Comedian Chelsea Handler can do it all, and she does it all incredibly well. She’s hosted talkshows (we miss you, Chelsea Lately!), written best-selling books, starred in movies and a new talk show that streams live three times a week worldwide on Netflix. She’s written for herself and others, she’s starred in her own docuseries; she’s placed on TIME’s list of Most Influential People. Among all these accolades lies the big question: how did a woman with a chip on her shoulder (Handler grew up the youngest of six children whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and “never planned on having [her]”) regarding her family’s lifestyle and finances grow up to lead such a big, bold life? Easy — it was her goal all along.
“I wanted the opposite of what I had growing up,” Chelsea told People. “I wanted to be comfortable,” she added, reflecting on her younger years.
The self-starter mentions that a big perk of creating your own success is how many people you have to listen to (we’ll give you a hint: it’s ONE.) Her philosophy on dating and being a solo entity in the working world is one in the same:
“I don’t really have anyone to answer to,” Handler says. “That’s nice for work and it’s nice for life!”
Chelsea has created a fresh and charismatic brand for herself by remaining honest, cutthroat and always darkly humorous about personal details in her own life. Her intense drive derives from her desire to be always self-sufficient, to never feel like she has to rely on a man or anyone else but herself for money or happiness or success. She recounts a story wherein her mother packed her a grade school lunch of two raw eggs in tinfoil. The moment taught her something profound.
“I just started to think, Oh god, my life is all about being responsible for me. No one is going to take care of me. I want to be beholden to no one.”
Sad, yes. But as Chelsea saw it, it was just another thing to live “the opposite of” one day. It’s clear that she’s about to let no obstacle stand in her way, and to that we can definitely raise a glass. Here’s to you Chelsea, and to all of us who are inspired to be all that we need to be because of you. And yes, we’re cheers-ing with a glass of straight vodka.