My obsession with self-development has grown in response to my obsession with memoirs. I love reading about how other people are figuring it out. Part of me believes that if I read enough advice, I will somehow skip a few steps and wake up one day a fully developed human adult.
That said, part of the reason I find these books so comforting is that they make the process of figuring it out sound like so much fun. They help my bad days feel like part of a wider picture rather than a series of unfortunate accidents. A bad week and the subsequent desire for that feeling was how I found myself re-reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) for the fourth (fifth?) time.
I love this book. Mindy explores the goods and bads of her life with a mix of sarcasm and earnestness anyone who has ever heard her speak will be familiar with. She always seems so fearless in her self-expression, something I admire and consistently fail to display in my own life. Mindy’s book is like a crash course in identifying what you want and expressing it, no messing around. One of my favourite examples of this is in the chapter where she talks about the difference between boys and men, and why she’s pretty much done dating the former.
I, as an almost-graduate, aspiring writer and current waitress also really enjoyed the chapters on pre-success Mindy. I really love a good failure story. Mindy does not shy away from the more embarrassing job interviews and auditions that she went through before she earned her spot on The Office writing staff.
In addition to the more embarrassing episodes, she also talks about experiencing a lack of motivation when it came to writing and the distractions that TV, and the internet, and your housemates provide, which also made me feel better. I don’t know about anyone else, but I often think that successful people are somehow magically immune from procrastination, and that my love of pinterest is probably the reason I will be serving sandwiches the rest of my life. But no! Mindy goes through it too!
What you take away from reading this book, I think, is the belief in potential okayness, a feeling pretty vital to the survival of most of us.