How to Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun and Be Your Own Person.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes has been on my to read list since I heard about it. I loved Grey’s Anatomy, I say I loved it because I could just never continue after she killed off Lexi and McSteamy. In fact my heart is still a little broken by it but thats okay, I can just watch the first eight season over and over (and over) again. The characters she creates are dynamic, unique and the kind of people you wish were real. Although I have not seen even a minute of her other TV shows I can only imagine they must kick ass too. I mean she owns Thursday nights (a little something you learn in her book, several times, if you didn’t already know). To be honest, if you love any one of her TV shows and connect to the characters, then this book is for you! If you aren’t familiar with them and just want a book filled with some awesome life lessons, be a little wary, the written tone is not for everyone.
Having heard a personal account from a close friend and reading a few reviews online I came to the conclusion that this book is best received by her fans. People that understand the way she thinks and connect with her characters because you learn that she puts a lot of herself into the characters. Reviews I have read were a little negative, some calling the book a bragfest and others commenting that the writing style is a little too rambley. I can appreciate the criticism, the book at time seems to go on tangents and take a bit of time to get to the point, but this is Shonda, this is the point of the book. She wrote is her way and I loved it. Those calling her out on just bragging about herself I think may have missed her point a little. This book is not about her going on about her achievements, which yes she mentions, this book tells of how she got the a point of self-love and respect where she is confident to stand up and say “I’m awesome and I’m proud of it” and she is. In many ways. This book tells her story of how she started saying Yes to herself. An important lesson many of us can learn.
Shonda’s journey all starts on Thanksgiving with a throwaway comment made by her sister. A comment that comes back to haunt her at 4am in the morning. “You never say yes to anything”. This leads her to the Year of Yes: twelve months of not using the word no, twelve months to face her fears and say yes to all that terrifies her. The journey is great. Her stories are hilarious (I know, I was giggling to myself in the cafe I was reading it in), touching and brutally honest. Personally, I loved it. Interestingly I didn’t take as much from it as a friend of mine, who has multiple photos of passages form the book in her phone because they spoke to her that much but this comes down to your own personal journey. I feel I have already said Yes to myself. I said Yes to myself when I started this blog at the beginning of the year when I challenged myself to critically thinking and gathering my thoughts about the books I was reading, rather than just mindlessly consuming them (not that I think that is a bad thing either). I said Yes to myself almost twelve months ago when I couldn’t commit to exercising regularly enough when I started seeing a trainer twice a week, which I still do to this day. I say Yes to myself on a regular basis when I confront the people in my life when something isn’t working because I would rather bring up and issue, solve it and move on rather than let it fester. I feel I have learnt a lot of myself over the years (and am still continuing to learn things each day) so think book helped remind me I was on the right path.
This book will speak to everyone in a different way. It is a hard one to recommend because your can really take from it a multitude of things, positive and negative. If you feel you need to do a little self-discovery, if you need a little reminder in self-love, if you do love anything that comes from Shondaland then I suggest to go get yourself a copy quick smart. I give Year of Yes four glasses of red wine (a habit we both share in common) and raise each of them to her for saying Yes to herself and embracing all that makes her amazing and for taking us along her journey with her. Keep on Dancing It Out!