Saturday, 14 January 2017

Oh Dear

I just thought it was February, which... I'm not even sure why and no, it wasn't a 14th thing it was just a "it's February" thing.... Anyway....

So the last thing I made a note of to talk about from Burning Man this year was that I said no and I'm really proud of myself.

I have a hard time saying no, you see.  Not always, but in the moment, I tend to.  Like if someone asks me if I can do something or give them something I feel like I have to say yes and that's so overwhelming that I rarely even stop to think about if I want to or not or any of those things.

But this year, at Burning Man, I said no.  Just like that.  And the world didn't explode!

One of the times was when someone from my camp (area) who'd had their tent next to my van (and frustratingly would use the shade of my van from time to time, most often when I wanted to come home and sit quietly by myself for a while ugh!) came up to me one afternoon and said "Hey, Victoria, what are you up to tonight?"  I'd just gotten off a long day of (volunteer) work and so was pretty tired and so I said I was just going to take it easy.  "Oh, well, can Fred (or whatever his name was) borrow your bike then?  He didn't lock his and someone took it."  And I just said "No."

Because NO! 

It was the strangest feeling for me, and it's likely because I don't know them, they're not in my world or my life, they're not family or friends and I'll likely never see them again, but I didn't have that built-in sense of obligation and I didn't want to loan out my bike so I said no.

I followed it up with some mumbling about how she's "tricky" (which... she isn't, but it was still hard and guilt-inducing to say no) and they shrugged and as I said earlier, the world didn't implode or explode.

They left the next morning... not having a bike makes it hard to get around the MASSIVE expanse of the place... plus they'd partied pretty hard all week I think... plus, sometimes it's easier to beat the worst of the traffic... and I felt a little bit bad but I also am really glad I didn't loan out my bike.  (And am somewhat annoyed that they asked.  I've put a lot into that bike... she's been to four burns with me... I don't want a virtual stranger doing who knows what on her... especially since he'd lost his first one.  No!)

There were some times I didn't say no, mind you.  And I over-extended myself hanging out with a couple of the people I met.  (I just mean energy wise... it takes a certain amount and type of energy to be with strangers, for me... and I was with these two new-to-me people most of a day and then we met other new people and I was just... done...)  But I also said no to someone who wanted to cuddle (perhaps innocently, I didn't bother to ask) because I just didn't want to. 

It's not as easy (yet?) for me to do this with people in my day to day life, but I think it's something worth working on.

But I did say no at Burning Man and it was a really cool feeling.

Yay me!


Jason Langlois said...


Also, "Hey, I just wrecked/lost/ruined this thing I had, can I borrow yours" always seems like the wrong way to ask...

Victoria said...

Lol. Totally, right? ;)

Elliott said...

Yay for you. I totally need to take your experience of not completing destroying the galaxy (thanks for that by the way, destroying galaxy would be bad) and say no. I'm always the one volunteering, picking up the slack, doing the extra project at work, whatever...I really do need to add a simple no to my vocabulary.

Hopefully if I do, I won't destroy the galaxy either.

Victoria said...

Come to Burning Man, practice! ;)

No, but yeah... it's hard and hard to learn and hard to practice but for many of us.... oh so very necessary.

And if you accidentally destroy the galaxy I won't mind (cuz I won't exist anymore TO mind!) :)