Everything I need to know, I learned from April Ludgate
Like always, I am late. Previously, I had seen the first two seasons of Parks and Rec about three times, but for some insane reason had never pushed past that point. I love everyone in the show, of course. Amy Poehler is our goddess, Rashida Jones is almost literally my savior, I’m from Seattle so obviously I love Chris Pratt, and Aziz Ansari is my dream boyfriend. Regardless of why it took me this long, I am happy to be here now—almost done with a series that has my entire heart. I might rewatch it immediately after I finish. (Sob!) So I don’t know who my favorite character is, but I do know someone in the running for the top spot.
EINTKILF April Ludgate
Look out for yourself.
April Ludgate is certainly the kind of woman who pays attention to her wants, needs, and interests—which is fantastic. Personally, I believe that we all need to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with things that we love, and even though April might grimace at the word “love,” she has set up her life in just that way. There is nothing more important than your happiness, y’all.
And your loved ones.
OK, but obviously April is nowhere near as self-involved as she might want you to think. No one loves her friends and family like April does—something that brings me to tears all the time while watching Parks and Rec. You know when April writes that letter about Leslie and reads it to her? Or anytime April encourages Andy to follow whatever dream he is currently having? Or the way April protects Ron from everything he doesn’t want to do? She really knows how to show her love, in a very April way.
Uh, and her relationship with Ann is amazing.
It’s OK to not be a nature-person.
Similar to how we all assign ourselves Friends characters, Parks and Rec is really fun to discuss who we would all be. With Parks, it is harder to declare yourself wholly a Tom, or an April, or a Leslie though. Percentages are important when it comes to the series, and I have no qualms admitting that I am at least 25% April Ludgate. When everyone goes camping and April is on the phone with Andy talking about the clean air? That could honestly have been me. Camping is so hard.
Still, animals are the best.
Over the course of my 28 years on Earth, I have noticed something about non-people-persons—they always love animals. Am I wrong though? My mother doesn’t like people at all, but she loves animals in a way I can not understand. She has three dogs and I truly believe she would sooner have a Sophie’s Choice moment with her dogs rather than her four children. I don’t necessarily consider myself a SUPER people person, but I don’t consider myself an animal person either. (Though I love my cat.) April, however? She loves animals because they are not people, and should therefore be rewarded for that.
Because it is important to be whomever you want to be, and April does that perfectly. Whether she is claiming to be a wizard, or half-wolf, or simply stating her opinion, April is always willing and able to express herself fully. I absolutely love and admire April’s bluntness. I know it sounds dumb, but I have spent way too much time trying to be peppier than I am. Listen, I’m a realist. I am not that positive. I no longer feel like I need to be upbeat just to make other people comfortable. Is this all because of April? Probably not, but she makes me very happy.
Talking is dumb.
Look, I worked in customer service for 11 years before I got a non-customer service job. My last customer service job was in a call center. A freakin’ call center! Do you know how terrible it is to talk on the phone for 10 hours? It is the worst. My work day now consists of me talking literally only when I feel like talking. I also refuse to answer my phone most of the time. Talking, unless you are with your best friend and a margarita, can be the absolute worst.
Follow your dreams.
Marry the person you are super into, even if it has only been a month. (OK, maybe don’t do that unless they’re literally the greatest person in the world). Apply for veterinary school. Enter a beauty pageant. Work your way up the ladder at your job. Speak your mind and your dreams will follow!
One of the best parts about April is how laid-back she is. One time, a doctor told me that I have a really slow heartbeat and assured me that it was a good thing—it means I’m relaxed! And though that has not always been true in my life, I genuinely am a laid-back person. I think most of it comes from not really caring about what other people are doing or saying or thinking, but hey, I’ll take it. I am fairly certain that April Ludgate also has a slow heartbeat. Because if you don’t care about stuff, you don’t get worked up about stuff. If you can try it, you should try it.
Dress for you.
April is #stylegoals forever, you guys. Sure, I kind of already dress like her already, but if I didn’t, I would want to.
Trust your gut.
When April decides not to go to vet school, Ann attempts to lecture her about her choices but is eventually quieted by the revelation that April’s gut may just always be right. She honestly is right almost all of the time—the least expected people usually are! Though I do not think that everyone in the world should trust their gut, I do think that it’s a good idea to at least check in with it from time to time.
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