Year of Yes- Shonda Rhimes

I have a very structured lifestyle. I work Mondays through Fridays and spend the weekend cleaning and prepping for the coming work week. On Sundays, I hang out at a friend’s place- usually the same friend’s place. My life is boring, I know that. Alexa please play me, “Cry Me a River” by Justine Timberlake. 

My Shonda Rhimes Moment

I started to feel trapped in this lifestyle, so I reached out to a friend for support. After a one-hour-long conversation, I realized that I needed to relax and be more open. I too had my Shonda Rhimes moment and just like Shonda, I have chosen to say Yes to everything for the rest of 2021 and so far, the process has been both rewarding and scary.

Risking it All For My Year of Yes

I said Yes to going to a party on a Sunday evening; knowing I had work the next day. The party turned out to be shit and we couldn’t afford anything at the club, so we left and found a Suya spot around Falomo and ate ram Suya while we bantered till late into the night.

I have said Yes to having more friends- straight and otherwise. Although, I think life gets messy when too many people call you “their friend”. So when people try to know me past the surface (where I work, what I eat and which clubs I support), I shut the door on them. But I am keeping that door open against my default judgment.

I’ve said Yes to gifts from my girlfriend.  My “I don’t want Wahala” is on steroids. So my hitherto thinking has always been, In case we don’t work out, I don’t want her to regret much. And this was not a decision I made. It must have been a reactionary mindset that developed growing up; watching my mum suffer emotionally being separated from my father.

Saying No To Anxiety

I’ve said Yes to things that anxiety would ordinarily not allow me to do. Like, taking the public bus at night. Or Like local travel. Like staying late at work to do some extra reading. We hear so many bad stories in the news and because of that, I’m always trying to keep safe. Sometimes too safe to the point of not venturing into the public at all.

I’m hoping that as the year rolls out, I can say Yes to many more things. The goal for me is to challenge my beliefs and hopefully live more memorably.

When I called my dear Friend Yela and said, I was going through the longest bout of anxiety in my adult life, he said, “Tobi, you need to be more open to life”. “How?”, I asked and he explained that by being more vulnerable and more courageous.

And as I’ve toured this new mindset, I can report that I’ve experienced shorter anxiety episodes. So perhaps, “Being more open” is how to make 2021 my Year of Yes