“We all spend our lives kicking the crap out of ourselves for not being this way or that way, not having this thing or that thing, not being like this person or that person. For not living up to some standard we think applies across the board to all of us. We all spend our lives trying to follow the same path, live by the same rules. I think we believe that happiness lies in following the same list of rules. In being more like everyone else. That? Is wrong. There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.”
― Shonda Rhimes,
So I finished Shonda Rhimes book “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” and I must say that this book was soooooo inspirational.
First of all, If you don’t know who Shondra Rhimes is, I give you permission to click out of this blog and google her RIGHT NOW. How can you not know the Queen of Thursday night telelvision. Literally, she owns Thursdays. EVERY SHOW DURING PRIME TIME IS HERS! Greys Anatomy, Scandal (which unfortunately just ended but you can still catch it on Netflix and Hulu), and How to Get Away with Murder. And now Station 19 Seriously, Get your life and step into Shondaland ASAP!
For every introvert. For anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable in their own skin. For anyone who is alive, but not really living. THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! I may be over exaggerating if I said it changed my life, BUT it definitely shed light on a few things for me. So here’s what I got out of it:
Just Say YES!
I had this habit of saying no to alot of things. Like talking myself out of things and rationalizing why I’m right to not take risks, or take chances or do stuff that I actually want do. But peeling back the layers, I realized it was just fear paralyzing me. Fear of not actually knowing exactly what was gonna happen if I do whatever it was that was presented to me. Fear of failing. Fear of negative responses from everyone else. This book basically gave me permission to give myself permission to do whatever I wanted. Literally. I’ve taken more trips in the past 6 months than I have in the past 5 years. I’ve gone to more events. I’ve taken on projects at work. I’m learning to take advantage of opportunities and embrace the unknown. And honestly. Its really exhilarating!
It’s OK to Say No.
I also had this habit of saying yes to alot of people and things because I felt like I had to. But now I’ve become less available to some people and things and more available to others. I am not for everyone. And neither is my time. I stopped feeling obligated to meet up with everyone and show up for everything. And stopped feeling guilty if i couldn’t or hadn’t made it happen. People say that the 20s is your time to be selfish. Welp I’m here for it! It’s all about ME! ME! ME! ME! and that’s ok! I of course add some time to volunteer and what not. But a majority of the time it’s the Sherrell Show. Starring and co-written by Sherrell. Produced by Sherrells parents. Directed by God.
Acknowledge Your Awesomeness
I have a tendency to stay in the background and just try to be invisible. I do what I do without attracting too much attention and pretty much move in silence. Attention is awkward for me. But this book helped me to realize that my light is too bright to dim down and hide with a shade. Its ok to be proud of your accomplishments. Its ok to humbly recognize that you are the Sugar Honey Iced Tea. You think Beyonce’ doesn’t realize how amazing she is? Nope she smiles, embraces it and hypes herself up. Same with Cardi B being her own competition and competing with herself. Cuz let’s be honest, “it’s not bragging if you can back it up“ (Muhammed Ali). And you best believe. I got receipts in the form of degrees and certificates to back up how great I am lol But fa real though. I’ve learned to accept my greatness. Accept compliments with a simple Thank you and stop trying the explain why I’m undeserving of it. I’m awesome and so are you! Embrace it. Fully and unapologetically!
Be a Do’er:
“Get a job. Work. Do until you can do somethings else” (Shonda Rimes). See not all of us are born into the good life. Not all of us are living the life we always wanted. But we can. It just doesn’t magically happen though. You gotta make it happen. And it doesn’t just happen with one step. It may take a million steps before you actually arrive. But so what. Don’t just sit and dream about what you want or complain about what you don’t have. Stop dreaming and G.U.A.G.G.I (Get. Up. And. Go. Get. It. – a Buffalo born athletic clothing brand). Hustle hard. Stack your money. Then make it happen. No excuses.
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
It’s very easy to get bogged down with routine and complacent with everyday life. DON’T FALL FOR THE TRAP. You’ll never know your lifes’ full potential if you keep doing the same things over and over again. You know thats technically the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You gotta change something if you want something new and exciting. Experience new people, places, and things as much as you can. Yea its awkward and maybe even scary sometimes. But if you’re really having trouble being able to function in uncomfortability………just fake it till you make it! Seriously. Strike a power pose. “Standing around like Wonder Woman in the morning can make people think you are more amazing at lunchtime”(Shonda Rimes) It really all starts with a mindset. Have confidence and trust that everything will turn out fine. And if it doesn’t, chalk it up as a lesson learned and keep it moving. The best things tend to happen when you are out of your element and uncomfortable. Don’t miss out cuz you bein a punk. (If you need a crash course in confidence check out my blog post “Am I Enough“).
Post-College Life Kinda Sucks
“You are [now] at the bottom of the heap. Maybe an intern. Possibly a low-paid assistant. At best. And it’s awful. [The day after graduation] IS the worst day ever… but have some perspective.” I mean this may not be everyone’s experience, but I know for me it was really hard for entering into “the real world.” It’s scary. Cuz for basically your ENTIRE life, you spent 80% of your time in the classroom or controlled learning environment. Now you just out here. Not knowing how to do your taxes, or manage the little money you have, or how to build and keep good credit, or how to buy a house/car, or healthy coping skills, or how to deal with grief and loss, or what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like, or how to cook, or TIME MANAGEMENT…..I could go on and on about stuff I wish I learned. You know, stuff thats universally needed in everyday life. I mean 4 years later and I’m STILL adjusting and working on accomplishing these things. But I’m still learning new things everyday and have the ability to do so. So count your blessings, respect the process, and ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT!!!!! Don’t worry. You’ll find your way eventually.
Pay it Forward
“A hash tag is not a move. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hash tag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you sitting on your butt, typing into your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show….Find a cause you love. Volunteer some hours. [Give back.] Focus on something outside yourself…you have a responsibility to become a person worthy of joining and contributing to society.” -Shonda Rhimes
Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
“Whenever you see [someone] somewhere succeeding in one area of life, that almost certainly means that [they are] failing in another area…” (Shonda Rhimes). With social media being such a big part of our lives, we can’t help but to think that “the grass is greener on the other side.” But we HAVE TO REMEMBER that people only post what they want you to see. No one’s ever gonna post their hoopty until they show a side by side picture of their new Benz. Or them sharing a 1 bedroom apartment with 3 people until they get their own place. We only see the end results. We don’t see the process or even the whole picture. Literally the picture with the benz could really just be someone who took the car on a test drive and just stuntin’ for the gram. Or the person who posted the picture in front of “their house” just cropped out the foreclosure sign that was next to them. And even if they did actually get that car and that house, their relationships may have failed because they were focusing their attention else where. We don’t know. But really all I’m telling you to do is consistently drink your water, work out, go to work, have fun, and mind your business. lol Don’t envy what anyone else has cuz you don’t know what was happening before or after the pictures were captured. Just do you boo. Focus on balancing your life.
Happiness is a Choice
A choice that has to be made everyday. Choose to see the silver lining. Choose to look on the bright side. Choose to say yes to what you want and no to what you don’t want. Choose to do something nice to make someone else happy. Choose to not let anyone elses mood affect your own. Choose to love. Choose to live.
So moral of this post. Don’t waste space on this earth. Start living. Take risks. Do what makes you happy. Make a difference. Leave the world better than it was when you came in it. And go read this book!