It wasn't a massive surprise that Tina Fey's new Netflix comedy, The [Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt](series:1262615), took off as soon as it hit Netflix. With a lively cast and a team of comedy veterans, Kimmy braved her way through the madness of New York City with an open mind, and an open heart. Uplifting, hilarious and heartwarming, the series exploded on social media, popping up at least a few times over the weekend on our timelines.
Even those of us who were uncomfortable about certain jokes have high hopes of our critiques being done away with in the next season. What enchants viewers and critics alike when it comes to Kimmy Schmidt is the very simple message that the title instantly conveys: she is unbreakable.
Kimmy serves as an inspiration, especially to the netflix-binging generation that she occupies. Every episode, Kimmy accomplishes something expected of her as an adult, and serves as an example that growing up isn't as terrible or boring (though it is as terrifying) as many of us make it out to be.
Every life lesson on the show is a simple common sense solution that the anxiety of one's late twenties. Coupled with Kimmy's unique situation of being kidnapped in to a cult while never mentally maturing past age fifteen, accomplishing the hardest of tasks suddenly seems much more do-able than we originally thought.
Lesson 1: Look for Opportunity in Everything
While Kimmy's decision to stay in New York City is spontaneous, she knows right off the bat that she needs at least to things in order to live: a home and a job. Kimmy wastes no time when it comes to looking for those things, but with presumably no credit and thousands of dollars in cash within her backpack, her options are limited. When she finds a place, she's forced to land a job first - one that comes as a complete surprise. Kimmy, bringing home a thieving little boy, ends up landing a job as his nanny thanks to his mother's eccentricities.
In real life, things like this happen by chance, but the point is that these chances happen, and modern 20-somethings will often hesitate in their decision making, especially when put on the spot. Kimmy leaps at it with almost too much enthusiasm.
She has no idea what the outcome will be or how many problems this decision could possibly add to her slowly growing roster, but she jumps at it, sure that she wants it. More than just settling, Kimmy is certain that she can do this job (she was, after all, something of a babysitter while she was locked in the bunker with her co-captives) and with her personal minimal requirements fufilled, Kimmy takes on a babysitting job for an overdramatic upper manhattan family.
Sometimes, the risks are worth taking. While Kimmy's particular risks cost her before it ultimately helped her, she decided that taking the leap was worth it, because the alternative would have absolutely not worked for her.
Lesson 2: Take Life Ten Seconds at a Time
In other words: stop, breathe, and count to ten. If you survived that, you can survive the next ten seconds, too!
Sometimes, taking life slowly and proving to ourselves that we can keep going can be such a challenge. Simplifying your mindset can really put things in to perspective and help you keep going.
Getting out of bed right now might be really hard, and you're absolutely not alone when you feel that way. But you got out of bed yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that as well. You've done it for ten seconds and proven that you can - so prove it to yourself over and over until it becomes routine.
Lesson 3: Never Give Up Hope on Others
At first, the supporting cast of Kimmy Schmidt is not very supportive. Its not that they don't round out the cast well - rather, they're unsupportive of Kimmy (in-world) because most of them are self-obsessed, and buried within their own problems. Kimmy has the unique ability not to focus on her own debilitating problems, but most of us don't.
Most of us haven't played personal therapist for a room full of captives, of course, but Kimmy's empathy and care for practically everyone in existence can serve as a lesson in patience. In fact, this brand of thinking can genuinely help when the weight upon our shoulders is just too much.
Kimmy may not be able to fix every problem that her supporting cast experiences (one of the most interesting tidbits in this series is how characters overcome their personal struggles with only a little help from their friends) but she never drops her support or care for them once - even when it looks as though Kimmy might pack it in and give up on her anxiety-ridden employer, she turns right back around to beef up her support.
It's hard to get over the inevitable mountain of personal problems that add up throughout your life, and while no one is asking anyone to go around playing personal therapist to the world, being able to keep the door open is important for the folks in your social circle who might be experiencing the same thing.
Lesson 4: Really Listen to Other People
Now that you've got hope, it's time to polish your listening ear. The cast of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt does a bang-up job of calling out the problems in our modern society with dark humor and witty quips. Unfortunately, as many writers have already pointed out, the way the show deals with race is shaky: characters will call out bigoted thoughts, but in the end, they're yelling in to a void with no response. Most characters don't react or let those lessons stick with them, and while that's just the tip of the needle with the show's racial issues, it's also a decent takeaway for a life lesson.
When someone calls out your actions, it's for a reason. Whether it's because they have an opposing view or any other reason, it's worth listening and helping yourself make better, educated decisions in the past.
Instead of letting a friend yell in to a void - whether it's about you, their personal hardships, or anything else - pull yourself in to the moment and really hear the other person out.
In opposing situations, you may not change your mind, but at least your decisions will have been better influenced by gaining the knowledge of someone who thinks differently. More importantly, when it comes to listening to a friend who needs support, demonstrating that you understand their problems can often work wonders when it comes to their own ability to overcome it all.
Lesson 5: Embrace The Person That You Are
Be true to yourself, be brave, yadda yadda. We've heard it all before, but rarely are we told to embrace the inner goblins that we see ourselves as. Let's put a stop to that, fellow weirdos: We're not perfect, we're not very well experienced, and we may even be afraid of the future, but we only have ourselves to get us through these trying times.
No matter what path you take in life, being comfortable in your own skin can be a game changer when it comes to reaching that next big accomplishment. Kimmy, who simply set out to be happy, has a simplified laundry list of life lessons that keeps her upbeat and sane. Any milestone in life can be met with self-doubt or fear, but being able to look at yourself, with your ten second accomplishments and empathy that turns in to knowledge, can make all the difference. You are the strong one, and no one can break you.