Yes or No?

Lili Forgács

Saying yes to everything was part of my personality. I could not refuse anybody: I was in every ridiculous game that my best friend thought up, I took part in every competition and extracurricular activity that my teachers asked me to attend, I sent my solved homework to every classmate who wrote me a message requesting it. It did not feel right to reject them. I felt like I was obliged to meet their expectations, regardless of whether I did it with my whole heart or not.

Around sixth grade, I was really overwhelmed due to my “habit.” My parents saw that it would not end well, so they sat down and talked with me. I was asked to reconsider all offers before I automatically accepted them. I did as I was told—what a surprise—but I think I misunderstood the whole thing, and I threw the baby out with the bathwater. I started to say no, and it became my new routine.

I stopped attending the drama club, I stopped participating in poetry recital competitions, I did not accept the leading role in my class. At first, it worked well: I had less work and, of course, less stress. However, as time passed I got used to refusing everything without real consideration.

The turning point arrived when I started secondary school. I met new people, new individuals who were so inspiring and different from those I had met before. They took part in everything that I rejected without any second thoughts, and I felt myself being lame. In such wise, I started to activate myself, but learned from my previous mistake: I reconsider every opportunity twice at least, and accept them only if I truly want to.

This is how I became the one I am now. I do not fear to say no any more, but I am not isolated from anything. I have been on both extremely radical sides, but neither of them was good. I needed some time to be mature enough to find the golden middle road, but I am so glad to accomplish it and stop being a robot that can only say yes or no. My personality formation is still in progress, but in my opinion the first few steps have already been taken successfully.