Amy Poehler is just great. My love for her began fairly recently, in the last couple of years, when I began watching Parks and Recreation. The character of Lesley Knope is also Just Great. I have a lovely hardback copy of Yes Please, but I ended up listening to it on audio book because Amy Poehler reads it, alongside some of her comedy chums. I really recommend the audio book version, but also the physical copy for its super high quality colour pages and adorable baby-Poehler pictures. The book covers Poehler's childhood and teen years growing up in suburban Massachusetts, her discovery of comedy and improv and her years living in Chicago, the founding of the Upright Citizens Brigade, and her move to New York and job at Saturday Night Live. She also covers divorce, children, charity, and drugs. Her anecdotes are vivid and funny and honest. And there's a big Parks and Rec section. So I was pleased all round really. Yes. Please.
Five moments I loved in Yes Please:
1- The demon voice. I loved this image as it felt very true to dealing with body image issues:
"That voice that talks so badly to you is a demon voice. This very patient and determined demon shows up in your bedroom one day and refuses to leave. You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away. It tells you that you are fat and ugly and you don't deserve love. And the scary part is the demon is your own voice. But it doesn't sound like you. It sounds like a strangled and seductive version of you. Think Darth Vader or an angry Lauren Bacall. The good news is there are ways to make it stop talking. The bad news is it never goes away."2- Amy's essential motto for women. A really useful way of avoiding woman on woman hate:
"Good for her! Not for me."
3- Treat your career like a bad boyfriend:
"Ambivalence is key to success... 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... Remember, your career is a bad boyfriend. It likes when you don't depend on it. It will reward you every time you don't act needy. It will chase you if you act like other things (passion, friendship, family, longevity) are more important to you. If your career is a bad boyfriend, it is healthy to remember you can always leave and go sleep with somebody else."4- Everything changes:
"The only thing we can depend on in life is that everything changes. The seasons, our partners, what we want and need. We hold hands with out high school friends and swear to never lose touch, and then we do. We scrape ice off our cars and feel like winter will never end, and it does. We stand in the bathroom and look at our face and say, 'Stop getting old, face. I command you!' and it doesn't listen. Change is the only constant. You ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being. See what I just did there? I saved you thousands of dollars on self-help books."5- Yes Please:
"I love saying 'yes' and I love saying 'please.' Saying 'yes' doesn't mean I don't know how to say no, and saying 'please' doesn't mean I am waiting for permission. 'Yes please' sounds powerful and concise. It's a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real women. It's also a title I can tell my kids. I like when they say 'Yes please' because most people are rude and nice manners are the secret keys to the universe."