Why I Adore The Mindy Project

You’re probably familiar with Mindy Kaling, aka Kelly Kapoor from The Office, and her latest and greatest show, The Mindy Project. As the show’s creator, co-producer, and main star, Kaling hits an absolute home-run not only with the overall rom-comedy of the show, but with her character—also named Mindy—and her antics of living, working, and finding love in New York City.

When The Mindy Project first aired in September 2012, I was ready. I not only loved her character on The Office, but her twitter account KILLED me. Her whit, humor, and ability to poke fun at herself was refreshing, honest, and hilarious. As a millennial, I find her highly relatable.

In The Mindy Project, Kaling doesn’t disappoint and her brilliance is apparent throughout the show. Her lifestyle makes me thankful for what I have… basically, I am happy that I am out of the dating scene.

Be who you are.

It is not all sunshine and creatively styled outfits for Mindy. Not only do many of her relationships fail—falling in love with a rich sports agent who turns out to be an addict—but Mindy goes onto show how a person can do a job well AND with passion (not wanting to drop her non-insured patients when a new career opportunity arises. Can I get a hell yeah?), all without ignoring who she is as a person (pop obsessed, awkward, rom-com addict). That is no easy task. Sometimes her personality is her greatest strength and her greatest flaw. But she is always herself, regardless of the result. You have to give her props for that.

Knowing what you want and need.

In Season 2, Mindy is engaged to a hip-hop style mainline pastor, Casey, who has a ‘what-is-my-true-calling?’ crisis. When Casey can’t decide what his true calling in life should be, their relationship gets complicated. Should he be a Pastor? Missionary? DJ? …. Spoiler alert… he ends up being a shoe designer in LA… Mindy realizes what she wants and NEEDS. She needed someone stable. Someone that wasn’t still looking to find themselves. She knew her limits, and the engagement was over.

This was a highly relatable moment. A human moment. People fall in love all the time and realize that it’s not 100% about happiness, but what you  need. I don’t believe this is selfish, I believe it is honest. It takes strength to stop a relationship, but The Mindy Project goes there with a laugh along the way.

Mindy is honest.

She is honest with herself and with others. She may compare her life, and those around her, to celebrity crushes, but she tells others how she feels. It may not feel that way when she’s dishing out her long-winded weekend plans or talking about how she reads Bridget Jones’ Diary when she’s sick, but she will tell you anything you ask, and if she believes you are being rude or invasive, she’ll tell you that too.

This strong female character makes me excited about the future of television.

Thanks Mindy Kaling.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesday nights on FOX.

Turning 30

I have been thinking about the future lately. I suppose it has to do with the new year that arrived and the fact that I’m turning 30(!) this year. The big 3-0 is something that I’m welcoming with open arms. My twenties were crazy. From college graduation to Alaska to getting married and moving (again and again)…Oh, yeah, and having this adorable kiddo!WNC Nature Center 011

I welcome the thoughts of settling down and making some tough choices. Choices about money, where we live, work, play… the list goes on. The choices I make now, are not only for me, but for my family.

Things I think about as I turn 30:

  • My choices are my own, only I can make them, and they impact people around me.
  • My choices are exactly that. Choices. I may make the wrong one, but I’ll learn.
  • It’s  alright to try new things… and it’s alright not to like them, no matter how ‘cool’ they are.

When I was in my early 20s, I would read countless articles from women that said that they were more comfortable in their own skin in their 30s than they were in their 20s. I never understood that. In my 20s, I could do anything, be anything, and move anywhere. And, for the most part, I did.

What is more comfortable than all that freedom? Man I was naive.

Today, I’m still shocked that seasoned professionals grabbed me and kept me focused. From awesome managers to tremendous mentors that still check on me from time to time.

Now I am more confident and sure of my choices than I have been in my entire life. Yes, all 29 years. I enjoy the work I do and the people I work with. I make choices on who I work with and for. That is liberating. 

Another thing I never new would bring so much freedom is security.

Yes, I said it, security.

20s are not as glamorous as everyone makes them out to be. Seriously, my idea of a fun weekend was taking the bus to Borders (yes, it’s now closed), getting a magazine, and going home to cook dinner. Glamorous? Glam cost dinero. I had none.

Knowing I have a job, a family to come home to, a car that works, or money to try some new recipes is the best I’ve felt since… ever. They are simple things. But I love simple.

Sure, the days I didn’t have a car and rode the bus all over the Twin Cities was… humbling. But now? I’d rather have a car to run errands with a toddler.

Today, I know what I need, what I like, and what I can do to keep me and my family happy and healthy. I know and trust God to guide us, and if I truly desire to be successful in my life’s relationships, work, and health, I need the help of others. I need community. People better than I am. Friends and family that love me. In my 30s, I want to nurture that.

