“Year of Yes”

Shonda Rhimes – “Year of Yes”

If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it. After a disappointment that I wasn’t quite able to shake with my normal distractions… I needed someone in my ear telling me what I needed to do to move forward. Most of the time I hyper-focus on other things until the disappointment is buried in so much “stuff” that I can just… get through it. I put my “fluff” book Liane Moriarty’s “Truly Madly Guilty” on the bench for a while.

I started listening to audio books from my local library, again, after previously deciding it was just too difficult to listen to books when my mind is just consistently all over the place (Life as an adult with ADD). There are certain aspects of my job, presently, that I cannot really do while listening to an audio book, but about half the time I am completing functions where I can actually listen to the books on 1.25x speed. I decided to give it a try again with “Girl on the Train” – Yes, I am horrifically behind on the current best seller list, but I am a grad student, full time employee, mom, all the things… and sometimes reading is difficult. I was so hooked to the audio of that book that it renewed my desire to listen more, to excitedly create a list of books I so desperately wanted to read but didn’t have the time (or the focus).

Anyway, I put the fluff book on the back burner and I turn on Shonda Rhimes’ “Year of Yes”. I needed something like that in my ear. I started listening and within about two chapters I, myself, find myself saying “Yes, wow… that is so true. YES! Oh my god. That’s crazy. That’s how I feel.” She talks about the time she spent eating her feelings when she was obese, she talks about the people who she wanted to be friends with so much but realized she didn’t even like the people she was spending time with… and how she wrote ‘fiction’ over who the person was in hopes that she was friends with the version of them that she was overwriting them with… She, also, said something that really resonated with me… she wanted to say ‘No’ to anything that scared her or that she might “fail” at. I do that. All the time. I say ‘No’ to most things I could fail at… and maybe that has held me back? Failure is a form of rejection for me (my kryptonite)- it was the universe, so to speak, rejecting me-  so it was just easier to avoid the hurt, discomfort, and hit to my personal self-esteem, by simply avoiding it.

The idea that you’re saying ‘yes’ isn’t giving tacit approval to anyone who asks for anything – quite the contrary… ‘Yes’ to yourself when you hold back what you are really feeling – “Yes, I will be assertive and speak up.” … ‘Yes’ when you want to say ‘no’ to things that would be good for you but might be kind of scary. ‘Yes’ to saying ‘This relationship does not suit me, so I am moving on.’— ‘This person does not fit into the puzzle that is my life, yes, I can move on and say that this person  doesn’t fit for me.’.

This week, I am trying to say –  “Yes. You are a bad ass, hard working, over-achieving, educated, woman. Yes. You will be OK with this decision. Yes, maybe the door didn’t open this time – but you have the power to keep knocking until it does.”

The ‘yes’ is in how you phrase it.

Strongly recommend.


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