Is Ending Something a “Yes, But” or a “Yes, And?”

Image of Avish's tuxedo cat, Pepper

Pepper, Avish's cute-but-annoying cat

Have you ever had deep thoughts in the wee hours of the morning? (Actual deep thoughts, not the Jack Handy kind…)

I have. Very recently, in fact.

It was 4am, and I had been awakened by my baby’s cry. She settled herself, but I was stuck awake, struggling to fall back asleep, in no small part because my cat, Pepper, had decided to snuggle with me by sitting atop my chest. Cute, but annoying. 

While I laid there, hoping I could sneak in another 1-2 hours of sleep, thoughts danced around my mind and settled on a strong memory: The final performance of Polywumpus - the improv group I founded.

It was a bittersweet memory. Sweet, because it was a great show, I was performing with friends and people I cared about, it was a packed house, and we received a huge ovation at the end.

Bitter, because trying to turn this group into something huge - the “Second City of Philadelphia” - had been my dream for seven years. And with this final show, I was closing the door on that dream.

As I laid there, trying to prevent Pepper from attacking a set of string lights we have over our bed, the question popped into my head: When I made the decision to close up the improv group and let go of that dream, was I saying “yes, but” or “yes, and?”

Looking back, I can say definitively that it was a “yes, and” decision. In fact, I had probably been saying “yes, but” to myself for a couple years, knowing deep down it was time to move on but feeling unwilling to let go, despite the fact that letting go could open up bigger and better opportunities.

Have you ever decided it was time to end something and move on? Could be a project, a goal, a dream, a business, a relationship, whatever. How did you know if you were making a “yes, but” or a “yes, and” choice? 

I have thoughts on this, and I will share them next week. But first I’d like to hear from you. Drop me a line and let me know: When you have made a big change, how did you know if you were making a “yes, but” or a “yes, and” decision?

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