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16 Life Lessons Amy Schumer Taught Us In Her New Book

Schumer shuts it down. Be like Schumer.

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Chances are you've read or at least heard about Amy Schumer's new book, The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo.

Released on Aug. 23, it's a collection of essays about the 35-year-old's life so far as "a daughter, sister, friend, comedian, actor, girlfriend, one-night stand, employee, employer, lover, fighter, hater, pasta eater, and wine drinker."

Schumer begins her book by swearing it's NOT an advice book.

"I also want to clarify that this book has NO SELF-HELP INFO OR ADVICE FOR YOU...I'm a flawed fuckup and I haven't figured anything out, so I have no wisdom to offer you. But what I can help with is showing you my mistakes and my pain and my laughter," she writes.

But whether Schumer intended for this or not, there's actually tons of advice you can extract from the book — all you have to do is pay attention to how she lives her life.

After all, even though she straight-up says she's no preacher, I think we can all learn a thing or two about how to live a real, genuine, and badass life based on how she lives hers.

So here are 16 life lessons to take away from Schumer's book:


2. Make time to figure out your personality type — and then tailor your schedule to fit your needs.

Columbia Pictures Television / Via

Schumer says that when she figured out she was an introvert, it was basically like her entire life made more sense. Introverts feel drained of energy when they are with other people for too long — so once Schumer figured out she was one, she made sure to fit solo time into her schedule.

"Believe it or not, I do have a complex inner life just like you, and I enjoy being alone. I need it. And I've never been happier than I was when I finally figured this out about myself," she writes.

3. If you want to get really good at something, you've got to put in the time — and then more time – to make it happen.

One theme that's consistent throughout Schumer's book is that she got to where she is through hard work. In her chapter "How To Become A Stand-Up Comedian," she writes, "In order to get good at [stand-up], you must get as much stage time as humanly possible." She basically spent all her twenties and early thirties on the road, doing stand-up at shitty clubs at first and then a little bit less shitty ones after that, in order to get better.

And that applies to practically all jobs, not just comedy: In order to get where you're going, you've gotta work at it all along the way.

4. Similarly, no matter how random/unfitting your job seems at the moment, know that it's all part of your larger career path in some way.

Throughout the years, Schumer worked tons of odd jobs, from a house painter to a shampoo girl to a steakhouse server in Grand Central Terminal to a kickboxing instructor in college — to name a few. And even though those jobs seemed random at the time, she says many of them actually helped prepare her for comedy.

"But somehow I think that job [as a basketball referee when she was 10] prepared me for everything I do now. It prepared me for being a female boss in an industry that is still mostly run by men. It prepared me for being called fat, ugly, and talentless on the Internet ... And it prepared me to get up early, work my ass off, and stand by my calls," she writes.

Moral: Everything you do is part of your story. Remember that when you feel like your path is random and your jobs feel disconnected. Everything circles back!

5. Learn to say "FUCK THAT!" to things that are the worst.

Comedy Central

For one of her comedy sketches, Schumer interviews a matchmaker, thinking it'll be a cool story for her show — but it turns out the matchmaker is way degrading, and sets her up with a scumbag of a man who actually tells her the matchmaker had told him Schumer "ain't no model." She walks out of the date shortly thereafter.

"If you're 'no model,' I guess [the matchmaker] thinks your best hope is to be matched with a man who has a pulse and a bank account, and that you should be grateful if he musters an erection with your name on it," she writes. "I walked out of there like the building was on fire and I had started it, thinking, FUCK THAT!"

Because seriously, FUCK THAT! Sometimes, you really do need to just be like, FUCK. THAT.


6. And always stand up for yourself, especially when the offender in question is a pompous douche who needs to be put in their place.

Schumer wrote a story for Men's Health magazine and was taken aback when they ran a photo of a skinny model next to her piece instead of her. She emailed her editor, who put her in touch with the editor-in-chief, who basically would not change the photo. So she shut him down in an incredibly sarcastic email:

"I'm sure you are a great guy who is fun to get a beer with and has a good relationship with his exes, so know that this is not personal to you or your team. But I will not take this lying down. (You can have your comedic experts on staff add a joke after this line.)"

YES AMY YESSS. The editor ended up running the story as is, but Schumer vowed to never work with them again. Lesson: If you see something, say something!

7. Be you...

"Love yourself!" Amy writes after the horrendous matchmaker situation.

