GUEST POST: My Journey with a Life of Yes

This Guest Post is by one of my favoritest people, Kate Buckner. I’ll let her share the story of how we met.

What I want to share is how straight away I admired her vision and attention to detail, was impressed with her willingness to admit and embrace “flaws”, and immensely enjoyed her infectious curiosity and warmth, all at the tender age of twenty-three. 

She made such an imprint that immediately after we met, I asked her to fill the role I thought I would do myself, the role, as a type A, spreadsheet’y, only child event-producer, I knew no one could do as good as I could — the Day of  Wedding Planner for my nuptials.

The thought of carrying around a clipboard, stress-looking at my phone-clock, and answering “Where should this go?” questions on my wedding day began to sound more and more like a horrible, horrible idea , so when Kate came into my life, it was as if Heaven’s post office had special delivered an angel. She made letting go of the clipboard easy. Which is no small accomplishment.

Wedding Day, Kate was the most amazing question-answerer and guard-dog. She kept people at bay while we sat at our table for two to make sure we enjoyed some BBQ and corn bread and mac and cheese before the stream of well-wishers. She sent a team of guests into the streets of Pilsen to pinpoint the source of blaring music that would play every time we got to an important part of our ceremony. You know, like the vows. She paid vendors, packed the car, wrangled family for photos.

I was ecstatic to have a rock-solid referral when people asked me for an Event Planner recommendation. Which she completely thwarted and ruined by deciding that that lifestyle wasn’t for her. I’ve never been happier to have someone thwart and ruin my plans.

When you talk about a baby bird learning how to leave the nest and and learning how to fly, you are talking about Kate. It’s been such a joy to see her take a risk, stumble, brush off the dirt. Take a path, change directions, re-start.

She gives me entirely too much credit below for the place of bliss she finds herself today.

Kate my dear, you are where you are because you are who are you. I feel so incredibly lucky to have witnessed the emergence of your wings. The heights to which you have already soared are inspiring — I cannot wait to watch you continue to circle the world.

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3 years ago I was offered to go on a weekend trip with a coworker. I thought it would be fun; a weekend of unplugging from the world, meeting new people, and relaxing. I had no idea I was starting a life of “Yes” and everything I knew was about to change for the rest of my life. Now that may seem drastic to some people but once I explain everything, you will understand.

For starters, out of college, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. I got a job at a great company and I was pursuing a career that I was going to be successful in. The mistake I made was one I feel most people make; I was living the life I thought I was supposed to live and was extremely unhappy. I began to wake up in the morning dreading work and counting down the minutes till I could leave. I told myself “most people don’t like their jobs but you’re making good money so be happy.” Looking back it’s sad that this was my reality, but here comes the good news.

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I have always been a positive person and when my coworker said I should go on this “Life of Yes” camp in somewhere magical Michigan I was totally in. At camp, I heard stories of women and how they have struggled but never settled. I was so inspired by all of them but none more than Saya. A woman who doesn’t let anything get her down and refuses to accept anything less than what she wants. She showed me that if something isn’t working either try something else or create your own path to get where you want. By living a life of Yes I choose to try things I may never have realized existed, and I know if something isn’t going the way I want there is another way to get there.

The minute I came home from this trip my life was changed and I started living a life of yes. I realized I wasn’t happy at my job and wanted to start new in Chicago. I started looking for jobs online and 3 months later I moved. Finally I found the perfect job, everything I had wanted…

Or so I thought.

I was hit by another big blow — after a few months I was miserable again and even worse, I was fired. It was hard to process what had happened especially because I had worked so hard. However in no time no time I realized that there was something bigger and better out there for me and I refused to let this get me down. Again thanks to more time with Saya, I started my own event planning business.

This was short lived because I didn’t really like working by myself but I wouldn’t have known that had I not tried.

Right when I was wondering what was next an opportunity to move to Nashville presented itself and one of my first thoughts was YES. I was not in a relationship and I don’t have children so it was easy to take this chance. My main motivation was I had decided I was the happiest when I was planning entertainment events and I wanted to get back into the music industry somehow; moving to Nashville seemed like an obvious choice.

After a few months of staying positive and keeping the faith that the right job would come, it happened.

While working at a winery, I had told everyone who would listen that I wanted to start working in the music industry. Well turns out my coworker’s husband happened to work as a production manager for a band and she thought with my skills I would be perfect as a production assistant. At the time I didn’t know what a production assistant was, much less what one would do but again my first thought was YES.

I got a call one afternoon asking if I was “ready to live the dream” and 2 weeks later I was the production assistant for Pentatonix.

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I get to travel the world while putting on concerts, more than I would have dreamed. I know I would not be here if it was not for the Life of Yes camp.

I now wake up every morning with a smile on my face and am happier than I have ever been. I know I am lucky to be where I am today and who knows what else will come my way but I will always say, “Yes.”

Kate’s answer on her camp application to the question “What does living a life of yes mean to you?” — 

“To me “living a life of yes” means learning how to really understand what you want in your life and create your own path to get there.”

Amen, sister. And here’s to you doing exactly that.

If you’d like to join us at the next Life of Yes℠ Camp, head here; we’d love to have you join the tribe.