My senior year I attended a meeting about graduation. It was the first and last meeting I attended about graduation.
In the meeting we discussed the logistics of how graduation was going to work, when rehearsals were going to take place, what the schedule was and of course who was going to speak.
My ears perked up at the opportunity to speak in front of everyone. I was student body president at the time and thought that I was a shoo-in for one of the students speaker positions. When I raised my hand to volunteer, the senior class president looked at me and said, “We want someone serious for graduation."
I was devastated.
This was one of those moments that had a way bigger impact on me than it should have. I should have heard the comment as, “You’re the life of the party Wade! We’d love for you to speak, but we won’t be able to control the crowds in that 700 year old church if you speak."
Instead I heard it as, “As a woman I only find value in seriousness, and since you are not serious, you obviously have NO value."
Leave it to the gremlins to totally destroy my confidence.
It was at that point that I vowed to be more serious. Especially with the ladies.
Fast forward 14 years.
I’ve been married for 10 years and have learned a lot about relationships. For the last few years that's about all I’ve read and studied. Just to be clear, knowing a lot is a relative term. I know a lot more than I used to. I don’t, however, know everything. Nor would I consider myself an expert.
Here’s the point I want to cover in this post. I need to use Yes &…. in my marriage.
If you are unfamiliar with Yes &… watch this:
It’s true that Yes &… is good for relationships. It is supportive in every way. If I knew that anything that came out of my mouth and anything that I did was going to accepted and supported by the people I interacted with I would be way more open. It has been my experience that what I am more open with those around me then they open up as well. Vulnerability creates connection and intimacy.
That sounds like a pretty good relationships to me.
But here’s the real insight I had with Yes &… and why I need more of it in my marriage:
It’s more playful. Hence the story at the beginning about me being so serious.
There are definitely times where being serious needs to happen. But those time are few and far between. Marriage should be fun. It should be light and enjoyable. Taking everything so serious prevents that from happening.
I tend to take things literally. I have a hard time with sarcasm. I jump to conclusions. I assume too much. I play it safe.
All of those things make me boring. I know I’m boring. When I get around college students for work I keep my distance, because I’ll bring the party down a couple of notches.
That makes me a downer.
The problem is that it’s not because I don’t know how to have fun. If that was the case I would embrace it and accept it for what it is. But there have been times in my life when I’ve been lighthearted.
To clarify for my friends who are going to read that last paragraph and laugh. I am not, nor have a ever been, a “party animal”. My nick name in high school was Old Man for a reason.
I’m more writing this because I need to ask myself:
I need to take a step back, breath, and be a little more lighthearted. I nee to yes &…
Was there a time when you were oblivious to the playfulness that was happening between you and someone else? Did you recognize it at the time or was it a while before you figured it out?