Everything I Learned In 2015 From Amy Poehler
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Everything I Learned In 2015 From Amy Poehler

Well, Amy Poehler and company.

Everything I Learned In 2015 From Amy Poehler

The past year was a really important year for me, as far as personal growth. It was also a good year for TV and film. So when I think about what I’ve learned in 2015 from my favorite shows and movies, I think about how Amy Poehler has basically become my right shoulder angel.

I ended the year by taking my little sister to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in their hilarious comedy, “Sisters,” and while many can argue Tina is the funnier actress, Amy holds a special place in my heart. I know her as Leslie Knope. I know her as Joy. And now I know her as Maura Ellis, a successful, happy, go-lucky, play-it-safe, optimistic woman who learns to put herself out there. I related to this character so much, and realized that I’ve learned so many great things from Amy Poehler.

1. How to be happy and optimistic...

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Every time I hear Amy Poehler speak, my mind pictures Joy speaking. She is literally the most perfect person to be cast as Joy. She is joy. I am guilty of judging really happy people in the past, but I definitely wear my heart on my sleeve now, and have no shame over it. Leslie’s many facial expressions were one of my favorite things in life, and while I am way better at censoring how I feel, I sure don’t hold back as much as I used to. It’s so important to be an enthusiast in life, to go at things full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it.

2. …And how it’s OK to be sad too.

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My absolute favorite part of "Inside Out," is that they really touched on how joy and sadness often work in tandem. At first Joy doesn’t understand Sadness’ role and why she just lingered around in headquarters, but she soon realizes that expressing sadness doesn’t always take away from overall happiness—It can sometimes enrich it! I am also very guilty of even belittling emotional people in the past. I was never comfortable with embracing my emotions and saw being emotional as a sign of weakness. However insignificant or negative some of my emotions may seem, they all play an important role in my well-being.

3. How to be a great friend...

I always thought it was the cutest when Leslie had a gift for Ben and Ann for pretty much every occasion. But they weren’t just gifts - she had always put so much thought and effort into every one. Leslie’s love for her friends always reached such obsessive levels, but we never got tired or thought anything weird of it. Her affection towards the people she cared about never failed to touch my heart. She gave and gave and gave, and it wasn’t just always about being the best at gift giving. She treated her friends like her family, because they are the people who will be there for you when the world is against you. They’re there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on and who will cry with you. They’ll be there to laugh with you and at you. From the very first episode to the last, Leslie was always doing one thing: helping people. And that was one of the things she did best.

4. …and a great sister.

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Amy’s character in “Sisters” was the generic successful daughter, whereas Tina’s was the generic unsuccessful one. Tina’s character, Kate, lives a very messy life and does things that would literally make me throw myself off a cliff if she was my sibling. But, the movie shows just how great it is to have family and despite our differences, we have to learn to forgive and love them no matter what.

5. How to be myself...

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And know that I am awesome. Leslie Knope is well aware of how incredible she is and her confidence is admirable. Everybody needs a Leslie in their life to inspire them to be the best they can be and help them live their life to their fullest potential. She’s taught me to laugh at myself and that I can never try to make my life too perfect because perfection actually comes from the little imperfections.

6. …because you can’t care about what other people think.

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It’s pretty likely that for every person who thinks you're not good enough, there are more people who respect you and look up to you. Don't let one person's opinion get you down.

7. How to prioritize...

As a recent college graduate, I will totally admit that I was trying so hard to work hard—and while a lot of people will argue that it's not a bad thing at all, it was important that I was well aware of my priorities. There were plenty of times I forgot to put myself first. Leslie reminds us that a truly dedicated worker can have a passion for the work they do that will occasionally beat out other priorities. But no matter how dedicated, a work-life balance that allows time for more important things (like waffles and friends) will actually make us better workers.

8. …because you matter.

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This is my favorite. No explanation needed.

9. How to be confident.

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(I recently posted a picture of me in a rather provocative outfit. I lost 15 pounds in the last 5 months and I was finally able to wear this cute bralette and skirt. At first, I felt weird about posting a photo of me showing so much skin, but you know what? I’m really proud of myself. I never thought I’d be able to wear such a thing because I was never confident about my body, but I finally can and I shouldn’t have to feel weird about being happy about it.) No matter what you do, you need to have confidence in yourself. Once you have confidence in yourself, you will acquire confidence in everything else. Of course humility is a good quality, but when you do a great job on a certain project or you handle a tough situation well, it's so important to give yourself credit. Leslie knew that she had every right to be as proud of her own accomplishments as she was one the people she looked up to—and you should be, too.

10. How to love.

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There's Maura forgiving Kate, and Joy accepting Sadness, but I have definitely learned the most from Leslie’s relationship with her friends and Ben. Above all else, Leslie’s loyalty is her highest priority—even if she doesn’t realize it. She backs up anyone she loves with a fierceness that is impossible to match. Her ability to put everyone before herself and still manage to take care of herself is impeccable. We all have our favorite TV 'ships and I am no different. There’s Ross and Rachel, Corey and Topanga, Nick and Jess, Dean and Castiel…You get it. But Ben and Leslie are just something else. It’s not even disgusting how in love they are. I don’t know if it’s because Ben Wyatt is my dream guy or if it’s because I’m very jealous of Leslie’s self-assuredness. (Maybe it’s the fact that their relationship was never the priority of the show, which is really important!) They supported each other 10,0000 percent from the beginning; he has never asked Leslie to apologize for who she is and he only loves her more for it.

So thank you, Amy. Thank you for all these great characters and thank you for teaching me all these important life lessons!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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