Sometimes life is scary.
Sometimes its difficult to get out of bed.
Sometimes you’ll have to smile through the tears.
But it’s important to remember that you are powerful.
You can’t control what other people do, but you can decide how you want to react.
You can choose who you want to be and how you make people feel.
And at the end of the day, you’re going to be proud that you rose up to the challenge.
You’re going to be proud of the person you became.
And you’re going to remember those moments and no longer feel hurt.
You’ll feel blessed for those moments where you learned.
And you’ll find peace in knowing that you ended up exactly where you belong.
I read this book in three days.
Yup three days, I could not put it down.
First, if you are a Grey’s Anatomy fan, YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. It feels like a “behind the scenes” of the characters and how and why they were written.
Second, Shonda Rhimes is an amazing writer. She has created multiple amazing shows, Grey’s Anatomy being my favorite, so this book being amazing was no surprise.
But it’s not just that Shonda is an amazing writer. In this book she opens up on another level about relationships and fears and her struggles through those. She writes about being alone, how alone everyone feels at times. She talks about the fear of opening up, of being vulnerable, of public speaking and how one simple word changer her life.
She learned to say yes, she said yes to things that scared the poop out of her (in those words too). And she does it in just an amazing way that all the readers feel understood. This book is one of those perspective changing books where when you’re done reading it you want to go out and do. To live your life with no fear. To say yes.
It’s amazing that words can inspire that in people. The passage below helped me remember that being scared and being nervous can be the best way to feel alive.
And every single time you get the chance?
Stand up in from of people.
Let them see you. Speak. Be heard.
Go ahead and have dry mouth.
Let your heart beat so, so fast.
Watch everything move in slow motion.
So what. You what?
You pass out, you die, you poop?
(And this is really the only lesson you’ll ever need to know.)
You take it in.
You breathe this rare air.
You fell alive.
You are yourself.
You are truly finally always yourself.
Thank you. Good luck.”
– The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
So if you’re looking looking for a humorous book about life, TV, writing, and taking chances, then I definitely recommend this book.
This past summer when I worked at a summer camp, everyday in the morning the Director would ask “Who’s going to try something new today?” and at the end of the day would ask again “Who tried something new today?”. And I don’t know why but that really stuck with me.
It’s life changing really.
At first it didn’t quite sink in because I was more worried about supporting the kids and getting them to trying something new and grow. It wasn’t until I was having a conversation with my campers and they ask ME if I had done something new today. I didn’t know what to say. For me being a camp counselor was new enough and I realized I had become stagnant because I thought I was doing enough already.
I had become complacent.
The problem is, trying something new takes effort, and sometimes being lazy takes control. I hadn’t become lazy with my job, I was working exceptionally well, but I had became lazy in my life. And I realized I had been lazy for a long time.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy trying things, but more often than not I would rather take the safe, comfortable route rather than putting myself out there. Yes it can be uncomfortable, and awkward, and we might fail, but it’s time we start practicing what we preach.
So I decided in that moment that I must be the change.
I began everyday, to try something new.
I learned how to make friendship bracelets and jewelry.
I made candles
I shot arrows into targets
I “acted” on stage (quotations because I don’t know if you can call what I did acting, but I tried)
I learned to play the ukulele
Then I learned to play the guitar
I did the high ropes course
Then I was trained in the high ropes course and helped kids
I learned to mountain bike
Then I fell mountain biking
And then I got up and kept mountain biking
I tried different fruits
I experimented with salads (as a vegan this is important)
I went sailing
Then I learned how to sail
And then I taught kids to sail
And I said yes to things I never thought I would ever do or try.
And then I came home and I refused to stop on this “try something new” kick. I can’t say I’ve kept up at the extent that I was at camp, but it’s the mindset that counts. I can say it has been life changing. I view things in a whole new way, and since it’s now a habit to just try new things I no longer have to think about it, I just do.
In the last two months I’ve tried a list of new things.
I went rock climbing
I learned to play racquetball
I learned to play tennis
I started biking more instead of using my car
I volunteered at the library
I tried composting (keyword, tried)
I learned to knit
I’m (still) learning to play the guitar
I tried new recipes
I went to new restaurants
I try new running routes all the time
And I started a blog
And all of this has turned me into a doer.
If you can be anything in life, be a doer. Be that person excited about life, because people like to be around that person. Be overly enthusiastic about everything and your outlook on life changes.
I recently went to a concert where my best friend and I were waiting in line outside for the doors to open, and it started pouring. By the time we got inside, it looked like someone had dumped a bucket of water on us. We then proceeded to be soaking wet for the entire concert.
And I thought it was the funniest thing in the world
I didn’t care at all, I wasn’t mad, I thought it was funny that it had rained.
I thought it was funny that everyone at this concert was just dripping wet.
That’s what happens when you change your mindset, everything turns into a possibility to learn and grow. Everything feels like an adventure.
I love taking people to get boba for the first time because I love seeing the expression on their face when that tapioca balls hits their mouth, it’s hilarious. The face they make is always the face of wonder and curiosity.
As kids we see everything with a face of wonder, everything is new and exciting. And somewhere along the lines we stop trying new things, we lose the wonder. I’m not sure why this happens, whether it’s because of the work centered way of life we live, or if its a natural human transition, but adults stop doing new things.
This had happened to me, and I was called out for it by a kid.
I never want to stop doing new things. If I have one goal in life, it’s to do everything. Which I realize is an impossible goal but isn’t that what they taught us in school? To reach for the stars?
It’s amazing how all the doors that open up when you start doing. You become fearless, brave, everything becomes possible, and for the first time in awhile, I felt calm. So go out there, choose a random hobby you know nothing about, chose something that you’ve always wanted to learn or do, and then GO DO IT. The first step is always the hardest.
People always say that if you’re doing things inside your comfort zone then you’re never going to learn and you’ve never going to grow. They say to “Try something new” “Take a chance” “Do something crazy” but then you try something new and there’s that whole crowd standing in the background judging.
Like, can you not….
I can tell you, that is my biggest fear out of trying new things, especially with writing. I’m scared to look stupid, that I’m going to be called a follower, and just overall being criticized.
That’s why before now I’ve always thought about starting a blog, but hesitated. I didn’t want people who knew me to be like “wow she’s turning into THAT girl” and send texts messages behind my back gossiping (and trust me this happens, I’ve witnessed it first hand).
And that just sucks, really sucks, and definitely scares people away from putting themselves out there.
But I love to write.
I’ve always loved to write.
Ever since I was a kid I loved writing stories, but grew up with English teachers giving me poor grades, and because of that I thought I was a bad writer.
It made me scared to have people read my writing for fear of rejection.
And trust me, I’m still scared now.
Authors to me are the bravest people in the world. They pour their heart and souls into something for days on end that they have no idea if someone will like. That just seems absolutely crazy to me.
So obviously people don’t become authors because of the high success rate or high paying salary. They write because they love it.
I want that.
I want a job that I love despite the amount of money I make.
But I don’t know what I want, I’ve never been so sure of who I am as a person but yet absolutely no idea what decisions to make in my life.
So I’m going to write.
Mainly because therapy is too expensive.
I’m going to write it all down, everything I experience, all I’ve ever learned, and maybe something will come of it, and maybe nothing will.
But I love to write and I’m tired of pretending I’m someone that I’m not.