Reflections on Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please”

I love ready…. Like, I reaaaaaly love reading but for some reason I often find myself doing less and less of it. Especially when there’s a lot of other things going on. I think the C19 days have been interesting for maintaining habits and staying in alignment with goals and the vision. I pray that, as we get used to the “new normal” we learn to work around these times and #become better versions of ourselves. That being said, this month I bring you my thoughts from Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please.”

ON IDENTITY

With this being women’s month I have to start with this one:

“Women are mighty.”

Amy Poehler does a great job at reminding us that womxn, regardless of what they are up to, are extremely powerful. This line spoke to inter-sectional feminism in a beautiful way. Remember that you are might, that the things you do are amazing and that you can always do great things!

With that, there is a reminder of us setting the precedent for who we want to be. It can get easy to go with the motions, existing without fully living and, to that, Amy notes:

“In three short years Chicago had taught me that I could decide who I was.”

Woah…. What if we all learnt this lesson! I was noting this in a journal post this week – the idea of defining who I was that is (watch out for a post in the future). More often than we would like to admit, we can allow situations and circumstances to determine who we are, who we become. Remember that you can always decide who you are and you’re allowed to be a different you 10 minutes from now… Even 1 second from now.

So then Amy says (Yes, please… We’re on first name basis now. Hahaha):

“I had already made a decision early on that I would be a plain girl with tons of personality, and accepting it made everything a lot easier.”

Accept who you are and just move one! Seriously!! I know it’s easier said than done but imagine if we were unapologetic about who we are; about what we stand for; about all of our “selves”.

Finally, on the topic of identity:

“every few years one needs to shake one’s life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon.”

This brings on the value of introspection, thorough introspection at that. It’s important to sit down with self, review self, review your life’s trajectory and see where you are and where you are headed. We often ignore this part of life, leading to poor choices and bad decisions because we don’t realize we’re on a downward spiral. Introspection further allows us to remove the unwanted parts (the sieve analogy here works so well). The bad stuff can be moved and disposed during these times and that’s an important part of introspection.

ON CELEBRATING EVERY MOMENT

“Talk to Yourself Like You’re Ninety”

What would your 90-year old self say to you? I had an assignment from my therapist to write a letter to my future self the other day and this statement here hit hard (read “has” as “have” because that is is hard y’all). This statement reminded me that there’s going to come a time when you look back at the moments you’ve truly lived your life and you”ll have to evaluate your past choices. Enjoy life in a way that would make your 90-year old self regret-less.

It can get easy to fret over every moment. I can attest to the fact that the desire for productivity and “accomplishing” things often stands in the way of experiencing the moment you’re in. Yes, these things are important but, sometimes, the most exciting part of getting to the destination is the journey. To that, Amy says,

“Young and old need to relax in the moment and live where they are. Be Here Now, like the great book says.”

Have you ever felt sad because you didn’t “get the price”? Maybe you were in a competition and got second place – great accomplishment – but feel like because you weren’t first there’s no need to celebrate. Amy calls that first place “the pudding” and says,

“And you don’t always have to win to get the pudding”

Imagine looking over everything with an attitude that finds, and appreciates, the smallest wins. Listen, you’re winning right now! You’re winning in your spaces! You’re winning as you take strides towards your goals. Just because you didn’t “get the pudding” doesn’t mean you’re not winning.

ON ESTABLISHING A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM

I was talking to one of my best friends yesterday (Yes, please. I have 2) and we were recounting some of the “fun” things we got up to in high school. I look back on those moments, now, and realize there are so many things I wouldn’t have had the guts to do if she wasn’t doing them with you. Amy agrees, too, because

“It’s easier to be brave when you’re not alone.”

Sometimes we spend so much time trying to prove ourselves to people who are not on our side; who do not see the bigger picture and; who don’t recognise the potential in us to “get things done”. Amy says:

“My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported that choice.”

If you have people who support you (and call you out in love of course), you will be souring and producing the results. I read this twice when I read the book because #facts.

… And, remember:

“Doing something together is often more fun than doing it alone.”

ON CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

First of all,

“Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend”

(Or bad girlfriend). You’ll thank Amy and I later.

This next one doesn’t even need my commentary.

“You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.”

ON UNCERTAINTY

I leave you with this last one:

“Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably read it again in the future… For now, though, I have an exam in the morning so “so long”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s