<strong>T</strong>he latest addition to the bandwagon of female comedic memoir and essay compilations is <em>Yes Please</em>, by former <em>Saturday Night Live</em> (SNL) cast member and official Tina Fey sidekick, Amy Poehler.
I’ll be honest, most of my time reading this book I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, “this is not as funny as ________(Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, Rachel Dratch, Chelsea Handler, etc.). I’ve read a lot of memoirs and, in our less-literate society, funny memoirs seem to be having a very popular moment, which is great, but it has left me with high expectations for laugh out loud humour.
I’m sure Poehler knew when she was writing that her book was going to be overwhelmingly compared to Tina Fey’s <em>Bossypants</em>, which years before received seriously good reviews. And I did just that.
Her life in comedy has crossed paths with Fey so much that when reading about her time leading up to <em>SNL</em> I was bored because I felt like I’d read that story already in <em>Bossypants</em>.
Fast forward to <em>SNL,</em> and replace Jimmy Fallon for Seth Meyers, and those stories were nearly identical. But that’s not Poehler’s fault and, despite what may seem so far like a negative review, I loved this book.
The moment I realized I loved the book was when I realized that Amy Poehler didn’t really care if I liked it.
Nestled in the final quarter of the book is a gem of inspiration where Poehler talks about working hard and what she was working for. She talks about awards, media coverage, and reviews and how that’s exciting, but at the end of that day none of it matters. I know, I know, it’s a cliché, but stay with me.
You have to care about your work, but not the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not how good other people think you are.
As someone raised in the traditional Western education environment, I feel like my mind has been programmed to require constant praise and approval. I’ve relied on grades and parent-teacher interviews to find out how successful of a human I am. Now I rely on retweets to confirm that I’m as funny and insightful as I think I am and I’m chasing down professors to reassure me that my brain function is up to university standards.
Amy Poehler fucking gets it. Her book brought my attention toward my own life and struggles as a millennial chasing feedback to make me feel validated when really, we should all take note from her book. Instead of getting caught up in the fight to have others validate us and our work, we should consider our own opinion.
Consider how hard you feel you work instead of how hard someone else says you did. Consider whether or not <em>you </em>are proud of the person you are today instead of just your parents.
Read Poehler’s book, laugh a bit, and think a lot about your opinion of yourself instead of somebody else’s.