Happy Thanksgiving! May you have a wonderful holiday with friends and/or family.
Before we enjoy our turkey and trimmings, let’s dish about a topic so big it needs three separate posts.
Are you a badass?
The Urban Dictionary says (among other things) that a badass is:
“The epitome of the American male. He radiates confidence in everything he does, whether it’s ordering a drink, buying a set of wheels, or dealing with women. He’s slow to anger, brutally efficient when fighting back.
The badass carves his own path. He wears, drives, drinks, watches, and listens to what he chooses, when he chooses, where he chooses, uninfluenced by fads or advertising campaigns. Badass style is understated but instantly recognizable. Like a chopped Harley or a good pair of sunglasses: simple, direct, and functional.”
Note that the badass is listed as a “he.”
Yet television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes
has carved her own path, reaching the pinnacle of television success in an environment that continues to limit opportunities for women and minorities.
This success, however, is not what makes Shonda Rhimes a badass. It’s the way she confronted her self-imposed limits, which had taken her joie de vivre from her.
In her new book Year of Yes
, Ms. Rhimes tells of a moment when she realized her life had become too much about work and not enough about play. “You never say yes to anything,” her sister said…so Rhimes decided to say yes to everything that scared her. And, though Rhimes is a first-class badass, she’s scared by a lot. She considers herself shy and introverted, so speaking in public, as she did at the 92Y
a few weeks ago, is a challenge.
In a book that is often laugh-out-loud funny, Rhimes writes the way she would talk to a friend. She reflects on speaking at graduation ceremonies, interviewing with Oprah, and more. In the Year of Yes, she learned to say “yes” to saying “no.”
As the year passed, with layers of shyness removed (along with a lot of excess weight), she blossomed…and she tells us we can, too.
The Year of Yes wasn’t always fun and games. Sometimes she had to say “yes” to ending friendships that weren’t as healthy as she imagined them to be. Saying yes often brought pain and discomfort.
But a badass always prevails.
Nadine Galinsky Feldman is the author of The Foreign Language of Friends and the upcoming What She Knew, available March 2016. If you enjoy this blog, please consider purchasing a book or signing up for the newsletter to be kept informed of upcoming promotions and giveaways.