Book of the Month: Year of Yes

Shonda Rhimes released a memoir last year chronicling her journey to a more conscious and intentional living. The year before she wrote the book, her sister had inadvertently mentioned at the kitchen table that Rhimes always said no to everything. That seemingly innocuous statement would inspire her to dare herself to say YES more often. That was the birth of the memoir. Because I'll read/watch anything Shonda Rhimes, when my sister asked what book I wanted as a graduation present, it was an easy one: Year of Yes. I loved it!

If you watch any of her shows, especially Grey's Anatomy, then the voice of the book would most definitely be a familiar one. You know those Meredith's monologues at the ends and beginnings of every Grey's Anatomy episode? Yeah, that voice. But throw in a little bit of Yang and Olivia Pope. It was a bouquet of those lead women, sort of. That's not completely surprising since Shonda Rhimes birthed these characters.

I thought it was very well written. But even more so, I thought the entire experience was a daring and inspirational one. In a nutshell, she chose to LIVE; To stop hiding behind her limitations; To stop cowering; To speak up; And to be bold. If I had any reservations, it would be that I expected more. Because I had expected a more detailed memoir (of her entire life), I kinda expected to see how she became THE Shonda Rhimes. How she went from a Dartmouth graduate to the Queen of an empire. In her defense, the book was written about only one year of her 46 years. So, that's on me for expecting what was not promised.

There were very many aha moments while reading the book. But the two pages I share below, I found really captivating and decided to share. I also share her very recent TED Talk in which she talks about the 'Hum'.  Like I said, I love Shonda, so even if she's selling shit, I'll probably still be interested. I certainly don't always agree with her but I admire her resilience and hard work, and her knack for telling her truth the way she knows how to.

Okay, this is SPOT on. I feel like many millennials are notorious for this. We can be very entitled and idealistic. But what's even worse is our rigidity. I am very guilty of this too. We pick one dream, visualize that dream, and then idolize it. Either that or nothing. This way of thinking is often misleading and destructive; the idea that there is only one path to success or worse, only one kind of success. Forgetting that success itself is a very subjective idea. What I always say is (even if I don't always listen myself), have a goal but be flexible about achieving that goal. Plus nobody owes you ANYTHING. You can blame everyone in this world for your crappy life, but except you get your behind off the couch (from binge watching on Netflix) and actually DO something, nothing will change.  I remember reading the story of that Yelp employee (now former, since she was fired)—who  wrote an open letter to the CEO about how crappy her life was because of her meagre salary—and  thinking: this is the most stupid thing I have seen this year. I couldn't believe anyone could be that tactless, naive, and just plain entitled. But that's a millennial for you; we think that armed with our greatest weapon (almighty internet), we can achieve the most lofty, albeit stupid goal. No sir/ma. Let's stop dreaming and actually start DOing.

Okay, this one I thought only Shonda Rhimes could be bold enough to say out loud. It's her truth, and it's very genuine too. I somewhat agree with her reasoning. I too don't believe in divorce although I think it is sometimes necessary. And she's right in that if it's not going to be done well, you might as well not bother. Many people will never be able to deal with or accept this kind of truth. And that's okay. Just do you. In the end, we are all just winging it anyway.

The TED Talk is also just as good if not better. I love that that it took a different dimension but stayed within the same framework.

Anyway, if you can, you should definitely read the book. You'll love it.

In the meantime,

Don't forget to dance it out, stand in the sun, and be your own person.


P.S: I think we need a new idiom, it will be called: As loyal as Doug. Doug being Douglas Stampler, Chief of Staff to the president on the show, House of Cards. That's loyalty to the core. Wth?!


  1. Hey Ife, Just stumbled on your blog address on Kacheetee's. I feel so at home with your contents. The books for the month and the Dear God pages are just so lit. I love the friday reflections as well.
    You're doing a great job here. I just found another awesome blog to read.

    1. Awww, thanks so much for the incredibly kind words. I'm glad you feel at home here, so feel free to come by any time. You are always welcome. And thanks for the feedback too! I'l definitely try to keep it up. In the meantime, I better check out your blog too.