Why do I love Mindy Kaling so much? Is it because she’s adorable, hilarious, and has a killer sense of style? Is it because she writes so many girls-do-fart jokes on The Mindy Project? Is it because her real-life BFF’s name is Jocelyn, and that makes me feel a little bit like her BFF too?
Yes, it’s all those reasons and more. So when Why Not Me? came out, you better believe I bought it, ordered a pizza, and read it from cover to cover. I encourage you to read it too, and I’m going to entice you with a listicle! Because if there’s one thing our generation loves, it’s summarizing meaningful thoughts into lists!
5 Things I Learned from Mindy Kaling’s New Book, Why Not Me?
- What’s so wrong with effort, anyway?
In the book’s introduction, Mindy wonders why it’s a compliment to seem “effortless”. Why are we so fixated on making everything seem perfectly put together, without breaking a sweat? This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as a blogger. For instance, think of all the beautifully staged photos on Instagram. People drinking impeccably foamed lattes in bed with croissants and cool books? Not effortless! It takes work to make a good latte! And who eats croissants in bed? You’re going to be sleeping in flaky crumbs for days.
I get it, nobody wants to see a picture of me eating day-old casserole on the couch without makeup. But I’m also not going to pretend that my photoshoots are a piece of cake, either.
Mindy writes that if her formative years were about wanting people to like her, her current stage in life is about wanting people to know her. I think that’s a beautiful sentiment, which I hope I can apply to my blog and everyday life as well!
- Everyone in Hollywood wears hair extensions“The stenographer who doesn’t speak in that judge show you watch. The Long Island Medium. Clooney. Castle. EVERYBODY on the Today show, but no one in the Orange Room. The entire family getting a new house on Extreme Home Makeover, including the kids. Charlie Rose. The obese woman on . There are fabled stores of what exactly is on Jeremy Piven’s head”
- The gulf between a friend and a best friend is enormous and profoundThis isn’t something I necessarily learned from her book, but seeing it in writing really resonated with me. I’m in my mid-twenties, and although I still have a great group of supportive girlfriends, we’ve all seemed to shift into that stage in life where we have to focus on our careers, some of us are starting to make a life with our partners, and some are even starting to have children.
I’m probably never going to live with my best friends again. And that’s ok. But I am going to miss the things we can’t easily share anymore:
“Playful arguments would become fits of uncontrollable laughter, and, like magic, that experience would be crystallized into a private joke, and the private joke would get boiled down to a simple phrase, which became a souvenir of the entire experience”.
Some of my best friends have turned into friends – it’s sad, yes, but it’s also a natural part of growing up. I cherish my best friends (my BFFFFFs) because they are my ride or die peeps. I can call them any time of the day or night, I can be vulnerable with them, they empower me, and (this is rare in our day and age) they make time for me.
- Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled
I love Mindy Kaling’s No Fail, Always Works, Secret Guide to Confidence. You should read it, because it’s free and available on the internet. But I’ll tell you simply why I love it so much: Mindy doesn’t spew on and on about the importance of confidence (for young girls), instead she emphasizes that working hard is imperative and can be directly linked to confidence. She quotes Kevin Hart’s twitter bio, and I’m going to too:
“My name is Kevin Hart and I WORK HARD!!! That pretty much sums me up!!! Everybody Wants To Be Famous But Nobody Wants To Do The Work”
This can be applicable, even if you don’t want to be famous. Just sub out “Famous” with “Successful”.
- Even Mindy Kaling shows her entire friend group texts from her crush
I was sooooo looking forward to reading more about Mindy’s weird relationship with her “soup snake” (soulmate), B.J. Novak. And I wasn’t disappointed – the essay was heartfelt and adorable 🙂 I was also pleasantly surprised to read another chapter in which she talked about dating…and how she dissected each text from her crush with her entire friend group! When she received a text, she would immediately show it to her posse to determine what the underlying meaning of each message could be. They also helped her to craft replies, or gave her advice on when to text back. Ha! I can’t count the number of lunch breaks I’ve spent, writing back to my single friends’ crushes. He he he, reading it gave me a good laugh!