Not Oprah’s Book Club: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Mindy Kaling has been making people laugh for a while–and from what I read in her memoir it wasn’t always on purpose. Kaling, a comedian, writer and sometimes actor in the awesomely hilarious show The Office, has a book out, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. It is a memoir of sorts, that is a series of lists, memories, pictures and anecdotes about growing up in the suburbs, hard work, girlfriends, boyfriends and getting her dream job. It is a coming of age story–the kind that defines a type of American experience (which must be why it is ranked number 1 on Amazon in “american history” cuz that like totally makes sense…uh).

So, while I was on vacation this past month, I read Kaling’s book in one sitting, enjoyed it thoroughly and related to it so much in parts it almost embarrassed me (because every hip desi wants to be their own unique special star even if we all live in Brooklyn, you homogenizing oppressors). And there was also a lot of it, I didn’t relate to, but that is OK. I might joke about wanting to be Mindy Kaling (and be kindof serious about that joke) but Kaling and I are actually different people, a fact I am sure she is very relieved about.

Anyway, before this digression gets even weirder, here are 5 things I learned reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns),

  1. Being a successful person after being an overlooked nerd in high school is in fact the sweetest revenge and justice in the world. It heals you from your past, gives you tons of writing material, a justified sense of accomplishment but keeps you from obsessing about how it could have been different.
  2. Being completely obsessed with what you love and continually working on whatever that thing is, is a good way to ensure success at it.
  3. Having a job as a comedy writer is the best job ever. It’s also really hard.
  4. Everyone suffers from body issues no matter how hot, fabulous, successful or famous they are. It is just one of those things about our society that can die and fuck off forever.
  5. Having a solid group of lady friends is the bottom line of any successful lady life. End of story.

Kaling’s book was super honest and made me feel good about the path that I have taken for myself, as a writer and speaker. You can’t really ask for much more in a book, so I would recommend you pick it up if you too were an overlooked nerdchild with an interest in one day being some type of superstar–feminist or otherwise.

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