Bring on my 30s!

20s- I know you’ll always be there because Facebook will always remind me.

Update: No more smart phone

You know those people that say once you go ‘smart you can’t go back’? Well, they would be correct.

This. Is. Aweful.

Some would say that I need to be more ‘in the moment’, versus addressing the nagging feeling of wanting to narcissistically tweet out my thoughts, prayers, food, or check-ins.

I thought everyone wanted to be ‘in the moment’ with me. Is that not the case? Do people want to address their daily lives without reading about my son’s first trip to the Thai Food restaurant?

I have had a ‘dumb’ phone for about a month now and I can’t stand it. Yes, sometimes I find it glorious that I can leave work and really leave without the nagging feeling like I need to check my email. But now, that anxiety builds for HOURS until I am able to check my email and make sure that nothing is wrong (even though I know that nothing is blowing up).

I know this anxiety doesn’t have to do completely with not having a smart phone anymore, but I can’t help but get the feeling that this is the world we live in now. Do I need this connection? Is this the only way people are communicating now? I know people still communication face to face and so on, but the percentage of my day/week is very limited. How can I change that?

I can see how smartphones and technology are rewiring our brains. Am I acclimating? Yes. Do I like it? NO.

Will I stay smart-phone free forever? Probably not. But for now, this millenial mom is enjoying the extra $170/month.

 How are you engaging with the world around you sans technology?

Community that can’t be replaced

I want to take a minute and talk about community. I am a HUGE supporter of the internet and the beauty it brings. The internet has a great way to bring (and keep) people together.

For example, as a person that has moved to several states over the years, I’m able to stay in touch with friends from all over the world because of the internet. I can send emails, view pictures of their trip to China, and they can see our new house in the mountains of NC. This is all wonderful, but at the end of the day it can leave a person feeling alone in a room full of people. You have the world at your fingertips, but without real, tangible community, you are left lonely.

I am NOT saying that you can’t find great community online, but you still need community in real life (IRL). These days, I believe it’s easy to fall into the rhythm of not attending social events and gatherings to play another game of halo, or to hang out and read Wikipedia articles.

But at the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that we need peopleReal, in the flesh, people.

I would be lying if I said my 1-year-old didn’t have anything to do with this post, but in all honesty, he does. We’ve moved and that means finding a NEW church/community home. We desire for Henry to have a community of loving and giving adults and other children he can play and grow with. My son can’t find what he needs on a computer, he needs people. And he taught me that.

Babies, children, teens, and adults all need one another. We need to learn to grieve, love, have fun, and be together as community. We all learn from one another and that doesn’t stop with age.

What is community?

How do you seek out community?

What tips do you have for people new to a community single or otherwise?

Below is a list of IRL events that communities nationwide are hosting:

(in)courage

TED talks– ideas worth spreading

Continuing education

Community Reading programs

 

 

 

 

Developing a new story to tell

My family and I moved. We drove from St. Paul, MN to Hickory, NC in August 2012. Since then my husband has been graciously staying home with our son while I’ve started working as a marketing director for a healthcare staffing company.

We left the MidWest really excited to be close to family and to be back close to the mountains we love. Asheville and everything that surrounds this magical place. The beer, people, sustainable food movement. Everything. What we are slowly realizing is that Asheville isn’t the only place with cool things happening. Awesome businesses, brew pubs, and projects are happening right here in Catawba Valley.

I think that when we tell people where we moved to and why, they don’t understand. I think I say ‘Hickory, NC’ and people hear ‘Hickville-no-where-town, USA.’ This my friends, is not the case.

I have had the privileged of meeting with some great businesses,  entrepreneurs, recent graduates, and hopeful marketers in Catawba County and those conversations have been some of the best I’as had in the past few months. These gatherings usually end up talking about how we can showcase the many and diverse talents and attractions of the area. Instead of focusing on the story of what we were, envisioning how we tell the story of what we are now and what we’re becoming.

Various groups are looking to improve development and decrease the ‘brain drain’ that is happening in this region.

Catawba County is full of stories of ‘what was’, not people are talking about what can be the future of the county. We should always remember what was, but instead of dwelling, we should build on that story.

How do we start to tell a new story?

Boundaries & self censorship


Photo from: Andrew Mccluskey (Flickr)

Boundaries. Important for any relationship, from business to personal, and it’s important to identify them in the beginning and even as you go. But what about boundaries with yourself?

There are people that blog, tweet, or facebook EVERYTHING that is going on in their life. I know, everyone overshares sometimes, but I’m reminded of the quote that I heard so often growing up:

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

When I am going to mention my husband in a blog post, I tell him, give him context, even though I don’t get into anything specific in the post. Why? Because I think it’s important to note that not everyone wants to have their daily life logged online. Their space needs to be respected over my desire to vent.

