Saying Yes

So, I’m making a documentary.

Yes, really. I mean, I’m not doing it by myself, and I’m certainly not doing the camera bits, but I’m writing and directing it. Honestly, it feels a little ridiculous to say any of that out loud. I have friends who are legit filmmakers who are probably all, “Whut?” at me right now.

I mean, I don’t have the education. I don’t have the training. I don’t have the experience. But you know what I do have? The opportunity.

So, yeah. I’m making a documentary. 

The worst thing that can happen is that I’ll fail spectacularly. It seems like a good risk to take.

“What’s the documentary about, Kelley?”

I’m not quite ready to tell you.

“Awwww, c’mon.”

I know. But I haven’t worked out the narrative all the way in my head, and I don’t want to say one thing and have it end up another. And to give you a quick answer to that question would cloud what it’s really about—which is so many things: humanity and science, poverty and abundance, creativity and humility, tenacity and gratitude.

Last week, I was in Tampa interviewing scientists and farmers. This week I’m in Austin having conversations with entrepreneurs and educators. In two weeks, I’ll be traveling to Singapore to talk with a biologist, and then I’ll head to Kenya to meet the people whose lives have been radically and irrevocably changed by the work of everyone else I’ll have spent time with. It’s truly bonkers. And I’m so grateful.

And tonight? Tonight I had my first Uber ride and I tried something called “ruby trout crudo” which, in English, means “raw freaking fish,” and I rediscovered kiwi—which I thought I hated. I’ve been longing for adventure and meaning, and this project is hand-delivering those things to me, wrapped in a big red bow.

My point (I usually get to one eventually, don’t I?): Say yes. Say yes to things that scare the daylights out of you. Say yes to things you can’t imagine doing and have no idea how to begin. You’ll figure it out. (<— A pep talk to myself.)

The worst thing actually isn’t that you’ll fail spectacularly. The worst thing is wondering if you might’ve succeeded if only you’d tried.

Say yes.

(The photo’s a hint. And that’s all I’m saying.)

3 Comments

  1. Jeanne Moses   •  

    Can’t wait to see this. And…of course you’ll spectacularly succeed!

  2. Ginny   •  

    Kelley – thanks for your insights. I’m retiring in June after nearly 26 years working at my church, and have been in the “don’t ask me to do anything until at least October” mindset. It will be EXCITING to have the margin and space to say “YES,” to things that pique my interest!

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