“A word about apologizing: It’s hard to do it without digging yourself in deeper. It’s also scary and that’s why we avoid the pain. We want so badly to plead our case and tell our story. The bad news is that everybody has a story. Everyone has a version of how things went down and how they participated.”
I listened to Amy Poehler and guests read Yes Please. I highly recommend it.
One of my missions in life is to encourage women to be kinder to themselves. I think we are expected to shoulder a lot of burdens that should not be ours, and we are held to impossible and conflicting standards. No one can be everything the average woman is expected to be. To me, being kind to yourself is recognizing you cannot meet everyone’s expectations, finding healthy boundaries, taking responsibility when you fuck up, and forgiving yourself and others. In general Amy is kind and unwilling to say unkind things about anyone other than herself. And even then, she is compassionate with herself about her failings. Fairly early in the book, Amy addresses a time she fucked up, was called on it, refused to address the issue, and then eventually apologized. This story was one of many that I feel like I could point to as an example of how to be kind to yourself.
Amy tells some stories about her childhood, family and career. She gives some great advice about finding the balance between caring about your work and becoming consumed by your work. And she talks about avoiding the dreaded Woman on Woman violence – “great for her, not for me,” or my caveat, “works for me, may not work for you.” She talks about bravery from the profound to the personal – reaching out to someone you know you hurt, or sitting on George Clooney’s lap in a low cut dress while hosting the Golden Globes soon after her split from her husband. She talks about asking for help when you need it. Not everything is a gem. It’s hard for a rich white lady (even one who grew up on the lower side of middle class) to come off well when talking about a trip to Haiti.
I have a history with insomnia. I fall asleep at night to the dulcet tones and kind ramblings of Sleep With Me podcast’s Drew Ackerman. Amy Poehler has a kind voice. If Poehler ever chooses to put out a podcast, or even an album of rambling stories, insomniacs everywhere would weep with joy. I am not saying that she is boring, or that her stories are boring. I was already tired and sat down for “just a minute” while listening to her talk about her sons. I fell asleep so hard and slept so deeply for about 30 minutes. It was a really good nap. I felt rested and hopeful when I woke up and Amy was stil talking. I did go back and listen to the part I slept through. That nap was my favorite part of a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.