One hundred and twenty six small, squishy people, aged four and three quarters, to five and seven eighths, stand before their applauding proud parents and other spectators. They have just completed their very first ‘Odd Sock Fun Run’ at our marvellous Public School. They YELL as loud as their little puffed out bodies will allow, “ONE TWO THREE FOUR, we’re the best and that’s for sure”, while their stubby, chubby thumbs point to their chests. BLESS! Some of them have run a gazillion laps. Some of them have done ‘halfa’. No matter. They all did their very, very best and each tiny person knows they are a winner without question and what they are really saying and feeling is “One, Two, Three, Four, I’M the best and that’s for sure”. They are saying without one iota of fear or doubt, YAY ME….just……YAY ME!!!!!
These incredible little Beings are the ‘bestest’, the most ‘beautifullest’, the biggest, the bravest, the strongest. If you ask them, they will tell you! The greater the audience who know and hear about it, the better. The question I have is, when did I stop believing this and when did I lose this? Who told me it wasn’t true and WHY???? I’ve been thinking that, along with so many precious things that are lost, mislaid or forgotten from our small squishy childhoods, so too is the ability to walk up to a complete stranger and say “Woohooo, I am flippin’ awesome!!” or skip down Lawson Street and tell everyone, “It’s my Birthday today and I’m forty three” (while trying to hold up forty three fingers of course). Somehow, sometime along with so many other beautiful, joyful, magical childhood concepts, I see and feel I have lost the ability to unabashedly and unashamedly say “YAY ME…just YAY ME!!”. So, I have been practicing.
I’m practicing celebrating the inner buzz, the flying high-five of self, the pat on the back that You, give You, the high pitched squeal or yell in your head and heart, the imagined dance of self-appreciation, the phantom punch in the air, uttered and condensed into two words, “YAY ME”! Whatever it’s for, a moment captured on film, on canvas, in words or simply witnessed. A debt paid, money or time given or received, a melody discovered, a purchase, a sale, a sentiment expressed, an assignment or a treatment completed, a baby birthed, a wave caught, a sunrise or sunset seen, dropped toast landing butter side up! However simple it may be, then I have decided to embrace and acknowledge that very moment with self-congratulation, self-approval and self-triumph and a “YAY ME”. Really, it’s okay and it’s allowed.
I do consider myself so very lucky to have friends who have indulged me in my recent practices. I can, without fear of askew glances and whispering behind hands, simply and plainly state, “YAY ME” and without hesitation, they respond “YAY YOU” and they know I will do the very same for them. We’re good like that and it is such a buzz when we can say a collective, “YAY US!!!” We get to do that often. And when I added physical expression to “YAY ME” which is a heel click to one side, my wonderful friends celebrated and encouraged me and picked me up out of the gravel when it went a touch awry. No matter, “YAY ME!!” After another particularly intense “YAY ME” moment at a friends home, I yelled it out the car window as I left. The gorgeous ‘Jaime’ came running thinking I was calling her name. From that moment forward she has been known as ‘Yay-me’. I want that name.
“YAY YOU” for taking the time to read this! Now that you are fully aware of what has been lost somewhere along this tricky, hilarious, baffling, enlightening journey, I hope you feel even a little encouraged and compelled to go seek out and rediscover your very own “YAY ME”. At the very least, if you witness a “YAY ME” moment in another unashamed and unabashed squishy person, BIG or small, then embrace and acknowledge it for them and with them. All it takes is an appreciative, understanding slow nod and clap and saying… “YAY YOU….just…..YAY YOU”!!!!!
Words and photos by Sandra Cochrane