At times, as I was reading Shonda Rhimes’ memoir/self-help book Year of Yes, I found myself getting very annoyed with her.
Grey’s Anatomy isn’t even that good, I’d think. She so extra. It’s the Shonda Show 24/7 with this one. Doesn’t she know how conceited she sounds?
I wanted her to be more humble, more quiet. When she mentioned how she owns Thursday nights for the umpteenth time, I wanted her to apologize for her success instead of brag about it.
Which is kind of the point. Like many of us, Rhimes had internalized a lot of messaging that boils down to one thing: Make yourself smaller for the comfort and convenience of others. Year of Yes is, at its core, all about tearing that shit down and building yourself back up with swagger and badassery.
When she started saying “yes” to all the things that scared her, Rhimes’ life expanded and changed in ways she did not expect. She spent more time with her kids, accepted opportunities that would have terrified her in the past, and learned how to set boundaries when people wanted more than she cared to give. She also lost false friends, jettisoned a fiance, and dropped over a hundred pounds.
By the end of the book (about 18 months into her Year of Yes) Rhimes is proudly, unapologetically in love with herself. Like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, your mileage will vary based on your acceptance of women choosing to prioritize their own creativity and joy above all else. As a woman whose life has been starting to feel very small, this book was exactly what I needed to read.
Emperor Cupcake’s Rating System Explained:
1 Star: This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
2 Stars: Not great, Bob.
3 Stars: The emperor is pleased. You may live.
4 Stars: Ooh, shiny!
5 Stars: *Incoherent, high-pitched fan-girling*