TV Bae: Shonda Rhimes/Year of No

Have you ever been alive on a Thursday? If so, you’ve heard of Shonda Rhimes! A creator and innovator of modern television drama, this MAGICAL BLACK WOMAN is a perpetual motion machine for quotable pop-culture tidbits.

She’s the reason you say vajayjay!

She works every day to bring black, queer, female, gender nonbinary, differently-abled, and all other  of non-mainstreams to the forefront.

Madam Rhimes is a paragon of gained wisdom and earned experiences. Thusly, she felt it fit to leave us a manual. A guide to using “yes” as tool to make better happen. It’s an insightful look into the makings of a literal literary monster, but it’s also a vulnerable examination of a regular person just trying to do and be better.

She is goals. Black excellence. College-educated. Award-winning. Making single motherhood look almost Beyoncé effortless. She makes her ideas, imaginings, mumbles and scribbles real. She’s what I want to be when I grow up. She wants to be Toni Morrison. Irony.

Sorta Summary


Through a thought experiment straight from the tomes of The Actor Formerly Known as Jim Carrey, she has crafted a richer and more fulfilling life. She simply said yes more often than not and was privy to a slew of new experiences and perspectives.

In realizing [through the insistence of her older sister] that she was on a long-lasting no-fueled funk, she set out to examine and undo all the negativity that had led her that point.

The book is full of so many simple and humorous realizations that can be scaled and adjusted to fit the user.

You may not be a mother or parent, but you know what it’s like to compare yourself to the ever-pressing and present YOU that you think you SHOULD be. You know what it feels like to fall short of the expectations you have for yourself; knowingly or not. Sister Shonda does too.

She tackles the guilt we often feel in contemplating our situations. In critiquing ourselves for accomplishments or lack thereof.

Do I even have the right to complain and feel so dissatisfied? I have two working legs and a freezer full of Ben & Jerry’s! 

She cheers us on and reminds us that women, a particular focus in this book, are endlessly capable if we view ourselves through the lease that we make for ourselves.

My Thoughts

Her voice is so familiar. She sounds like Olivia Pope and Anneliese Keating. Like your favorite characters and friends. Like someone you know.

She exudes a feminine self-deprecating multilayered humor that hints at what she has suffered, acknowledges her progress, and reminds you that she has chosen to make her own way.

In her carefree neuroticism she addresses her weight gain and eventual weight loss, parenting and its struggles, romantic and platonic relationships, workplace woes, and self-care/image. A cookbook for light laughs and life changing. Get into Shonda’s kitchen!

The Takeaway 

Shonda teaches us the framework to ask ourselves the important questions.

1. How did I get here?

2. What am I avoiding or running from by choosing to say no to this?

3. How would saying yes affect my life? Those around me?

4. What do I stand to gain or lose?

Ms. Rhimes’ year of self-investigation has inspired me to look more intentionally into mine and resulted in Roze’s “Year of No”.

I’m a little bit less Lulu Lemon. I find inspiration in sources that are little more Eric Thomas than Iyanla Vanzant. My list needs to work for me.


This is my playlist. I’ll be keeping it on repeat till I see the results I want. My calendar year begins on my birthday. I’m three days into my 27th year, and the finish line is fastly approaching.  I’m sharing in the hopes of gaining more accountability partners. Hold me to my word.

I’m really too young to be feeling this old.

I love you,


Hi … My Name is Nancy.

Negative, Nancy (In my best Sean Connery voice). All throughout middle and high school, people called me Daria. It would be years before I properly understood the reference. And yes. I am very much like her, olive-green jacket, army boots and all.

Except college has no lockers.

By the way this is an absolutely thrilling show about the travails of a young woman finding herself in the midst of consumerism,  pop culture, and peer pressure.

BLAH BLAH BLAH  Daria = cartoon Roze!!!

That being said, there always seems to be this cloud following me. And instead of being lined with silver  it occasionally rains asbestos. [I HATE clouds!!!]

Why is my life such a fart, you ask? {I have no idea how to punctuate that. Kudos to you, public school.} Mostly for a series of reasons I have concocted entirely on my own. It’s like A Beautiful Mind, except instead of making up secret operatives and omnipresent best friends, I hallucinate reasons NOT to be awesome. And then I ask strangers why they can’t see them. {If you haven’t seen this movie, EXIT! BLOG! NOW!!!}

Here’s a few of my hallucinations:

1. EVERYONE around me is in a relationship. … FALSE. It’s just hard to ignore obnoxious Siamese twins that spam Instagram with their organ-sharing gaiety.

2. The government is slowly stealing hours from the day. … FALSE. There are 24 of them, I counted once while “studying” for a final.

