11 life lessons I learned from Amy Poehler’s “Yes, Please”

Did I already mention I challenged myself to read 100 books this year? I eventually cut it to 50, though, because who reads 100 books in a year? But I thought it’s still not doable because of my schedule, so I cut another 10. Ha! 40 books in a year and it’s August already and I’m more than 10 books late. Ha!

It’s been months (actually more than a year hahahaha) since I last wrote a book review, and honestly, I missed it! I know I’m not good in reviewing books, but I really am trying to include some stuff “worth sharing” so you guys don’t just understand what I get from reading these books but also to make you read more of it or other books similar to it.

“I want more honesty from people who write books while they have small children. I want to hear from people who feel like they have no time. I remember once reading about J. K. Rowling, and how she wrote Harry Potter while she was a single mom struggling to make ends meet. We need to hear more stories like that.”

One thing I love about Yes Please it it was a very funny and not-so-formal and very relatable scrapbook kind of book. It’s actually a memoir written in a “personal diary” or “personal journal” kind of way. Reading it was never boring and was actually very interesting.

Some parts are clever and very well pointed out, you can even get great stuff from her introduction. There’s so much inspiration on womanhood, adulthood, self care, being a mom, marriage, and almost everything.

Honestly, before reading this book, I knew nothing about her. But when I finished this book’s first chapter, I think Amy could talk about anything and still keep me interested. I think anything she could talk about is always insightful and appreciated by everyone.

“So what do I do? What do we do? How do we move forward when we are tired and afraid? What do we do when the voice in our head is yelling that WE ARE NEVER GONNA MAKE IT?”

So I narrowed down my list of life lessons I got fromthe book, which I really hope would also inspire you not just to also read it, but to inspire you in life as well. Here’s to all women (and men) who agree life is indeed a cycle of challenges and full of excitement!

1. Life gets harder, so challenge yourself to get stronger.

Amy’s “The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing,” in the first part of her book reminded me of my to-do list. Life really s*cks sometimes but you gotta stand up again and live again. That’s how it works, I mean for some people, they do things for someone, and some people do things for their self. But for whomever it is, who cares? Finding reasons is a hard task, though. But whatever. Just live and be strong for whatever reason.

At first, I thought it was not my choice to go through the challenge of being a single mom. Sh*t happens and that’s it. You just have to live with it. But I was re-reading this post’s draft and realized it was ACTUALLY a choice. I mean come one, let’s admit it, when you get pregnant and it feels overwhelming and scary and whatever, bad stuff will pass through your mind. It may be the worst thought, but at the end of the day it’s still ours to decide.

Wala nang okray, and I don’t want to be a hypocrite just to keep my name “clean”. I’ve thought about stuff that I never thought I would. I became a very different person that I almost lost my true self. So yes, life is a set of choices we make. And I chose to challenge myself and be strong, be brave and live life.

2. Don’t be sorry for not being sorry. Only be sorry when you’re actually sorry.

The book mentioned “It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate.” It is a good point. I hate that women needs to apologize for something that is not worth apologizing for. Sorry for nagging. Sorry for being angry. Sorry I had to mention your past. Sorry I was too jealous. Sorry I had to check your things. Sorry for not trusting you. Blah blah. Ugh. Just because we’re women, we need to go under men? B*llsh*t.

Makes sense for men, as well. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you need to kneel down before women. Feminism is equality. Don’t fight for feminism if your goal is to control the world. Duh.

“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.”

Stop making people see a fake version of yourself. I used to care about how people think of me, too. I mean, you’re not the only person in this world, so you have to polish yourself as shiny as you can, right? But nope. Don’t be too hard on yourself just so people would say you’re a “good person”. You know what’s good and what’s not. You decide. But here’s what I learned: Only say sorry if you really mean it, people! Not just because others expect you to do so!

3. Stop feeling guilty, beshie!

We all make mistakes. We all take wrong paths from time to time. But sometimes, we do things we think that is right but here comes the people who rants about how “wrong” we are. Well, beshie, as long as you’re on your own, not degrading or pushing other people down, you’re good. Living your life the opposite of the way they live theirs, doesn’t mean you’re doing wrong. Forget them and stop feeling guilty.

