Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes was on my 2015 Christmas Book list because Shonda Rhimes has created so many wonderful things and I thought her book would be amazing. I was right in so many ways. I actually read this book in the spring of 2016 and I didn’t write about it because I wasn’t ready to share yet. I recommended it personally to a couple friends but I was holding onto it. It was so much more than I expected and probably, something I really needed at the time. In fact, I think in a small way, it helped me make a pretty big decision in my life that I’m glad I made.

I decided to re-read it recently and I realized I had forgotten just how great it was. Great because Shonda Rhimes is an excellent writer who is funny (hilarious) and willing to share about her life and her adventures or mis-adventures as they might be. It’s fun because she created Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal and so much more and there are glimpses into that part of her world (side note, I have been watching all of her shows from the beginning and Scandal is the one show I try to be home for when it’s on – I’m a fan). I was probably destined to like it just for that but I found it was so much more than just a great, fun and interesting read. I learned from it and I started to reflect on myself, which I think is a bonus in a great read.

The subtitle might have clued me in to what I would find: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. The book is Shonda’s journey to all of that and I gained some insight from her journey. She started that journey when her older sister said to her:

“You never say yes to anything” (Rhimes, 1)

From there, she committed to saying “yes” to anything that came her way after years of saying no to things like going on Jimmy Kimmel, giving speeches, accepting awards. And in challenging herself to do things she never thought she would do, things she didn’t really want to do, she learned about herself. It turns out that it was way more than just saying yes to some invitations, it was about saying yes to herself and that was where the magic in the book is. That magic runs throughout the book and it’s fun and honest and brave.

I wanted to quote some parts of it but I decided against it because I think it’s definitely worth reading if you want to go on a journey that is great and fun and insightful. After all, who doesn’t like to “dance it out”! Enjoy – please!


P.S. I decided after reading this and a few other things that if ever I’m asked who I would like to have lunch with (or some version of that question), it is most definitely Shonda Rhimes. She is super awesome!


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