"You don't need a man or a boy or a self-proclaimed love expert to tell you what you're worth. Your power comes from who you are and what you do! You don't need all that noise, that constant hum in the background telling you whether or not you're good enough. All you need is you, your friends, and your family. And you will find the right person for you, if that's what you want — the one who respects your strength and beauty."

8. ...without apology.

Instagram: @livebeautifulmama

After her email exchange with the Men's Health editor, Schumer steps out of the shower, looks in the mirror, and takes a moment to appreciate her beauty. "I'm a real woman who digests her meals and breaks out and has sweet little pockets of cellulite on her upper thighs that she's not apologizing for. Because guess what? We all have that shit. We're all human beings," she writes.

9. But also accept that you will inevitably have moments of weakness when you feel like an irrelevant speck of dust in the sky. And you will keep having them until the end of time.

Annie Daly / Via

One of my favorite parts of the Schumer school of thought is that she accepts moments of weakness as parts of life. Which is great because they are, and it's so much better to acknowledge them and move on than to try to sweep them under the rug.

"Most of the time these days, I feel beautiful and strong...Most of the time," she writes. "But I can still be reduced to that lonely, vulnerable college freshman pretty quickly. It happened that day with the matchmaker and Rex, and I'm sure it will happen again. I'm not bulletproof, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this."


10. Understand that your parents aren't perfect — but, if you can, try to meet them where they are.

Annie Daly / Via

Schumer documents her very real relationship with her parents, who divorced when she was a teenager. She is aware of their flaws, but she doesn't resent them for such things — she gets that they're human.

Schumer says about her dad, "I wanted him to see himself as I see him, as a human who is sick and flawed but who I think is pretty wonderful, most of the time."

And about her mom, she writes, "Like all of us, she's a product of her own fucked-up childhood. She was damaged by her own mother, who was an emotionally neglectful narcissist...I wish we could have a normal mother-daughter relationship. If such a thing exists. I don't know if that's possible for us, but I believe family is a constant negotiation. I have never given up on her. I can't, and I never will."

11. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, and you're not alone if it's happening to you.

M-gucci / Getty Images

In her chapter "The Worst Night Of My Life," Schumer describes, in eloquent detail, the relationship with her ex-boyfriend Dan that ultimately turned abusive. She explains how, like so many abuse victims, she got out — and then went back. She's out for good now, and advises her readers to do the same:

"I'm telling this story because I'm a strong-ass woman, not someone most people picture when they think 'abused woman.' But it can happen to anyone. When you're in love with a man who hurts you, it's a special kind of hell, yet one that so many women have experienced. You're not alone if it's happening to you, and you're not exempt if it hasn't happened to you yet. I found my way out and will never be back there again. I got out. Get out."

12. Never forget your roots.

In her chapter "On Being New Money," Schumer explains how she may have money now, but it wasn't always that way. As such, she doesn't take anything for granted, because she remembers what it was like to not have those things.

"I'm happier being generous, because even though I know what it feels like to have a surplus of money, I haven't forgotten what it feels like to truly need it," she writes. She also still hangs out with her core group of high school friends and her family, because even though she could go to all the glitzy parties, she understands the value of long-standing relationships.

13. Don't ever give up on your goals.

One of Schumer's main goals in life was to stay in New York City long enough to buy a place of her own. And she finally got there.

"I never wanted to compromise and put down stakes in any other city. It always had to be New York for me. I know I can be a flake, but this is one goal from which I never deviated. Even if it meant I had to live in a shoe box, I never cared, as long as it was a New York shoe box," she writes.

So if you have a very concrete goal (no worries if you don't!), then take a page out of Schumer's book and stick to it without compromise.


14. Ambien + weed + wine + a shitty day. DO NOT MIX.

Instagram: @cabbagecatmemes

We've all been there: After a bad day, you try to numb the pain in whatever way you can. But learn from Schumer's mistakes and don't mix the terrible trifecta.

She writes, "Anyway, the lesson here is don't combine alcohol, Ambien, and weed on the same day that you take a marathon bike ride, find out your dad's will to live has been restored, and watch a heartbreaking episode of Girls that hits way too close to home. If you learn one thing from this book, let it be that."


15. Let yourself be vulnerable.

This is perhaps Schumer's main MO. In the last chapter of her book, she writes, "Beautiful, ugly, funny, boring, smart or not, my vulnerability is my ultimate strength." And though that may not necessarily be your ultimate strength, it probably couldn't hurt to take a page out of Schumer's book and try putting yourself out there, the whole of you. You may just be surprised at the result.