I had my baby in a way I never expected. I had dreams that were suddenly crashed by just having her. But I don’t regret it. I admit, I feel jealous of other moms who are “happily” living their lives with complete family – I mean her, her husband, their child. Some people I know judged me of being malandi or “na-ano lang”. To be honest, I felt guilty at first. People are just these virus that keeps spreading even if you are there trying to cure it away. But when I finally saw her, I knew I made the right decision, I walked on the right path, and all the fears and regrets and anger just slowly faded away. Then I knew I needed to stop blaming myself, because there is nothing to blame. Things happen and that’s it. You have to move on and just thank God you’re ABLE to move on.

“It’s easier to be brave when you’re not alone,”

4. Seek help. Yep, it’s okay.

We always say “I gotta help myself because who else will?”. Well, it’s true that it takes a loooootof courage to ask help from others.

When I first started shouting my feelings out, it wasn’t meant to shame anyone. Sorry, it became part of that, but my main reason why I published those was ny need of help. I really felt alone and betrayed by people I thought were worth the trust. I started questioning myself was I really worth the pain? What was wrong with me? Was that a work of karma? What the hell did I do?

When I begun hating myself, I cried out for help. I WAS CRYING FOR HELP. I was incredibly moved and I felt loved when people sent me messages of how stronn I was or how brave I was at that moment. Some said they were proud of me. But there were people who actually pushed me down and said hurtful things.

These people are the reasons why everyone is living with a mask on their faces. And I hate these people, I hate how they shame others as if they don’t need help, too. I hate them.

“You put your hand on your heart and feel it beating and decide if what you wrote feels true. You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.”

5. Speak up.

“Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready.”

I hate the fact that people would rather hurt themselves than speak up. I hate that people are holding in their pain just because instead of being listened to, they get bullied. It’s absurd, totally st*pid. We all need help at some point. And we all don’t want to get bullied. So stop shaming if people needs to be heard. And if you need help, speak up without freaking out.

“The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”

6. Live in the moment… and maybe bring memories back?

I really am a fan of making journals and documenting memories – good and bad. But like some people, I used to try to just “live in the moment” and not care about getting back in time. But then every time I read these little journals, or some blog posts I shared, I always think, “oh I want to do this my whole life and go back to the memories when I’m already a  granny.”

I know this is not mine to decide (well, I’m the mom, hello?), but I am planning to make this cute printed album and handwritten journals for Mnemo. I hope she’s gonna enjoy what I do, too.

7. Okay. Live in the moment, bring back memories, and don’t live by your emotions? How life becomes more ironic over time?

“Emotions are like passing storms, and you have to remind yourself that it won’t rain forever. You just have to sit down and watch it pour outside and then peek your head out when it looks dry.”

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I thank God I have all these challenges and pain in my life. I love the thought of “malalagpasan ko din ito in God’s time”. It feels great whenever I tell myself “ang galling ko, ang tapang ko, dahil nakaya ko to”, “I made it”, “I survived”. It makes me a lot more stronger and braver and honestly, after every storm, I see myself as a perfect rainbow with these perfect and bright colors, and it’s just beautiful. You know what? People having faith in you, trusting you, seeing you as an inspiration, is just one of the things I am thankful for. The greatest gift I’ve ever received from myself are the faith, trust, inspiration and a lot more positive things one person rarely gives herself. Thank you, God, my family, my baby, friends, and Amy Poehler for making me realize that.

9. Just say “yes, please”.

Saying yes, according Poehler, is about being vulnerable yet strong, independent yet open for other people’s points of view, sounding kind of bossy but with good manners (hahaha). Stop resisting being needy. Stop feeling guilty for going after what you want.

“Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying “please” doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission.”

Is this book an entertainer? Yes. And no. I don’t think that was the goal of this book.  I think this is meant to give us a little overview into Amy’s life, an author’s life, a mom’s life, a woman’s life. I think it is meant to give us inspirations and provide us life lessons that life is indeed complicated but fun and that life is meant to be lived.

P.S. I would like to thank my good friend, again, for being my ebook librarian, for spoiling me with every book I want to read. Since I wanted to know and understand more about depression and mental health in general, I looked for books that are just right fit to my interests. Good thing there is a friends who’s always ready to give me a helping hand finding a copy of such books.

My Goodreads Review

Yes PleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s nice learning from other people’s life experiences. I mean, we all have different perspectives, things happen to us and we feel things differently, but there are points that are relatable to everyone and those are perfectly presented in this book. I love the way Poehler wrote it. It just felt like an informal way of telling stories to a friend, which made it more engaging and more interesting. Made it to my most fave books so far!


Stay connected! Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Zomato. I also am on VSCOTwitter, Goodreads, and wherever, just search @themhayonnaise. XOXO

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