Life Lessons From Amy Poehler's "Yes Please"

28 January 2015

I finished my first book off of my 2015 reading list! A little late in the game, but whatevs. Amy Poehler's Yes Please consists of 327 glossy pages full of humor, dirty jokes, and just a liiiiiitttle bit of insight. Okay, I lied, a lot of insight. Here are 14 things I learned while reading Yes Please

1. Pick your currency. There are things inside of you that will get you far in life, you just have to decide what it is. "Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier." 

2. Always apologize. Don't not apologize because of your ego or because of shame or because you're embarrassed. "Shame makes people abandon their children and drink themselves to death. It also keeps us from true happiness. An apology is a glorious release."

3. Famous people knit too. Knitting is cool. Period.

4. The pudding isn't what is important. Amy talks about being nominated for awards. She discusses how you really think you don't want the pudding, then you get nominated and you begin to want it, then you don't win it, and you're upset over something you didn't even want in the first place. She talks about all the fun stuff she's done at award shows. I don't know, I guess you would have to read the chapter to understand this part. (READ IT!) "The lessons? Women are mighty. George Clooney loves bits. Doing something together is often more fun than doing it alone. And you don't always have to win to get the pudding." 

5. One night of good sleep can change your life. "Sleep can completely change your entire outlook on life. One good night's sleep can help you realize that you shouldn't break up with someone, or you are being too hard on your friend, or you actually will win the race or the game or get the job. Sleep helps you win at life." 

6. You have to work for what you want. "The reality is, most people become 'famous' or get great jobs' after a very, very long tenure shoveling shit and not because they handed their script to someone on the street...People don't want to hear about the fifteen years of waiting tables and doing small shows with your friends until one of them gets a little famous and they convince people to hire you."

7. Creativity is your life line. "Creativity is the stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world. It is a really warm Hispanic lady who has a beautiful laugh and loves to hug. If you are even a little bit nice to her she will make you feel great and maybe cook you delicious food." 

8. Time travel exists. People, places, and things can take you back to a time that you thought you could never go back to. "Time moves too slow or too fast. But I know a secret. You can control time. You can stop it or stretch it or loop it around. You can travel back and forth by living in the moment and paying attention. Time can be a bitch if you just let go of the 'next' and the 'before.'" 

9. Death sucks. Death teaches us a lot of things. "I realized that life is not fair or safe or even ours to own."

10. Take time to look at the moon. Isn't there something special knowing that somebody a million miles away is looking at the same moon that you are? "Every time I look at the moon, I feel less alone and less afraid. I tell my boys that moonlight is a magic blanket and the stars above us are campfires set by friendly aliens." 

11. Parties with famous people aren't that great. The end.

12. Helping out is helping out, it doesn't matter why. "I wondered if I was doing this for some kind of ego trip. Then I decided I didn't care. Not enough is made of the fact that being of service makes you feel good. I think nonprofits should guarantee that giving your time and money makes your skin better and your ass smaller. Why not? There are so many people in the world with so little. Who cares why you decide to help?"

13. People are very bad and very good. A little love goes a long way.

14. Our phones and the internet are trying to kill us. "So far, the only good things I have seen come out of this recent technological renaissance are video-chatting with your grandparents, online dating, and being able to attend traffic school on your computer." 

I really think I'm in love with her, for reals y'all. You can get Yes Please here on Amazon. READ IT!

Putting Yourself First

26 January 2015

Everybody has that one really complicated friendship or relationship. You know the kind, right? We have somebody in our lives who can literally do no wrong (at least in our eyes). Somebody who, no matter what happens, will always get the gift of us constantly defending them. As time goes by, we have constant battles within our own brains where we wonder WHY are we even bothering with somebody who doesn't deserve a single thought from us in the first place.

At the point of life that I'm in now, I've decided that this is when the decisions I'm making are going to start to really matter. This is when I am basically deciding my future - what I'm going to do, who I'm going to be, and most importantly, who I really want to surround myself with. Who am I going to rely on to make my life worth living?

I've decided that I want to make a more conscious effort to really consider who I am surrounding myself with. If I've learned one thing my whole life, it's that people aren't always who you want to believe they are. Discovering who somebody truly is can be one of the most heartbreaking things in the world. Nothing is more difficult than deciding to cut yourself off from somebody who you want so badly to just be different.

