We both just finished listening to the audiobook “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. It was great! Definitely give it a read (or listen) if you are needing a new book suggestion. Shonda is the mastermind behind little TV shows you may have heard of...*cough, cough* 'Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Scandal," and "How To Get Away With Murder."
For those of you who haven’t read it, (I promise not give away any spoilers) it’s her story about saying YES for a whole year. The title told you that much, right? Here’s what I loved about her story: saying “yes” was her taking action. It was her showing up. It was doing and not just dreaming.
She talks about the difference between “doers” and “dreamers” and how people out there who are accomplishing things and taking the world by storm are not merely dreamers...they are out there DOING.
It’s an action word. Here’s the thing for me. I am a dreamer. I have been my whole life. There is always something playing out in my head. It’s often grand and whimsical...but I love dreaming. Give me a glass of wine, some soul-stirring jams in my ears and an airplane window seat...that’s pretty much dream heaven. I think dreams lay the groundwork for doing...but if you only dream and don’t do, you will probably not go very far. I have a printed out (non-final) bucket list in my office. I actually believe that one person can change the world with a simple idea. I really did dream about marrying Prince William. True story. I dreamt about it. I thought it could happen. Yes, that’s a silly teenage fairytale dream...but as a teen I also dreamt about standing on a stage in front of thousands of people singing my songs.
Here’s the difference. I took no action on hunting Prince WIlliam down and forcing him to marry me. I did however take steps in writing songs, performing, singing in front of people, etc. And today you can find me singing on a stage and not married to Prince Charming. (On a side-note, can you believe he married a different Kate??? I mean come on… my name is Katherine Elizabeth...I’m practically made shoe-in for the royal family. Haha!)
I love Shonda’s approach to being unapologetically who she is and how saying yes changed her life. I love how a simple 3 letter word shook her up and out of her routine. Never underestimate what a YES can do. Saying yes has been transformational for Jill and me too. We write about it in more detail in our Inspired eBook...and we challenge the reader to say yes when their normal gut instinct would be to say no.
Last weekend a friend invited us over to their house because some family was in town. It was 11:30pm...I could either say no, and go to bed at a decent hour, or I could say a YES and get in an uber at midnight because why not. So I did. I left my house at 12:04am and for a brief moment had flashbacks of being 23 again. But, I’m so glad that I did! I had such a fun night and even though I didn’t go to bed until 4:30AM (what the what?) I made memories that will last. I laughed hard. And being tired the next day wasn’t so bad. I had shown up. Said yes.
So, thanks, Shonda, for telling your story...when people share stories, it’s what gives us comfort and strength in our own storytelling. Thanks for being vulnerable and for taking us along on your journey. Thanks for reminding us to show up, say yes and to love ourselves. By telling your story, you remind us to keep telling ours. Loneliness is the worst disease and by sharing stories we fight that disease. Keep on with your badassery.
PS. I have officially started using badassery and am forever in your debt for creating the word.