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Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Full disclosure: I have never watched The Office or The Mindy Project. Or any of Mindy Kailings’ other projects to be frank*. So why did I want to read her autobiography?

 

Because, ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ hung over my head during my first time at university. After a particularly bad patch of depression at the end of my degree, I really wanted a an answer to the question.

 

While not a self help book, I wanted to know how Mindy dealt with her self doubt in a career while working in a career that is founded on people liking you.

Is everyone hanging out without me

A little bit of everything

This book manages to capture key moments in life and break them into nice bitesize chapters and subchapters (Is that I thing? If not Mindy and, to a lesser extent, I have made it a thing!). Though we are not all striving to be an actor, Mindy’s reflections on childhood, university and stepping onto the career ladder expose the same thoughts of self-doubt and feelings of self-discovery that everyone will go through at some point in their life. This means that no matter what stage of life you are at, there is something that will be relevant to you.  

 

Some chapters that you should particularly look forward to are ‘I Forget Nothing: A Sensitive Kid Looks Back’; ‘My Appearance: The Fun and The Really Not Fun’ and ‘My All-Important Legacy’.

 

A sense of humour

One part self praising. One part self deprecating. All parts funny. No more needs to be said.

 

Pictures!

No, I’m not a five year old. Yes, I do enjoy when my books to have pictures. Why? Because they tell part of the story in a way that words could not quite capture. Yes I do realize the irony of saying that (writing that?).

 

But as you read through her book, it almost feel like you are sitting on Mindy’s couch as she takes you through her photo album. It is though this intimacy, that we are able to take the lessons that she has learnt and apply them to our own life.    

 

Perspective

What I love most about this book is how Mindy constantly puts all her success into perspective.

 

It feels like we only see people’s success in terms of their achievements. The more achievements they have, the more recognised and celebrated they become. As stated before, although I hadn’t seen her work, I knew of Mindy as a successful actor. But through reading her book, you get a real look at the mountains she had to climb, before she started appearing on our tv screens and magazine covers.

 

From a less than successful auditions to finding out a show she was hoping to work on didn’t get picked up, she is constantly framing her success against the background of the struggles.    

 

There is a quote that keeps popping up on my instagram feed: “What if everything you are going through now is preparing you for what you asked for?”. For someone who read this as they were just started climbing their own career ladder, ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ was a great reminder that success and hardships one in the same.

 

Parting Thoughts

For anyone at any stage of their career, this book is an amazing reminder of the both the hard work it takes to get what you want as well as the sense of humour that you need to get you through the hard time.

 

Also, comedian autobiographies are my new favourite genre of book. Look out for a review of ‘Yes, Please’ by Amy Poelher.

 

Your next Instagram Caption

“Sometimes You Just Have to Put on Lip Gloss and Pretend to Be Psyched”- Mindy Kaling

 

* Since the time of writing this post, I have watched Ocean’s 8 and I’m now a fan of her acting as well.