Let me start by saying that is not a gushing love letter for "Grey’s Anatomy" or "Scandal" (although I do love both), but a long overdue thank you letter to a woman that inspires me in probably every aspect of my life. While Shonda Rhimes is not a theatrical or entertainment lighting designer that I aspire to be, she is the example of a strong, intelligent, funny, and genuine woman who makes her own dreams come true. I read, "Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out," "Stand in the Sun," and "Be Your Own Person" as a part of my sorority’s book club earlier this year and I still think about it every couple of days.
There is something about storytelling that draws me in not only as a profession word salad chef, but also as a designer in a world where things always seem set in stone. Shonda Rhimes has woven together hundreds of stories in her incredibly successful TV series, but has also shared a part of her own personal story in "Year of Yes."
I think goal setting is incredibly important, but I know that New Year’s resolutions are often met with initial excitement and then failure by February. Here are some inspiring quotes from Shonda Rhimes to get you excited for the New Year and motivated all the way through 2017.
- "You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who writes every day, so start writing. You don't have a job? Get one. Any job. Don't sit at home waiting for the magical opportunity. Who are you? Prince William? No. Get a job. Go to work. Do something until you can do something else."
- "A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It's a hashtag. It's you, sitting on your butt, typing on your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show. I do it all the time. For me, it's "Game of Thrones." Volunteer some hours. Focus on something outside yourself. Devote a slice of your energies towards making the world suck less every week.”
- ""Cynicism is a choice. Optimism is a better choice." My mantra for the season and for LIFE right now.”
- "Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change.”
- “I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people are busy doing.”
- “Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”
- “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy,” she says. “But he is not the sun. You are.”
- “You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than."
- "The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to."
- “I need to believe that Beyoncé’s life is perfect. It keeps me going.”
- “Everyone’s got some greatness in them. You do. The girl over there does. That guy on the left has some. But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it.”
- “I realized a very simple truth: that success, fame, having all my dreams come true would not fix or improve me, it wasn't an instant potion for personal growth. Having all my dreams come true only seemed to magnify whatever qualities I already possessed.”
- “Being traditional is not traditional anymore.”
- “If you are a kid and you are out there and you are chubby and not so cute and nerdy and shy and invisible and in pain, whatever your race, whatever your gender, whatever your sexual orientation, I’m standing here to tell you: You are not alone. Your tribe of people, they are out there in the world. Waiting for you.”
- “At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.”
- “My dreams did not come true. But I worked really hard. And I ended up building an empire out of my imagination.”
- “Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward. You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new.”