“You never say yes to anything”, said every teenager on the face of the earth to a stone faced parent. This stone face then turns to fury face as they listen to a million reasons why they should just say yes! While most parents deflect the coveted “yes” to “you better get out of my face if you know what’s good for you”, the world still craves that wonderful word that grants entry to the most magical of places…yes. Now let’s flip this to a kitchen in let’s say Middle America where you would expect many of the conversations to go much like I described just a few lines ago, but let’s say it’s an award-winning TV producer and her big sister. Let’s just say this TV producer is the “leader of lies”, Shonda Rhimes, and her big sister. Sidebar, I’m not dissing Shonda Rhimes in anyway, she is what you would call an African Goddess, mythical and marvelous, to me as an aspiring playwright and producer, but her “lies” are what we now know as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. All luxurious lies made up or molded in the mind of Shonda Rhimes and she will tell you herself that she is the best liar. Back to our regularly scheduled kitchen where ” you never say yes to anything” is yet again thrown around but it’s more than deflected with a stone face, it is heard and digested and is the catalyst that changes the course of the owner of ABC’s TGIT’s life. Rhimes explains in her book of how what some may call a dare opened her to opportunities that an introverted writer living in her own head, would never have explored. Such as being the keynote speaker at her Alma Mater Dartmouth’s commencement ceremonies when she is deathly shy.
“In general, I do not like giving speeches. Giving a speech requires standing in front of large groups of people while they look at you and it requires talking. I can do the standing part okay. But the “you looking” and the “me talking”…I’m not NOT a fan. I get this overwhelming feeling of fear.
Dry mouth, heart beats super fast, everything gets a little bit slow motion.
Like I might pass out. Or die. Or poop my pants or something”—Year of Yes
One of the most magical moments in the book Year of Yes, was the breaking of the traditional roles of the woman. In that, finding a husband and birthing babies is the only meter of success. Rhimes who broke this mold by adopted three girls, all while saying NO to marriage.
“Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story.”—Year of Yes
The Year of Yes gives you the inspiration to say yes to breaking rules, yes to crazy, yes to…YOU.
Written by: Sabreen Shabazz-Straker, Contributing Writer, Modern Domestic