Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
A Book Review

I greatly enjoyed listening to Shonda Rhimes read this memoir of the year (or eighteen months) that she changed her life by saying "Yes"!

Honestly, I did not know who Rhimes is when the book caught my eye at the library. I've never seen one of her shows and am generally out of the popular television loop at this point in my life. But because my One Little Word for 2016 is "Yes" and I'd actually used the hashtag #TheYearOfYes, the title of the book caught my eye. I'm glad it did.

In the first half of the book, Rhimes' humor and narrative spoke directly to my soul and made me feel like I'd found my long-lost sister. I particularly loved the commencement speech she gave at Dartmouth in 2014, which is included in the book (as a live recording in this audio version). This brief passage seems particularly pertinent to the concept of "Yes":
Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams — fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them — it’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change. So ... ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.

Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you're paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn't matter. You don't have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new. It doesn’t have to fit your vision of the perfect job or the perfect life. Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just do.
I found the second half of the book to be a bit less lighthearted and somewhat focused on Rhimes' television shows, so it dragged a little bit for me.

But overall I found this to be an excellent read — particularly for my own "Year of Yes." And maybe now I'll go check out an episode of Grey's Anatomy!

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