Is it just me, or does it seem as though all the great 30-minute sitcoms have disappeared? POOF! We lost The Office, 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, Happy Endings, Selfie (don’t judge me, it was awesome!), and so many more that I could probably go on listing them for days. Television has turned into nothing but drama drama and more drama. Who killed who, cheated on who, backstabbed who, lied to who what when where and how. It’s exhausting. I just want to snort laugh! Lucky for me, Netflix is swooping in and saving my sanity, yet again.
The hilarious Ellie Kemper (The Office, and Bridesmaids, to name a few) is back in a brand new Netflix original series, created by the AMAZING Tina Fey, and Robert Carlock (30 Rock) called “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (also starring Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess, both from 30 Rock).
Kimmy Schmidt is a woman who was rescued from an underground apocalypse cult (nicknamed “The Indiana Mole Girls”, I snorted so hard) after spending FIFTEEN years underground thinking the world had ended.
Kimmy ventures to New York City with her, for lack of a better term, cult-mates, to be on Good Morning America, and immediately afterward the other girls decide to go back. Yes! They decide to go back! Not Kimmy!
She sees this as a new start, and decides to stay and basically start over. Adjusting to life after 15 years underground, of course, is not easy- and even with all of the awkward, embarrassing, and ridiculous things that happen to her (for example: getting robbed, an irrational fear of Velcro, and those tragic early 90’s light-up shoes she wears), she remains optimistic and keeps moving forward, forging a new life for herself. I never expect a show that makes me snort-laugh so hard to reach me on a more personal level, but I found “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” to be not only hilarious, but inspiring, and I really related to her journey. NO, I’ve never joined a doomsday cult, don’t be ridiculous! BUT- I have definitely been through something that felt like the end of days. I call it: Motherhood.
Out of everyone I know, I was the first of my friends to settle down get married, and the first to start popping out babies. You’d think it was leprosy with how quickly they all scattered away from me. The assumption was, that now that I had become a mother, my life revolved around my baby. I no longer had an identity of my own. I was just “Holden’s Mom”- and for a few years, I actually kind of believed that. Even reaching out and trying to make new mom friends seemed hopeless. I never felt like I fit in, or that I belonged, and most of the moms I encountered just didn’t get me. That lead to a long and sad period of isolation. Holden was adorable, but let’s be honest, he wasn’t much of a conversationalist. It should have been such a happy time in my life, with my growing little family, but it wasn’t. Yes, I had Holden with me always, and my husband, but I still felt very alone. That was when I started to write.
At first, it was a release. Somewhere to put the brutally honest thoughts and feelings about pregnancy, motherhood, and babies that I had but couldn’t express elsewhere in fear of judgment or ridicule. The more I wrote, the better I began to feel, and the better I felt, the more I laughed, and the more I laughed (especially at myself), the more others laughed with me, and soon enough, I realized that I wasn’t writing just to write. I was writing because I enjoyed it. The more I enjoyed it, the more I began to realize- this was what I was always meant to do. It just felt RIGHT, and nothing had felt that right in a very very long time. With that came people who felt the same way as me, but were too scared to say it out loud. I was never really alone, I just hadn’t found the right place yet.
To think- I may not ever have found where I was always meant to be had I not gone through that dark period. All it took was for me to fight the urge to give up, and to push myself. To keep trying, and to keep an open mind.
Maybe I didn’t go underground for years like Kimmy, but being shunned by your friends and receding into a hole is pretty darn close to thinking the world has ended! I’m like her in a lot of ways. I think everyone is. We’re all just trying to figure it out, make our way through new and unfamiliar things (and no matter how many times you change a gravity-defying diaper blow out, it never gets familiar!). Becoming a mom didn’t take away my identity, it lead me to my true one.
In the words of Kimmy herself- “Life beats you up, you can either curl up in a ball and die, or stand up and say ‘WE’RE DIFFERENT, YOU CAN’T BREAK US!'”
Sure, I’m still fumbling around on this journey, but I know now that no matter what happens, I am unbreakable.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt premieres March 6th on Netflix.
ALL the episodes! I sense some binge watching in my very immediate future.
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