It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Mindy Kaling. I was super excited to hear she was writing a second book, and seriously contemplated going to a book signing of hers in Washington DC. (Why, Mindy, why could you not come to the South?!) But, I went to work like a good adult, and now I have to live with that decision.
Why Not Me? showcases more of Kaling’s college years, dating life, and her work load on her television series. Man, just reading her schedule made me exhausted. She maybe clocks five hours a sleep most nights. I have come to find out that I require about ten hours of sleep to feel rested. This chick is acting, writing, producing and whatever else her job requires of her throughout the day, and she’s running on half of my sleep schedule! What can this girl not do?
She finally describes her relationship with best friend, B.J. Novak. They worked together on The Office, and to thinly quote Caroline Manzo from Housewives of New Jersey, “they’re thick as thieves.” I realize that’s a quote everyone knows, but does anyone really know who originally said it? (And if you do, don’t be a jerk and comment who did). Kaling says of her and Novak’s relationship as quote “soup snakes.” A term from an episode of The Office where Michael tries to describe his relationship with Holly. It’s like soul mates, but not quite. I realize that clears nothing up, but you would just have to read it for it to make sense.
What I really love from the book is the advice she gives that I have found totally relatable. Indulge me while I relay a few quotes.
On achieving fame: “I want to be a better person because I don’t want to disappoint those girls. I stop and think about my actions more. I tip great, I try not to swear too much, and I remember to thank people and be grateful.” Words that especially us teachers (and all women) should carry.
When a guy she liked didn’t make the effort: “…because I knew the truth, which is if someone really wants to see you, they always find a way. Always.” Something I hope that my middle school students will understand.
On hard work: “It’s just that, the truth is, I have never, ever, ever met a highly confident and successful person who is not what a movie would call a ‘workaholic’.”
And why you need a bit of bravery: “…I just don’t hate myself. I do idiotic things all the time…but I don’t let everything traumatize me. And the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don’t hate themselves.”
And after reading, I felt inspired to be a bit braver, to be more confident, and to try harder to instill those qualities in the middle school girls I teach.