Mindy Kaling is everything a girl could ask for in a best friend: intelligent, charming, hilarious and always up for binge watching old Johnny Depp movies with a pint of milk chocolate chip ice cream in hand. And this likeability factor is probably why the Special Events Hall was packed during her panel at this year’s BookCon (think ComicCon for bookworms).
The 2-day event was held this past weekend in NYC at the Jacob K. Javits Center, with Mindy’s panel taking place on Day 1. Nearly 2,000 people showed up to hear her talk about life, love and getting older, as well as hear more about her latest book Why Not Me.
“This is what it feels like to be the head of scientology,” she exclaimed as she walked on stage with thousands cheering her on from the crowd—myself included. Trust me Mindy, Scientology would get a rush of new followers if you were in charge.
Described as “the baddest of the good boys” by Mindy herself, BJ Novak moderated the panel. A longtime friend and former lover of hers, their chemistry was palpable on stage, something that enabled the panel to be significantly less uncomfortable and/or boring than others of its kind. The two spent the whole hour having what was essentially an extremely witty conversation, prompting me to beg the question, “Can these two fulfill all of our Mindy + B.J. shipper dreams and get hitched already?”
A good amount of time was spent discussing Mindy’s latest literary effort, with the conversation focusing on how it differed from her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns).
“I had a lot of fun in the first book telling people who I was…and how I was different from the character on my show [The Office]. In my first book, I was just excited to be writing and hoping anyone would read it. The difference between that and now is that [then] I wanted people to like me… with this book I know people like me and I want to them to know who I am. I’m incredibly honest and vulnerable in this one, and it’s a little scary actually, but it makes the book funnier.”
Out of all of the panels I saw at BookCon, Mindy’s stayed with me the most because I was jotting down quotes throughout, trying to soak up as many little bits of Kaling wisdom as I could. It was like she was my own personal life coach, and it was glorious. She touched on everything: personal feelings of insecurity, ambition, friendship, and even gave us some insight on what she has dubbed her “second coming of age.”
When discussing her title choice, she admitted that a lot of her friends were getting married or having kids, and it was creating an odd-man-out feeling for her. However, she also explained how the title reflects her ambitious side, craving similar satisfaction by watching others build the career and the life that she herself wanted, and doing something about it. We can all relate to that—that feeling of failure when we see our peers achieving goals we are still striving for ourselves. But in those hard times, we must rise up and ask ourselves, “What Would Mindy Kaling Do?” She’d tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and make shit happen. The only person holding you back from doing what you want is you.
Even though I was sitting roughly 20 rows back and could barely see the shape of her cute new bob cut, she was speaking to my soul, secretly voicing everything that I’d been thinking about for the last few years. And that’s exactly why we all love her so much.
Above all, Mindy believes it to be the most important thing that if we have something to say, we speak to be heard, “It takes a lifetime of very sensitive observation to have something to say.”
Hey Mindy, can I send you a friendship bracelet in the mail?
Image Source: usatftw