“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 found this quote over the summer in what is now one of my favorite books, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, owner of Shondaland and TGIT. With the return of Grey’s, Scandal, and the whole shabang next week, I found myself wondering about what it would be like to have a “Year of Yes”. Think about it, one year wherebridge-beauty you learn to say yes to all the things that you hold yourself back from (within reason). A year of allowing yourself to become so much more than you already are…

Not only would you discover the potential your life has, but you just might also manage to fall in love with yourself along the way.

These days, I’m starting to think that loving who you are might just be where it all begins— the happiness, the success, all the love and care we seek from others. It begins with loving ourselves.

Let’s say you went out to the store and bought a new pair of shoes or a hat that you liked and all your friends told you that you looked amazing in it. What’s your first reaction? Do you A. take the compliment, smile, and buy it or B. look down, say “I don’t know, I don’t think I could pull it off,” and return it to its shelf?

I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who would take option B without much though to it. Or at least I used to be. (Did you get the pun?)

Just like the President of the United States changed today, so did my mindset. In catching up with an old friend, I’m starting to realize that we cannot truly get anywhere in this life and have it mean anything to us if we don’t find a way to love who we are and where we’re are in this moment. raging-watersThink about it, we come with our successes, our flaws, and everything in between. Without them, we might get a little too boring to find the motivation to push past it all to where we want to be.

That’s part of what makes us who we are, and we have to be okay with that.

On Christmas Eve last year, I made a permanent decision in my life that will stay with me forever. One that some may view as reckless and others may see as just a “phase” or a trend. But this decision meant a lot to me.

I got a tattoo.

I got it for a lot of reasons and I will never regret a single one of them because if it’s permanent, it’s got to mean something big. Part of the decision was me saying yes to myself, to who I am and my own capabilities. The other part of it was and always will be a reminder that I am flawed, I am strong, I am loved, and I am already everything I will ever need to be for the people who matter in my life. Including myself.

Sometimes self-love means chasing the things that you want with everything you are, despite any obstacles or boundaries standing in your way. How else are we supposed to find our limits, test the waters of the world, and discover everything we are? Like Shonda said, There are no rules.

So this week, I am issuing you a challenge. Do something that scares you, dance in the rain,
take a compliment, or even just find a way to take a step in the direction towards what you want for yourself. It can be a goal to get healthy, to study a little more, spend more time with the people you love, or even just spend five minutes every night thinking about everything you did
rigcity-lightsht that day. Because this is your Year of Yes and no matter where you are at in your life, you deserve to love yourself as much as so many people around you already do.

I hope you accept my challenge and I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

One last thing, my poetry section is now up in my blog, under the tag Poetry Place! I hope you’re as excited to explore the gems the literary world has to offer with me, because this is only the beginning.

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