A year of yes. Shonda Rhimes.

I’m not a book nerd. Never have been and probably never will be. I’m just doing what people do when they love to write and explore new things. I’m reviewing or better still typing my thoughts out.
These are my thoughts about Shonda Rhimes book “A year of yes”
As I clicked on Year of yes by Shonda Rhimes in my audible app and the music overtaken by the introduction came on, I had a sense of anxiousness come all over. I had just read Gabrielle Union’s We’re going to need more wine and here I am the girl who hates reading, reading listening to her third book this year and it’s still January.
Slowly as the introduction faded away, I heard Shonda’s voice and it felt strange. This is a woman I have come to know because of her ability to write amazing stories for TV my first love, yet her voice sounded so unfamiliar and so strange.
As she read the part of her dedication about F.O. D’s I wondered if it was something i was meant to have known but later I realized it meant FIRST! ONLY! DIFFERENT! words that have been used to describe her and most women especially women of colour who were the First to achieve certain goals, Only ones to have achieved those goals and are obviously Different from the usual people who achieve those goals.
I braced myself and gradually eased into her words and began to truly listen.
The year of yes started a bit drab but also quite interesting. When the first words of an introduction page are “I’m a liar”, then you know you are in for something.
Shonda starts with an introduction that opens you up to her world, who she was, how she was perceived and how her mind – brain works.
I thoroughly enjoyed it because even though my mind doesn’t necessary “lay train tracks” a metaphor she used several times in the book to explain her thought and writing process, I love writing so I was quite fascinated.
This book is the ultimate guide for self-discovery and self-exploration and it takes you on Shonda’s very own journey in over a year. It pretty much takes you to Shondaland

The themes of this book explores Family, marriage, friendship, success, Motherhood, facings fears, weight gain and weight loss, femininity, womanhood and nontraditional views on life.
Shonda begins her year of yes because her sister Delorse, points out she never says yes to anything during thanksgiving. And later in December, she decides to challenge herself more by saying yes in the new year. That challenge is the one act that takes her on a journey of meeting Oprah, speaking at three or more events, losing weight, redefining her friendships and relationships, learning to play, changing her energy and also speaking her truth.
As a writer, I also got to read and experience shonda’s creative process. One that involves character development. Especially how most dialogues are somewhat an extension of her life and her views, especially that of Christina Yang.

Also very captivating and eye opening, is Shonda’s untraditional way of viewing things. On motherhood she says, Being a mother is not a job”. I find it offensive to motherhood to call being a mother a job. Being a mother isn’t job. It’s who someone is. It’s who I am. You can quit a job. I can’t quit being a mother. I’m a mother forever. Mothers are never off the clock; mothers are never on vacation. Being a mother redefines us, reinvents us, destroys and rebuilds us. On Successful women putting on a “doing it all” front, “I don’t think powerful, famous women hide the fact that they have nannies or some kind of help at home because they are being unkind to other people. I mean, these women aren’t at home laughing and laughing at how everyone out in America is trying to do it all and can’t because they don’t know that the secret is that NO ONE CAN DO IT ALL! HA HA!! We fooled you! SUCKA. On marriage she talks “About the traditional reasons for marriage no longer existing for an independent woman. About how marriage is a piece of paper, a binding contract used to protect property and assets, and a lot of times it is rightly used to protect women’s rights if they have been raising children and find themselves left without an income. Marriage is a financial partnership. Marriage has nothing to do with love. Love is a choice we can make every day. Romantic love as a path to marriage is a fairly new concept, I tell him. And it is a foolish one.” With Shonda, Being traditional is not traditional anymore”.

Sincerely, reading this book brought me back to my Year of No, all I set out to achieve and the benefits gotten from it.
One of my favourite things with the writing style of this book which started up as annoying is Shonda’s love for repetitions. I hated it initially but listening through her Dartmouth commencement speech titled Dreams are for losers (google & read it) and following her as she constantly repeated Dry mouth. Heart beats so, so fast. Everything in slow motion. Pass out, die, poop”. While trying to describe how terrified she felt about giving a speech felt amazing.

Shonda shares a lot of wisdom throughout this book, I particularly loved all her speeches as well as took notes of all the major lessons she shared. (Should I share them in another post?)
If you are looking to read a book that would leave you questioning your views on topical and traditional issues, then this is the book for you. If you are looking to redefine your life, take chances on yourself and become intentional about your life in general, Then you might just need to explore your own year of yes like Shonda did. Her initial rules were simple, say
Yes to everything scary.Yes to everything that takes me out of my comfort zone.Yes to everything that feels like it might be crazy.Yes to everything that feels out of character.Yes to everything that feels goofy.Yes to everything.Everything”. 

1 comment

  1. can i get it in my mail, please?


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