4. Discipline and perseverance will guarantee success in academia. … FALSE. … School is a trap engineered by alien scientists to stop us from building pyramids and communing with our ancestors.

… no wait, that was a real hallucination. I’m so sleepy…

5. I will never accumulate enough awesomeness in my mortal body to rival the likes of Beyoncé, Oprah, and Olivia Pope. … TRUE. [Can’t really contest that.] GAWD!! Scandal is cocaine and Shonda Rhimes is my PUSHER!!!

6. Professors think I’m only taking one class. HOW DARE your class need 6 textbooks!! I have 4 other like-minded instructors. I spend more time a day reading than Bobby Brown does trying to make his teeth touch! I have calluses on the index finger and thumb of my right hand, like I work out with q-tip dumbbells!

I can’t really think of anything else…

I keep asking my peers for bits of motivation, hoping I’ll stumble upon some golden truth that will cause all my chakras to align and I’ll ascend into heaven like Ray Lewis after the Superbowl. But that won’t happen. I won’t become a productive super saiyan overnight.

AAARGGHH!!! I just wanna wake up awesome one day.

The score will read Roze: 1 Life: 0. I currently reads an imaginary number for me. Like negative “i” or something as equally Ludacris. {That man will FOREVER taint the spelling of that word. Him and Fabolous}

I forget what I’m talking about. I’m tired! Bye!

… Apparently I over-use the word awesome. I’m getting help.

What 2011 Taught Me…

I know I’m a little… well quite tardy. (If this were class, I would have lost ALL attendance points) I had every intention of posting this on New Year’s Eve but I realized I needed to give it some thought. So now, after a long day of avoiding my responsibilities and shifting between my social networks, I’ve decided to gather my thoughts here. Christmas Break is over and I need to get back into the routine of posting quality updates…. so here goes.


Things 2011 Taught Me

1. HECK professors!

(Not really… unless it gets you a better grade and not kicked out.) Read the textbook and teach yourself. They’re there to review the material that you were SUPPOSED to learn on your own and assist your understanding.

2. STOP comparing yourself to others. Your path is your own. You’ve purposely surrounded yourself with successful and ambitious people for a reason. Help them celebrate their accomplishments, DO NOT envy  them.

3. Remember the plan (whatever your personal life plan is…) and stick to it. Obstacles may come and go but they are intended to test your metal. Who knows? They’re might be a giant Dairy Queen at the end waiting for you…. mmmm Dilly Bars! 😀

4. Stay true to yourself. Listen to your conscience. What good is all this effort, if at the end you’re not YOU to enjoy it?

5. If you want something done right you MUST do it yourself!

6. Loving someone DOES NOT equal being IN LOVE with that someone! Despite what the song says you CAN’T make love out of nothing at all.

7. Invest in yourself. Besides God (and maybe your Mom/spouse), no one can love you better than you can!

8. The Financial Aid Department at any school SUCKS ASS!!!! Yes they are after you, and no this doesn’t happen to everyone. They have a personal vendetta against you!

9. Stop saving your good clothes for “special occasions”. Wear them now. Rock a tuxedo to class. Sport a ball gown at the library. That way, if you get hit by a bus or choke on a toothpick, you will be the hottest thing your EMT has ever seen! Maybe they’ll show up at your bedside with flowers… can you say Grey’s Anatomy ROMANCE!!! There’s nothing like a near-death experience to put things into perspective. (Just ask Keanu Reeves’ and Sandra Bullocks’ characters in Speed)

10. Don’t assume loyalty from anyone. People are fickle little creatures.

11. First impressions are for more than handshakes and job interviews. Work hard on your dreams, assignments, and goals THE FIRST TIME; it’ll save you a lot of time and heartache.

12. School is not the end all be all. There are many paths to a dream; just like the many ways there are to skin a cat. (SN: Why would anyone want to skin a cat? When was cat fur stylish on the runways of Milan? Why is that a phrase?)

13. Don’t chase anyone! There are more than enough hours in a day, you make time for what you want. If you’re watching them tweet and wondering why they wont call, know that they have made their decision. Play Jay-Z’s “On to the Next”, do the robot in front of your mirror, and move along.

14. Strive to be as self-sufficient as possible; the confidence and pride you gain will be immeasurable.

Last but most certainly not least…

15. Dont worry about who doesn’t like you. Dont desire to be the person that everyone likes.  A) It’s way too much work to maintain the illusion  B) You’ll NEVER achieve it.

*Scroll through the list* SHEESH!!! I learned more outside the class room than in.

PS: 16. For those collegiate kiddies like myself, stop worrying about being broke. YOU WON’T have money in this stage of life. You can’t get a good job because you don’t have a degree yet. Stop killing yourself trying to save. Live within your means and enjoy your Ramen Noodle days, they wont last forever.