Book Review Reflections

I Am The Dreamer: Part 2 | Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes

I am a dreamer. I’ve always been a dreamer.

That’s not to say that I don’t go for what I want when I want it, and sometimes I am successful. Sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I’m successful for a while, and then I slip.

The tagline of this blog “In a World of Her Own” comes from the fact that, especially when I was younger, that’s where I was. Always in my own head, creating worlds and scenarios, that is until someone inevitably snapped me out of them.

I want, I want, I want. I said in yesterdays post that I would explain this more today. Recently I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I didn’t know who she was when I downloaded the audiobook, but quickly learned she’s the cause of my mothers obsession with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. After all, she created them.

I downloaded the audiobook because the title intrigued me. Year of Yes is read by the author and it is funny, witty and sass oozes off the page. (Or out your earphones).

You learn a lot about her and her life. You get this before and after image without ever seeing a single picture.

I learned a lot about myself too.

In her first speech she shares, which I’ll link at the end, she says: “Be a doer, not a dreamer”.

I want, I want, I want. You see?

I want to travel, I want to write a book. I want to lose weight and get fit. Sometimes ‘I do’ but I rarely follow through.

When Shonda Rhimes took on her “Year of Yes”, it started out as saying ‘Yes’ to new and exciting opportunities. It turned into so much more than that.

She incorporated saying yes to her children when they asked to spend more time with her. Said yes to being good to herself and her body. Yes to removing toxic friendships from her life and a relationship she knew wasn’t going anywhere, because she didn’t want to get married.

Her entire journey inspired me. She shared speeches she delivered at certain events, and you can hear her first one as she sounded nervous, to the last one she shared and her voice never wavered.

I say yes to myself a lot. “Yes, I’ll wake up early”, “Yes, I’ll eat healthier and go to the gym”, “Yes, I’ll write tonight when I get home”. But here’s what I also say yes to: “Yes, I’d like to snooze my alarm”, “Yes, I’ll have that ready meal” the thought of the gym not even a nagging whisper in my mind. “Yes, I’ll watch that YouTube video or BookTube video”.

I say yes to the things that are easy. Shonda Rhimes spoke about an epiphany she had after vegging out opposite the TV one evening (why is it called vegging out, anyway?) and she realised that she was, what she called, “successfully fat”. She wasn’t a failure, because she’d been saying ‘Yes’ to being fat and she’d succeeded. (I’d like to point out that these are her own words but they resonated with me). Sure, she could go about her days and decide not to care about her weight, but that would be “Game Over”. She couldn’t complain about being over weight, or the consequences, again.

I was on my lunch break at work when I listened to this, so I had to resist the urge to stand up and applause. (and laugh, because I felt her situation suited me so well).

So, how do I apply this to my life? How do I apply this to my Resolution Pact? I want to start saying Yes to myself. I would also say Yes to new opportunities, but when it comes to social engagements I’ve always been one to say yes anyway. When I say ‘Say Yes to myself’ I mean a real yes. Not a wishy-washy, not bother to follow it through yes. A real yes with conviction. The yes I’d give to my friends if they asked me to do something important.

…I’ve just had my own realisation as I wrote that. I don’t treat myself like a friend. I always break my promises to myself, I always bring myself down and, as much as I say that I do, I don’t care for myself in the way that I should. Don’t get me wrong, my hygiene is good and I’m no stranger to Amazon Prime or spending some alone time with YouTube. But buying things and distracting myself isn’t helping me. Perhaps I need that time to reflect? If I were to spend quality time with friends, I wouldn’t spend that time watching videos on the internet.

Well, I certainly didn’t expect that when I started this post.

So, in 2018 I want to treat myself like a friend and follow through on the promises I make to myself. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself if I do break some of those promises in the beginning, accidental or intentional. Habits are hard to break. I’m 24, that’s 24 years of brain that needs re-wiring.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I highly recommend Shonda Rhimes book. Not only is it inspiring but it’s real. It isn’t fluffy or wistful. It’s a first hand experience of someone who had a goal, stuck to it and changed her life.

Yesterdays Post: My Resolution Pact: Part 1 | How I Changed My Life in a Year – Shelley Wilson

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