I adore Shonda Rhimes. I’m reading her first book… Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. From the time I was 6 years old I knew I wanted to be on a Television show as an actor for a living. I did it, became a professional actor….then got sidetracked for a few years. Now I’m back and it feels good to be home.
Life as an actor is filled with rejection and it is super easy to get caught up in negativity. I have to admit, I’m used to no. In an odd way, I’m comfortable with no. My family is awesome and I love them and they are also very connected with no. I recently moved to a new neighborhood, and the apartment is right across the street from a Jamacian beef patty. My first night, a tanker truck arrived at 2:30am and made their delivery of what I found out later was flour. It was super loud and lasted about 3 hours. I was up all night and livid. The tanker truck came back two days later…at the same time. I spoke with the driver, who told me that he always felt guilty…making the delivery knowing that people in the neighborhood were trying to sleep and that it would serve me well to speak to the manager and request that the delivery time be changed. So I started taking videos and posting on You Tube… click here to watch one. Then I spoke to the manager, who blew me off. So I talked to the neighbors who said that yes the tanker truck was annoying, but that it wasn’t going to change so why bother.
I decided to be a bother. I videoed the truck documenting the dates and times. I called 311. I contacted the company via social media with links to the videos. Nothing happened. So, I posted the video on CBS news NYC’s FB page.
That day the news desk contacted me…they had already sent out a news crew to interview me. We did an interview, it was on the 5:00 news that night and within 24 hours of the broadcast, the police contacted me to check on the situation. The police visited the factory and told them if every time I reported a 2:30am delivery, an officer would come and give them a summons for a $1000.00 ticket. The factory was breaking the rules by making deliveries at that time in a residential area. Needless to say… the factory changed their schedule and now the neighborhood can sleep.
I told my Dad that story and he said…”Well… you know those Jamacians…they are gonna come after you. You shouldn’t have done that.” Big no. I ignored my dad…and noticed the no.
My family says no because no is safe and comfortable. I love my family with all my heart and the strict upbringing of living in no protected me in many ways. No is safe. Saying no creates structures and boundaries. Saying no can also keep us isolated and living in a false reality of safety.
I’ve noticed that the biggest moments of growth, meaning and life lessons have been when I have said yes. When I say yes…magic happens and my life moves forward in ways that are beyond the scope of what I thought possible. When I finally said yes…my relationship is not working and released my emotional attachment to my ex I was free. When I say yes…I must leave my apartment and find a place where 75% of my income is dedicated toward paying a greedy asshole of a landlord who gives me a month’s notice after 5 years which amounted to me paying $ 86,400.00 in rent….oh that shit pisses me off. I’m taking a breath….. Saying yes to letting go of that fucked up energy set me free to find the resources to learn how to better manage my money and create a strategy to build financial wealth and stability for myself on my own.
As I read Shonda Rimes Year of Yes how to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person I am inspired to resolve this year in 2015 to live in YES.
I am publicly setting my first of three resolutions for 2016. I’ve been thinking about this since the summer… in 2016 I am living in yes. Taking the year to just say yes to the experiences that I would normally shy away from. To say yes to opportunities. To live in yes.
What do you need to say yes to in your life?
Who’s with me? Just say…yes.