I prefer not to

We have been conditioned by our parents, teachers, other adults around us to say No to all the ‘wrong’ things. Wide-eyed, eager to see the world as a kid, but we already know we should: say No to strangers, say No to smoking/drinking, say No to all things bad because they are detrimental, damaging, harmful and ‘unhealthy.’

But somewhere along the lines of growing up and fitting in, we forget that No can do so much more. Somewhere along the lines of finding ourselves and ‘keeping’ our friends, we forget to say No. Because when you do, you get called Bitch, Douchebag, Party Pooper, A Wet Blanket. Because when you do, or when you attempt to, your throat swells up, like it’s a thick thigh syllable chained to an abandoned shack and your tongue trips over its letters til you finally, just. say. Yes.

You push it aside and you wear yourself thin. You tolerate people, and you tolerate that thing that you wished you didn’t have to do. You ask yourself “how did I end up here again,” but you comfort yourself with a, “well, at least I’ve escaped the guilt that would have come with No.”

After awhile, everybody knows you as a Yes-man — so much so that, like a laptop set to its default setting, you are by default in THE team, you are by default in THE committee, you are by default THE person who will do everything.

But No.

This is where I say, No. Or perhaps, I prefer Not to.

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