Note: The Rules & Guidelines for the Yes Test can be found here.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the Rules & Guidelines for the Yes Test. I needed to create a framework that pushed me to do things I wouldn't otherwise want to do, without forcing me to do something inherently detrimental. The physically dangerous or financially reckless situations are easy to spot, but what about the more subtle, ethical or moral conflicts?
Last night, my mother and her other half decided that I should tag along with Other Half as he went door to door pushing paper on the local Republican agenda.
Now, before I go into this and before you get it all stuck in your head that Republican automatically equals a Trump leg humper, let me be very very clear that if I was asked to go door to door spouting the Democrat agenda, I would have reacted exactly the same way. I'm allergic to politics, in all forms.
I'm sure most of you are ignoring that GIANT BOLDED STATEMENT because it doesn't align with your already established confirmation bias, so there's no hope in getting through to you and I should probably just go drown myself in the Truckee River in order to save you the time of pushing me in.
Anyway. These two have the comedic timing of that one drunk guy at a fundraiser who dribbles out puns a beat too late, initiating a quiet hum of laughter not because the joke is funny or god forbid, punny, but because the joke is awkward and everyone is uncomfortable. Mother Half told me I should dress up like a Kennedy and channel my inner beauty queen, to see if I could shut up and keep my opinion to myself for two hours. I said I would tell everyone behind each door that I was being held against my will and that Other Half was a local cult leader. Or, I could go outside for 15 minutes, get a tan, and become a picketing illegal immigrant.
The conversation eventually devolved into anger without resolution, as anything involving politics always does, which is just one of the billion reasons why I vehemently refuse to partake. In the end, Mother Half said it was all just a joke and that Other Half wouldn't "trust you to push the Republican agenda" and the fact that the words "push the Republican agenda" were even being spouted in my general direction made me want to move into a hotel simply to rid myself of the bullshit that hung in the air like a beloved, recently skunked house pet.
Had this been a random conversation accidentally stumbled upon during one of those awkward moments when we all find ourselves in the kitchen at the same time, I would have brushed it off. But, because it felt like an abuse of power (which again, is another reason why I hate politics) that would force me to choose between sticking to the challenge and the rules governing it or being a part of something that I believe to be ethically icky, neither one of those options felt like they were in the Spirit of the Game. In the event that this turned into a legitimate request, would I have to say "yes" and do it?
As much as I'd like to do this quietly, without letting anyone in my life know why I'm suddenly ballooning when all I want to do is anchor, I know that my success depends on making it public. It's like tracking your calories versus dieting without a plan. I'm going to eat the chocolates no matter what, but myfitnesspal.com gets really judgy when I tell it I had three servings of chocolate, so I'm pushed to keep it together and put the bon bons down. I already know that my unregulated evening journaling is an unreadable mash of misspelled words and run on sentences that have almost no meaning or depth, because every night when I sit down to write about my day, I just want to be done with it and go to bed. If I followed the same procedure for the Yes Test, none of this would ever happen.
It's not that I need anyone to read what I write. I don't particularly care how many people (if anyone) ever reads this on a day to day basis — I'd prefer that particular people don't read it, actually. But by publishing publicly on my website, every day, I'm directly confronting the part of me that automatically thinks, "No, you can't write that because what if someone doesn't like what you say or it negatively impacts the rest of your life?"
I know I'm inviting random requests and questions by making this public, and that's okay, but it's not the point. The point of this project is not to give people the power to turn me into a puppet, but rather, to rewire my brain so my default reaction moves from no, because... to yes, and?