Shonda Rhimes is now a member of my tribe: Reflections on Year of Yes
"Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be."
-Shonda Rhimes 'Year of Yes'
Shonda and I are friends now. Best friends. She is officially one of my ride or dies. If you've read Year of Yes, then you get it. If not, then you should read it so that you can. You need to read it. Just know it's worth the read. In taking the time to consciously say yes to the things that made her uncomfortable, Shonda learned to say yes to the most important person: herself. By sharing her journey, she has made me even more excited to continue my own. She spoke to my soul with this book. Her words jumped off the pages, caressed my heart and said "Akeia, it's your time. It's time to say Yes."
If you had a chance to read my Walking into 2017 post, then you may remember that one of my goals for this year is to be bold. Being bold to me, means saying yes to the things that scare me or that make me uncomfortable. It means taking safe risks and doing things for myself and not to please others. And 2017 is already testing my resolve.
It started with a job offer.
It started with a new man.
It started with discomfort and tears. A lot of tears.
Yes to the job.
On December 28th, while bawling my eyes out watching Fences, I received a message on LinkedIn. The message basically said that the recruiter had come across my profile several times and that she would like to see if I was interested in an opportunity with her company. I responded. Conversation ensued.
On January 10th, I had a face to face interview and on January 11th, I received a job offer. I was ecstatic and terrified at the same time. Finally I would be able to use my degree, start my career! But I didn't want to leave the comfort of the family I had gained in the past 4.5 years at my law firm. I cried and then cried some more; I had a panic attack the day I accepted the offer. I ended up having a very important conversation with a person I worked with at the law firm. He basically said to me, "you know it's from God because it came to you, it wasn't something you sought out. And you also know it's from Him, because it's not a pretty package (it wasn't even close to being pretty), but that's because He wants you to put your Faith in Him." That conversation helped calm me down. My mom talked me through my tears and reminded me of all the reasons why this was a good thing. So I said yes, and I started my new job on Monday, the 30th. I have learned so much in this week and am looking forward to all that I will learn as I continue to grow in my role. I am confident that this yes was a good one.
Yes to a man.
On Jan 4th, I got a simple but sweet good morning message in my Twitter DM from a man I had interacted with on the TL the night before. I responded. Conversation ensued.
I found out that he lives 8 hours away. I immediately wanted to run. I've tried long distance before, it didn't work. But something about him feels different. Feels worth it, so I say yes. Yes to opening up and being vulnerable with this man. Yes to taking a chance. There's a chance this could fizzle out after a couple of months (but I don't think so) and there's a chance that he could be my forever. Either way, I'm just happy to live in the moment, take it day by day and give myself permission to enjoy this ride. I'm excited to see where this goes and I know he is too (and don't worry reader, he's not a catfish). To that man..."Hey boo :)"
Yes to travel.
I have always been a traveler. I went on my first cruise when I was a baby. But last year I decided to make 2017 my year for travel. I had put major vacations on hold in the past unless they were with family because I was worried about money and taking time off from work. This year, I'm taking some amazing trips, not just with family but also with my travel group. Next week I'm going to Costa Rica. In July I'm taking my dream trip to Greece. In August, I'm going to Toronto for Caribana. And I still have to plan a trip for my 30th (I'm thinking New Orleans). This year, I have said yes to making time for my travel dreams. I have said yes to my favorite form of self-care.
Yes to being bold.
God isn't playing any games with me in 2017. He has made sure that I know that it is my time as long as I'm ready to say yes to the things that He puts in front of me. I plan on continuing to say yes to the things that challenge me this year and forward. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "The woman I see may be new, but I know her well. I like her. I like who she is. I like who she is becoming. I love her...I know now that is what my Year of Yes has always been about. Love. It's just love, is all....Who I was. Who I am. It's just love."
I can't wait to grow even more in love with myself as I realize just how limitless I am.
Get your hands on a copy of Year of Yes here. Then come back and tell me how you felt about it. Then when can dance it out together like Meredith and Christina.
Improving our health literacy so that we all may live healthier, more abundant lives.