The Trendy Sparrow: Boss Babe Book Club Discussion: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Monday, February 1, 2016

Boss Babe Book Club Discussion: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Hey darling boss babes! It's time to discuss January's Boss Babe Book Club read:
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.

I'm not going to lie...I'm really excited about this discussion. Can you already tell I loved to the book? I think it was the perfect way to kick off 2016 and the new year of the book club. 

While I didn't find it easy to relate to Shonda's extreme introvert and shy behavior at the beginning of the book, I responded to her transformation into someone she was proud of and didn't apologize for. I've always been outgoing and I've never really been shy. It was something my mother made sure none of us had to deal with. Growing up she was an extreme introvert, and when we had us she never wanted us to feel paralyzed by social interactions. In a way, reading the beginning of Shonda's book helped me to understand more about my mom and how she felt growing up. 

Even though I'm not afraid of social interactions, gatherings, and conversations... I still have had a tendency to say 'no' to them. Like Shonda, I didn't always feel well liked growing up. I've been told I have "resting b*tch face" to the extreme, and tend to look mad even when I'm happy. So while I'm not gatherings can be taxing because I always feel like I'm trying to smile huge through the entire thing which just feels unnatural. Plus I feel like I am always working so I use that as an excuse not to go somewhere. Not anymore. After reading Year of Yes, I'm ready to make that commitment to myself as well. How about you?!

I also really enjoyed Shonda's writing style overall as well. I related to her cheeky sass and quick wit. By being herself and writing like she speaks, she made it more 'real' and easier to relate to as an audience. I could have easily been difficult to relate to someone who is loaded, incredibly famous, and a downright epitome of success in her field...but Shonda does a great job of recounting her Year of Yes in a way that just about any girl could relate to; something I really enjoy in a writer and book. 

I mostly enjoyed Shonda's dedication to her craft, ability to make up amazing new words, her fervent desire to stay true to herself, and downright total badass-ness. 

Shonda is simply the definition of a boss babe. I enjoyed hearing her discuss how women treat each other and how we've been trained to be catty. I always loved reading "you mother your way and I'll mother mine". It's so true! We harp too much on each other, and we judge each other based on what society tells us we are supposed to do and want. This was especially evident when Shonda was discussing how much she didn't want to get married because writing was her soulmate. I loved reading every word of that section because the way she describes how people react to her not wanting to get married are the same reactions many women face and highlights how much we've been told that as women we are supposed to want to get married. And when she discusses that people were way more excited about her having a boyfriend than they were for he awards resonated so strongly with me. Shonda emphasized how important it is to stay true to ourself no matter our societal expectations because we will ultimately be happier. And Shonda helped me realize that it really is okay to want something different than what society tells us as women we should want. You may not know this about me, but I'm not a kid person. I don't want kids, I've never wanted kids, and I don't think I will ever want kids. I'm always told "you'll grow out of it" or "you'll change your mind". I used to think something was wrong with me, like I was behind because I didn't have this urge to have kids or be around them like all of the other girls I know. But Shonda highlighted that being true to yourself and going after what you want is most important. We don't have to do what society tells us we are supposed to do as women; we need to just do what makes us happy as people. 

Finally, I really enjoyed how much credit Shonda gives herself throughout the book. She's right; as women we often don't know how to take a compliment. We've been taught that thinking highly of ourselves is rude and unladylike. I was so happy when she learned to just say thank you when given a compliment, and highlights how important it is to compliment yourself. She talks about how much of a badass she is because...well...she is one! And she deserves credit for all of the hard work she puts into building her own amazing empire: Shondaland. I've done the same thing Shonda did at first time and time again...I talk about the people around me, how lucky I am to have found what makes me happy, etc. But the reality is, like Shonda, I bust my ass off for everything I have and it's hard. It's incredibly hard work. I'm writing this post at 1am right now. So why shouldn't I say "you go girl" or "you're amazing" to myself once in a while? Shonda deserved to hear it, and so do I! And so do you!

What did you think of the book? Are you starting a Year of Yes for yourself? 
What are you saying yes to?

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Thanks for reading, dolls! Come back for more!

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