild freedom that can only be felt by someone who’s been held back by their own chains. I have been slowly but surely taking back every inch I gave away and making new plans. I have been booking new travels to places I’ve seen on blogs, wondering where I’ll go next, planning future trips, looking at houses half way around the world, relearning a language I had all but forgotten. Sometimes I listen to old songs and the world seems to get brighter. Saying no to things has given my “yes” more meaning and lets me appreciate those moments more. I wish I had been saying “no” for longer, just to have that exhilarating feeling of being able to say “yes” again.

 

about the writer: emma friary

Emma Friary is an undergraduate at FSU planning on pursuing her Masters through the school. She draws inspiration from her travels and experiences as well as her favorite novels. Emma’s goal is to publish a book and travel back to Europe in the next year.

Photography: lauren harrington

Photography: lauren harrington

Free-form poem: katalin pusztaszeri

Free-form poem: katalin pusztaszeri

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