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

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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,

Roze

A Week Without Netflix

Well, a work week.  Actually, ” A Monday through Friday Afternoon Without Netflix” would be a more appropriate title.

It started out so noble. smh.

Anecdotal Introduction:

[Group therapy setting with counselor that looks suspiciously similar to Brown Sugar actress and Black People Movies starlet Sanaa Lathan]

Group Counselor: “Please stand, say your name, and own your shame.”

Roze: “Roze… *Counselor Lathan stares entreatingly* … Goes?”

Sanaa: “Now, to the group, name your shame!”

Roze: *rises slowly from creaky/rusted/tan/ metal folding chair* “My name is Roze,  *throat clenches* and I am addicted to Netflix!”

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Sanaa Lathan: Roze, When did you first fall in love with Hip-Hop Netflix? {I KNEW IT!}

End Anectode

My earliest  memories of Netflix started around 2010. I was about two years into undergrad, and they were only brief flashes. At a friend’s house, glancing over at a neighboring computer in the library. Stolen passwords and shared accounts. Being kicked off from too many users; the beginnings of a relationship.

We got serious a few years ago. I struck out on my own, cable was expensive, and I needed something stable. Netflix was there for me. When my work was unfulfilling and I didn’t feel creative. When I wanted to go adventuring, but couldn’t be bothered to put on pants. When I wanted to learn something new, but was still too shell-shocked from undergrad.

[Narrator from Snapped voice] But soon, the honeymoon would be over…

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I was refusing invites. I told myself I was saving money. Watched Friday nights melt away and soothed myself with BBC mystery shows set in quaint old-timey villages. I was in a rut. Putting off real life for imagined ones. Busying myself with nothing. We were spiraling; co-dependent.

co dependent

One day it got to be too much. My fingers stained orange from the bags and bags of hot fries. My bonnet had fallen off long ago. I could hardly recognize myself.

I was only then that I realized I didn’t NEED it. I didn’t HAVE to live this way. I could make another choice. The choice to get out.

It was hard at first. SO reflexive. Fill the silence with Netflix. I would roll over in the night and my fingers would find the power button almost on their own. So easily accessible, the both of us. But I needed to change. I did.

One afternoon melded into another, one week became two, and then it hit me. I had gone WEEKS without Netflix. I was better, stronger, faster. *makes bionic man sounds with mouth*

Now, we’re more casual. We see each other on the weekends, and I’m fine with it. I busy myself with the hobbies Netflix kept me too hopped up to remember. I read. I’m back to making crochet crop tops. I’m planning for my future.

Anyway. You’re sitting on the couch… 

This week, challenge yourself to quit something. At least Monday through Friday afternoon. Learn to crochet. Say yes a few more times. Spend a little more time outside. Take a trip. Quit your job. Stare directly into the eclipse. Blind yourself! Be adventurous!

Roze Goes,

I missed you! (yes, you!)

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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.