The heartbreaking realisation that you have to say no.
“A man’s got to know his limitations.”
– Dirty Harry, Magnum Force (1973)
“A man’s got to know his limitations, and a woman’s got to know hers too.”
– Dirty Harry ft. Alex.
It was all about saying yes.
Yes to incredible opportunities.
Yes to facing my fears.
Yes to challenges.
Yes to adventure.
Yes to exploring.
Yes to beverages and fun.
Yes to meeting new people.
Yes to making new friends.
Yes to refining and developing my skills.
Yes to giving my career a head-start.
Yes to smothering people I love and miss in a sea of hugs.
Yes to freedom.
Yes to being special for the first time in a long time.
It had filled me with so much hope. It made me believe that I could. It was filled with so much promise; the promise of renewal and catharsis and adventure and challenge. And I wanted it so badly.
I want it so badly.
But now I’m faced with the sickening feeling that “yes” is not the right answer.
It feels almost criminal to say no.
No to incredible opportunities and exploration.
No to facing my fears and challenges.
No to beverages in new bars and adventures in new places.
No to meeting new people and making new friends.
No to refining and developing my skills and giving my career a head-start.
No to smothering people I adore in hugs.
No to achieving just one thing of vague significance during my mediocre five year university career.
This isn’t what I want.
This was not how I wanted things to unfurl themselves.
Well, I didn’t think that my application would actually be successful in the first place (particularly because I thought I f-ed up the interview stage).
And then it was.
Then everything happened simultaneously. An avalanche of emails, surreal excitement, anticipation, anxiety and tears (of both joy and fear). There were hours spent researching and communicating, coordinating and liaising.
Now it has all gone to waste.
Gaspiller = to waste.
And now I am saying no.
Idiote ou intelligente?
On the one hand I feel relieved by saying no. The logistical nightmare will melt into a marathon sprint of exams, but after that I will be able to thoroughly collapse. Thoroughly exhale. And, realistically, it will mean that I have the best chance of getting through my final full-time semester of uni. Ever. God, willing.
Then saying no feels like The Stupidest Decision Anyone Has Made in the History of the Entire World since that time when someone else did something very stupid. I am saying no to an
incredible really incredible opportunity. I can vouch for the fact that anyone who is vaguely sane would take their shoe off and throw it at me.
“You’re saying NO?!?!” they’ll scream. “Are you F*&^ING MAD, WOMAN?!?!”
I feel guilty for not saying yes and doing something that other people would only dream of. It feels unappreciative to say no. We encourage each other to Seize the Day! Take A Chance! Get Outside Of Our Comfort Zones! Embrace The Unknown! Be Courageous! Fortune Favours The Bold!
But what if doing so is to my detriment? It won’t look like it on the outside, but it has the potential to leave me in a state of disarray – struggling to regain my balance and leaving me wiped out on the sofa because everything has become insurmountable. Again.
See, I know my limitations and it’s heartbreaking to say it, but this surpasses mine. I know it does.
Or am I just taking the easy way out? I know I’m afraid. Am I just trying to get out of it because I’m scared? Should I just push myself into it because I’ll probably have a better time than I think.
Will I be sitting here, typing at my laptop in six months time sighing with relief – thanking my mum for helping me to be ok with saying “no” and revelling in the bliss of having finally finished my expletive degree? Or will I be sitting here wishing that I hadn’t been an absolute idiot saying no to all of these amazing opportunities and adventures?
I don’t know.
I don’t want to say no.