[dropcap]I[/dropcap] seem to always say that I’m not a big reader. No matter what I’m actually writing the post about, it seems to slip in every now and then. Well, here we go again. I’m not a big reader. I’m good at it. I get through books really fast when I do read. I just have to motivate myself to do it, like going to the gym or getting that essay written. The book I’m reading has to be really bloody good or I just won’t bother.
So you can assume from that snippet of personal information, that if I have read through a book and then written a recommendation for it, that it’s a really good book. Really bloody good. I read the whole thing at any chance I could get and enjoyed every page and not once did I think ‘ugh I suppose I should try to read more of that book.’
So that’s a really good thing.
For my birthday, granted a while ago now, Ollie bought me Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Year Of Yes’ and let’s face it, he bought it for himself. Like I love Grey’s Anatomy but he LOVES Grey’s Anatomy. He can’t get enough. He’s all up in that. He even took Patrick Dempsey’s side in the new Bridget Jones like who would even do that?!
Still, I’m not awful and ungrateful and was genuinely really happy so I opened and began to read… and didn’t stop until it was finished (or, like, my train had arrived or whatever).
The book itself is the complete opposite of one of those self help books. It’s an autobiography about one specific year of Shonda’s life, in which she decided to go from being sad and boring, to living life to the full. It’s a cliché sure, but she assures us that it is perfectly doable, intensely difficult and incredibly rewarding. It’s a compilation of hilarious anecdotes, sad tales, a heavy sprinkle of Shondaland plugs, and leaves you feeling warm and cared for, and not alone.
That’s the thing I drew from Year Of Yes the most. Shonda is just going along doing her life like the rest of us. Sure she has an entire production company and writes three of TVs best loved shows, but she’s also pretty cool and ‘normal’ and experiences life in just the same way that we do. Or at least I do.
I’m going to let you into a secret now. I’ve actually started reading it again. I finished it two weeks ago, and I’m already back on it. It’s soothing and fun and takes the edge off a bad day or boring train journey.
Book blogging isn’t really my thing, as is evident, and my book reviews tend to be purely academic (not sure you want to hear my thoughts on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason…) so I don’t have a lot to say. I can’t compare it to other books, and it’s not like any autobiography I’ve ever read.
I learnt so much about myself through reading it. I realised that I’m also rubbish at saying yes to things. If things aren’t compulsory or they scare me even a little, I’ll hide from them. I don’t do big social occasions well and struggle to have fun. Thanks to Shonda, however, I’m noticing it a little more.
So I’ve started to say yes to things. Just small things for now, but maybe larger things in the future. I’m really excited about what my own year of yes will bring me. Maybe I’ll finally start to challenge myself a little more, and look after myself a little more. I’ll also add here that Shonda’s ‘yes’ can also mean saying yes to saying no. Having the bravery to say no, I don’t like this/you/everything, and start again.
And that’s all I want to say, really. I want to tell you that I’m starting to get back on track with things, and starting to push myself to break out of my comfort zone. It’s such a great book to have found before starting my final big year of uni, and I’m thrilled that I did.1