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Mindy Kaling spoke at a Dartmouth graduation ceremony over the weekend, and in part of her speech she chose to address being a single mother. The 38-year-old used her own experience to discuss the concept of fear and how to move through it.

“After my daughter was born in December, I remember bringing her home and being in my house with her for the first time and thinking, ‘Huh. According to movies and TV, this is traditionally the time when my mother and spouse are supposed to be here, sharing this experience with me.’ And I looked around, and I had neither. And for a moment, it was kind of scary. Like, ‘Can I do this by myself?’ That feeling went away, because the reality is, I’m not doing it by myself. I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and support me. And the joy I feel from being with my daughter Katherine eclipses anything from any crazy checklist.”

Mindy Kaling has not yet revealed the father of her daughter Katherine, or whether he has been around. The star also talked about self confidence in her speech. She explained that she had been sitting there at that very college years before with the thought “why not me” in her head, and she just never let it go. She finished off the speech with a great reminder for everyone, regardless of what life stage anyone happens to be at.

Back at @dartmouthcollege! Oh heyyyy old dorm room ✌🏾

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, but especially not yourself. Go conquer the world. Just remember this: Why not you? You’ve made it this far.”

Being a funny person, she also added some humorous life advice to the speech, such as buying a toilet plunger before it is needed. Kaling most recently starred in Ocean’s 8.

PINCH ME….. #Oceans8

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on


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