Hail to the No! You read correctly. Again I say in my best Whitney Houston voice (God rest her sweet, sweet soul), “Hail to the No!” After you get over your gasps, let that saturate within you like a bottle of Kraft’s Zesty Italian Salad Dressing and Marinade over some soon-to-be tender 12oz T-bone steaks.
“No” has been a fixture in my life for a while, but especially of late. It seems like they have been coming fast and furiously. During the month of June 2015 alone I’ve received what feels like a barrage of them in areas like stalled personal advancement, unfilled obligations by others, delayed life changes and more. Not to spill my own tea just yet, but let’s just say I’ve heard, said or seen “no” a few times too many, or so I originally thought.
My mind quickly changed about “no” one night/morning at 1:44am when I was summoned to the kitchen by the call of cold water. You know the kind of cold water that causes you to hold it in your mouth for just a moment so every last drop of its refreshing deliciousness can work its way through every nook, cranny and taste bud in sight? Yea, that kind of water. As I was walking back to bed, obviously not as sleepy as I thought, I started to think of the hidden beauty of the word “no”.
I started thinking of times in my life when God turned what seemed to be the most devastating kind of “no” into a celebration worthy “yes”. I thought of the friends and associates who, just this month or in recent months had seen a “no” or two or ten morph into a “400+ likes on social media” status kind of “yes”. I thought of my former colleague W.C. (Hey, if you’re reading this) who, after an extended work “vacation” (in other words was without a job) received a “yes”, which turned out to be another “no” which lead to a beautiful new “yes” in a dream occupation. I think of my dear friend K.W. (Hey, girl!) who also had an unexpected, extended work “vacation” of eight months and lots of letters from employers starting with “no” swiftly come to an end for a bold, new adventurous “yes”. I think of friends who have heard “no” from the fertility specialists before they later heard the “yes” of late-night cries and early morning cooing. I think of others who know the “no” of an “I do” turning into an “I don’t… and I don’t want you”, only to hear the “yes” of “will you marry me”, or the all important “yes, you will be alright”. I even think of the times when I’ve had to very reluctantly say “no” to some things which seemed to be a resounding “yes” only to see the real-deal “yes” show up shortly thereafter. I’ve even reflected on times when I said “no” when others thought I should have said “yes” only to find out that my personal “no” was the biggest “yes” I could have ever granted myself. I think about so much of how “no” really is the predecessor to “yes”, which means “no” is serving it’s purpose, and with each one received it’s stepping up its game on our behalf.
So again I proclaim, Hail to the No! And to the illustrious “no” I say, welcome, what’s up homie, where’ve you been, holla at me, thanks for stopping by, glad you’re here, what took you so long, send for backup, bring it, kudos, hats off, ‘ppreciate ya, salute, you’re the bomb (do people still say that?), mad respect, greetings, thanks “dude”, salutations, bienvenida and all that good stuff.
I’ve decided that every, single “no”, no matter the sting they might bring, moves us more forward to our “yes”. So much so, I’ll be so bold as to say “Hail to the MF No”! Close your mouth. You read it right. Hail to the MOVING FORWARD No!!! (Ha! Tricked you! I’m no curser so you’re in safe hands.) “Hail to the MF No”! Now let us simmer on that like a pot of collard greens and turkey wings from our Grandmama’s stove…then get ready for our “yes”. Why? Because the “no” told me so.