So, I’ve been going back and forth about whether I should fly to Columbia, Missouri to pick up my Master’s degree in person at the University of Missouri.
On the one hand, I feel like I don’t have time and it’s a long way to go to pick up this piece of paper and it’s not necessary. I’m sure they will send it to me.
On the other hand, I believe in fully celebrating goals achieved, once in a lifetime occasions along with every single birthday.
I presented this dilemma recently at a Thai restaurant sitting with four women I adore; four women I’ve traveled with and call my “Disters”. (Damsels in Success Sisters. See more in my book, I Dare Me).
I said, “I’m thinking about going to Missouri to pick up this degree but….”
The “but” barely got out of my mouth when Allie shouted, “ROAD TRIP”
“Road trip?” I was incredulous. “Seriously?”
“Yes, road trip,” joined Kelly.
“Absolutely,” agreed Andrea.
“Oh, my gosh yes,” added Loraine.
All at the table had enthusiastically volunteered for a road trip that I hadn’t even imagined or considered. They didn’t even know how long a trip it was and when we needed to be there. They knew nothing.
So I responded, the only way you can to a crazy idea based on no plan: “Are you guys crazy?” I quickly googled the distance from Philadelphia to Columbia, Missouri. “I mean we’re talking 15 hours without any stops in mid-December. We’d have to leave on a Thursday and chances are you wouldn’t get back until Sunday. Are you serious?”
I still didn’t believe them. “Why? I’m serious? Why do you want to do this? I’m not even sure I want to do this!”
Andrea answered. “You worked your ass off on that thesis. You’ve been working on this degree for ten years. You were working on it when we went to the shore this summer. We have all been with you on this journey. Now, we want to see you get your degree and cheer you on.”
I didn’t know what to say. “Wow. I mean WOW”. I just sat back in my chair and held my fork of pad Thai frozen in mid-air, stunned at the exuberant faces staring back at me.
“We want to go!! Road trip, road trip, road trip!.”
Well, all I can say is as we speak, I’m trying to plan a road trip. I have to tell you, I have lots of concerns about it. What if there’s a blizzard? I mean we are going into the Midwest in December.
Nevertheless, I am willing to dare.
Because well, for one thing, I will not be alone. I’m going to be with my amazing YES team. If we get stuck in a blizzard in the middle of Illinois, at least we’ll have one hell of a story to tell.
This story is a long way to go to get to the point, but it’s this:
We all need a YES team.
We all need those people around us who know us; the good, the bad, the silly, the serious, the flaws and all.
- We need our YES team to support us when we aren’t sure.
- We need a YES team to remind us who we really are when we are our best selves.
- We need our YES team when we are ready to dare ourselves to go on new adventures or when we are going through difficult times.
You know there are people around us who will tell you every reason you can’t do something; every reason you should stay where you are, avoid risks. (There were plenty of people who told me a year of 365 firsts was a pretty impossible, nutty idea).
And then, there is your YES team.
Don’t get me wrong. Your YES team will also keep you from your worst instincts or overconfidently risking too much.
But your YES team is made up of the people who also know your potential, your dreams, your abilities and want to be with you on your journey, wherever that takes you.
We all need a YES team to dare us, to cheer us on.
The “Disters” left the Thai restaurant together, as planned to light Chinese lanterns from a field in memory of Kelly’s mom. As we struggled to get them lit but successfully launched them into the chilly night, I thought, we are pretty successful individually. But, we each gain energy from whatever we do together.
That’s what YES teams do for you: light the fire, lift you up, take you as high as you can fly.
I dare you. Find your YES team.
More to come on the road trip.