Anna Faris inspires me to be a better person. I fell in love with her last year while watching Mom where she plays a single mother of two who works as a waitress and is a recovering alcoholic. She is hilarious, relatable and utterly charming in this role.
I am a bit embarrassed to say that I did not recognize her at first. I knew that I had seen her act in movies – no, not Scary Movie. (I really dislike spoof movies, especially those that make fun of my favorite genre of movies – romcoms.) I had to go on to IMBD to realize that I had seen her in Waiting and House Bunny. They are both brilliant comedies and I highly recommend them.
When I learned that she would be coming out with a book I immediately put it on my to-buy list. Shortly after, I was advised that she had a podcast! Of course, it is darling and totally binge-worthy. Truth be told, it is because I have been so enthralled with her podcast that I am just now getting to her book.
I purchased the audiobook. I don’t know about you but I tend to read reviews just before making the purchase if only to make sure that I am all in. I suppose I have commitment issues. As I was scrolling through the reviews, many quite positive of course, I read one that noted that if you listen to her podcast you can skip her book. I disagree. I find that her podcast is light and fun and mostly centered around her guest, whereas her book is intimate and personal. She touches on her insecurities in love and in her career and so much more. If you are in the mood for a sweet book about relationships and about growing up and getting older, and about Anna Faris, I think this is your book.
Here are a few particularly enlightening takeaways from Anna Faris’s book Unqualified.
Protect Your Heart
This is Anna’s main relationship mantra. I think it is pretty perfect.
When you find that you are no longer happy in your relationship, especially when said relationship is a long-term relationship, it is often hard to figure out how to reignite it when it becomes stale or to let it go when nothing seems to work for you anymore. I think we have all had this experience at one point in time. Beginnings are beautifully hopeful and exciting, endings are grueling, painful, and often messy.
Protect your heart relates to doing what is best for you. Leaving a relationship will not be easy, it will be hurtful—but it will be temporary in the grand scheme of things. The goal is to get to a place where you are happy in life, with your heart, with your loved ones.
Do whatever is necessary for you to get to a good place, however, do not try to get “closure.” Achieving “closure” is akin to finding a unicorn. It does not happen – per Anna…and Me. To me, that final meeting that is supposed to bring closure to someone’s heart, only tends to bring about more pain because the dumper tends to be asked, “why?” To me, that just seems like cruel and unusual punishment on both accounts. I mean, who wants an itemized account of their shortcomings or to list off someone else’s?
Befriend Your “Rival”
Jealousy is evil and ever present.
I cannot imagine, nor do I really want to imagine, what it must be like to be in a relationship where your significant other is surrounded by beautiful talented young women, a few of which will act as a love interest on camera with your partner for the world to see. Anna had to deal with this scenario and she dealt with it by genuinely befriending her “rivals”. She explained that by genuinely caring for someone, you learn to let go of that all-consuming feeling. You simply cannot hate someone you love...and isn’t that the truth?
I think that I have always felt this way to some degree, I just never articulated it so succinctly. Whenever I am introduced to my male friends’ significant other, I always make it a point of introducing my self to them and I try to bring them into a conversation they could easily take part in – i.e. talk about their children or her work. These inevitably come up in conversation generally. Where I have issues is when it comes to accepting my husbands’ female friends. He works long hours and often gets home and works some more. He text messages and takes phone calls and it just seems like it is a never-ending rollercoaster. Most of his coworkers, including his manager, are young women. Sometimes I wish there were more opportunities to interact with them, so I could get over this unsettling feeling, alas that just does not happen and I just have to deal. One day I hope this can change and when that time comes, I hope to genuinely befriend my “rival”.
I put “rival” in quotations because they are not a true rival unless it is explicitly stated on their part – at least that is how I define a rival. Truth is, most “rivals” are evil figments of our imagination and if we let them they could become a real problem.
Embrace Your Age Number
I hate saying how old I am – even to my doctor. If asked, I often tell them that it should be in my file. I know that it is petty and unnecessary as you can not escape aging. Time is precious and getting older is a luxury, so why not embrace it? Well, to me it is less about how old I look and more about where I am in my career right now…which is not exactly where I want to be.
My definition of success has always revolved around being happy. My idea of being happy right now involves having a family and being able to work from home in a career that is rewarding and flexible. I work on my goal every day, so why do I still feel like a failure…I do not know…maybe because I am not there yet? I believe that I’ll get there. I just do not know when exactly and that is frustrating.
Anna asserts that by owning your age number you take the upper hand and help break down the stereotypes associated with that number. I love that idea. I want to take part in the movement, however…it will take a long time for me to get there. I started being evasive in my early 20’s and it just keeps getting harder as time goes by as old habits die hard.
How do you approach getting older? How have you learned to deal with the inevitable?
I hope you’ve enjoyed my post. Please let me know if you’ve read this book or plan on picking it up.