There comes a point in your adolescence (if 20 years old is even considered adolescence) where you have to cut the negative people out. You have to consciously end the cycles that exist in your life. You have to move on from people who are holding you back. You can't expect to see a change in your life if you are always doing the same things.

It takes a really big person to be able to realize what make ultimately makes you better. Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's really, really messy, but in the end, I can bet you it's worth it.

The Concept of Empathy

08 January 2015

Everybody knows what empathy is, right? If not, let me quickly just define it for you... Empathy is the ability to share and understand the feelings of someone else. It's such a simple concept, it something we can all understand, yet for some reason, we, as humans, cannot seem to get it.

Everyday as we go through our life, we are mainly just thinking about ourselves. It's not bad, and I'm not calling anybody out, it's just human nature. That's just the way we were made. We live our lives thinking about how to get through our hardships and our problems. We can sit in a room full of people, listen to them talk, and still only be thinking about our problems. We can sit there for hours thinking about what is wrong with our lives, we can tell our best friends all about what's going on, and we expect them to just drop everything and be able to understand what we are going through. Yet, why can we not do the same for them? The reason is - it's simply just too hard for us to accept that somebody else's problems just might be greater than ours. 

Sure, humans are made to be sympathetic and empathetic, but humans are also made to be selfish and wild. We are made to look out for ourselves, and that's just the way it is. How do we fix this? How do make it so that empathy prevails? Before you can feel empathetic for somebody I believe (now, this is just my opinion) that you have to truly be able to listen to them and care about what they are saying. You have to be ready to 100% forget about whatever you are dealing with. It's not something that you can just do. That's the difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy is feeling for someone, and empathy is feeling with someone. 

I'm not a genius on the subject, and I definitely don't know the science behind empathy and sympathy at all... This post was just inspired by something one of my professors said in class, and I thought it was interesting. 

What do you guys think?

My 2015 Reading List

04 January 2015

In 2015, I'll be turning 20. Isn't that such a weird time? Like I will no longer be a teenager, I will be entering my twenties... How is this even possible?!!? Turning 20 is such a pivotal time especially for a young woman, so I decided to hit Google and research books that women in their 20's must read (according to a bunch of internet enthusiasts). I glimpsed the summaries and picked some books from a bunch of lists, and here is what I came up with.

So there are like 20-something books on my reading list, and I'm sure I will stick some more on here or take some off, but for right now - this is what it's gonna be. And being completely honest, I don't even know if there is any way I could even finish 20 books in a year with school and whatever else I do, so this may roll over onto my 2016 reading list. This year, I am going to try to do more book reviews on the blog, so hopefully you'll be hearing more about these books as the year goes on. 

If you need some books to read and are in about the same age range as I am - look them up! Now most of these are probably more for women, but men, feel free to take a peek because I'm sure there are some for you too! The links lead to Amazon, where you can read a summary and buy them yourself (usually for cheaper)!

First Draft

Hello 2015...

03 January 2015

How is it already 2015? How is it that we are already entering another year filled with mystery, confusion, fun and excitement? Every single year, we all make resolutions to "do this" and "do that," but after about three weeks, we seem to have forgotten that we weren't supposed to eat chocolate or say the "s-word." We don't mean to forget, life just kind of gets in the way and all of a sudden, it's like we never even made those promises to ourselves. I guess promises are meant to be broken.

Instead of making resolutions and promises that I know I'm going to break, this year I decided it would be easier to live my life a certain way. I am deciding to take one word and try to apply it to my life as often as I can. 

My word of 2015 is pause                                                                                                                                 

pause: a temporary stop; a period of time in which something is stopped before it is started again - a reason to consider something.

We often are running around frantically and trying to finish all the things on our to do list. We are just continuously marking things off that little symbolic piece of paper, but why? Why do we earn our money just to save it? Why do we go on adventures just to forget about them years later? This year, I am making a promise to myself to just stop and pause.

I want my life to be remembered, even if it is just by me. I want to spend my money on something I will never forget. I want to take a million pictures of one stupid, beautiful sunset. I want to pause, and think about why I am doing what I am doing. I want to take the time to just slow down and think about all that I have. I want to be reminded of the things I value and hold close to me. 

Pause and see what your life is really all about. I hope as the year goes on, I can hold this word close to me. I hope I can truly come to see the beauty of everything in my life. 

Do you have a word of 2015? 

ps: how do you like the new look for the blog?