Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person - by Shonda Rhimes
Before we start, a disclaimer: I do not watch Shonda Rhimes' television shows. I am not a Scandal Gladiator, I do not know How to Get Away with Murder, and I've only watched Grey's Anatomy once in the million years since its been on the air. I know, I know.... but there are worse things in the world. I'm just an admirer supporting from the cheap seats. Don't come for me.
Shonda Rhimes has several amazing roles; writer, producer, employer, Hollywood heavyweight, feminist, trailblazer, mogul, and on, and on. We know about these roles because of what we see on ABC Network's coveted Thursday night roster, or when she is chatting with Jimmy Kimmel, or she's featured on the covers of Essence Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and other publications. She is truly a powerhouse.
What we may not have known about Shonda Rhimes's life is of her roles as sister, mother, friend, and lover. From the outside looking in, Rhimes was seemingly reclusive, thriving in her profession, but not accessible to outsiders. In her new book, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, we get to learn more about the inner workings of Shonda Rhimes, the woman. After a challenge posed to her by her sister, Rhimes takes a hard look at herself and resolves to make much needed changes to her life, her career, her support circle, and to her health. Each chapter gives us insight into the hows and whys of Rhimes, and how by saying "YES" to things that challenged her, things that made her confront her issues, she vastly improved (and probably saved) her life.
I am so glad that I ordered this book when I did. I sincerely admire this woman and what she has built. In many ways, I can also relate to Shonda Rhimes. I'm far from a mogul, but I too can understand how we can use work and weight as a shield from the rest of the world. In the book, Rhimes details her issues with weight. In what she calls "The Airplane Seat Belt Incident of 2014", Rhimes goes into great detail about the inner turmoil that ensued when while taking her seat before a flight, she realized that she could not buckle the seat belt. Though humorous, (she describes the option of an imaginary plane crash before she would ever ask the attendant for an extender) her candor made me think of my own situation and how being overweight can be paralyzing. In saying yes to herself and to her health, Rhimes lost over 120 pounds! In reading her inspiring journey towards self-awareness and healing, it reaffirmed my own push towards positive lifestyle changes in 2016 and beyond.
The Year of Yes is a fun, real introspective that gives the reader a glimpse inside Shondaland, while also giving the reader permission to take a look inside their own lives. I know what I want to say YES to this year, what about you?