Besides, I can save that for girl’s wine night right?

A more sensitve example… I’ve volunteered with children in emergency shelters, worked with abused people, and drug addicts. I’m not saying that some of those stories wouldn’t be valuable to share in the right setting, but posted online, for the world to see, isn’t always my place. I think that people need to know that you’re not going to run and post a video, or make a new status update based on the guts they just spilled. It’s already hard to trust people, let’s not make it harder by getting rid of trust in relationships.

4 personal censor rules for deciding NOT to post:

  • Would I be proud, not defensive, about what I posted?
  • Am I up for being held accountable?
  • Would I not want the person or organization to find this out?
  • How would I feel if this table was turned?

Would I be proud, not defensive, about what I posted?Am I up for being held accountable?Would I not want the person or organization to find this out?How would I feel if this table was turned?

If I answer ‘no’ to these items, the post doesn’t happen. Social networks are made to build, maintain, and grown relationships. Not to create burn books. We’re all over high school.

How do you decide what to post & what NOT to post?

The Wikipedia Effect

I subscribe to the paper. The Star Tribune to be specific.

Some people might find that peculiar since I’m a digital marketer, I blog, and I pretty much live online (so much so that my husband comments about my tweets sometimes).

Despite those things, reading the newspaper is one of the highlights of my week. It’s a time I dedicate to catching up on local and national news. In fact, it’s something that I have been focusing on making time for, which is connected to the ‘Relax Project’ which is a whole other blog post.

While reading the paper over the past year, I realized that it has everything to do with actually consuming the content I’m reading. I can say that because I noticed that when I read the news online, I no longer read.

Seriously.

Continue reading The Wikipedia Effect

The Social Network- PART 1

Thanks to Social Media Breakfast (and Columbia Entertainment) I was able to attend an early showing of The Social Network. This movie has generated tons of buzz, at least online and in the news, and I was excited to get the opportunity to have an advanced showing of the flick.

The experience: Violated? Check.

I arrived at the theater with my husband, parked, stood in line, got tickets, and went to the theater entrance. Standing in front of our theater was security with metal detector wands, and tickets.

Continue reading The Social Network- PART 1

Social media can help leadership

Esmee - Deloitte Insights


My current reading kick has been on leadership and non-profits. There are many reasons why I think a non-profit is successful, including it’s need in the community, the volunteers, passion, available funds, etc. But ultimately, it can come down to the people running the operation. Thier passion, respect, and drive to see it through can make or break the organization in times of crisis.

Social media and great leadership have much in common. Some people might think that social media is a self serving outlet for those that are misunderstood or (my favorite) can’t get any ‘real friends’. Ouch.

Where it’s cool to hear other voices

Leaders could learn a great deal from social media. Ultimately, everyone wants:

  • a voice
  • community
  • support
  • and conversation…

However, the people that don’t recognize the community possibilities are the ones that are losing the resilience factor. They see what it can be for their sole purpose, not a big picture. Most leaders in organizations are big picture thinkers and shakers. Tag on a little tweeting and blogging to that and you have comments and conversations that support, oppose and challenge your world. This can result in high accountability and support in a time of need. They put themselves in the light voluntarily, instead of being dragged in later when the going gets tough. By being an active participant, people get to know them.

Why do you think that (good/decent) managers and owners show their faces around factories and boardrooms? They want people to know them, and what they stand for, whatever it may be.

What’s wrong with a little public accountability?

I believe that people say that Gen Y-ers spend too much time online, or don’t have ‘real life’ skills. What if the definition ‘real life’ skills, is changing… or evolving. If I learned anything in school, it’s that 1) history repeats itself and 2) that the only thing for certain is change.

When you’re trying to get business, having a presence online can really make or break you. So, you need to invest in learning how to manage yourself online. Some of the Gen Y-ers can do this, from their phones (I can’t). Others are able to at least acknowledge that it’s a reality, but choose not to participate. That’s different than ignoring or pushing social media away because you think you’re bigger than that. FYI: If you can’t be found online, you might as well not exist.

Are you prepared to communicate online?

Great leaders are constantly listening and learning- what social media has become, a living, breathing, changing thing. We now live in a perpetually ‘beta’ world. Online communities are growing, dying, reviving and thriving. It’s a cycle- it repeats, but change is kept constant.

Who knew?

How are you preparing or growing in the online world to better your company or organization? How can you see leadership evolving with the online world?

Talkin’ Brazen and Non-Profits

This week I took some time to talk with Ben from MapTechWorks. Ben gathers information and interviews to post on YouTube so other non-profits can benefit from specialists and experinced tech workers. It was a blast and check out the finished product below:

MAP TechWorks – Brazen Careerist in the Twin Cities