Well break my heart and pop my tart, how in the shopping cart of Paul Blart are we doing? Fantastic. Stupendous. Absolutely unheralded levels of joy as we head into the new year. Probably not. You’re probably hung over you stupid dumb idiot. The whole city is hung over. I can feel it. I smell the collective stench seeping through the soul of the floors.
Thankfully I didn’t take part in the drinking, only the driving. I drove so hard. I got so drunk on driving last night, dude. That’s a confusing sentence. What if driving gave you a high? That would be pretty weird. Like runners high but for driving. I bet you get that at really high speeds. Drivers high.
I actually don’t think I could have had a better New Years without “going out” to be honest. I made over $500 driving for Uber, I’m not hungover, and get this Billy Bob Whoreton… I even got a New Year’s kiss. Smack dab on the lips from a certified hottie. I didn’t even have to leave my car. “I’m gonna kiss you” is a way better way to end a ride than “how do I tip you?”
One of the reasons I love driving for Uber (besides the obvious scenario that unfolded last night) is because it’s so random and it’s never the same. I can’t stand monotony in my work, and every time I get in the car I have no idea where the next ride will take me or who it will take me there with. It’s fun to think about the butterfly effect because if you accept one ride over another it changes the entire trajectory of the night and probably your life.
Some nights are smooth, some are a struggle, sometimes it wiggles and wobbles back and forth; but it’s always interesting. I’ve met so many cool and fascinating people over the years and picking up random strangers and talking to them grants me access to a deeper understanding of the population at large than most people will ever get.
Most of us live in a bubble. I mean, we all do to a certain extent. We’re slaves to our environment. We can only interact with so much and perceive so much at one time, and it’s just a teeny tiny fraction of what’s really going on in the universe.
I think that’s one of the most important things I want to continue to take into the new year. I’d like to keep expanding my bubble of experience and understanding. Every time we expose ourselves to something new it’s like a band-aid being ripped off our body. Our ignorance and inexperience is the wound, but if we let it breathe then it will heal.
Most of us are afraid to keep that band-aid on, wherever it may be. We don’t want the world to see how wounded and fragile we are, so we keep our sore spots covered. But if you keep a band-aid on too long, it only gets more and more disgusting when you have to take it off; and inevitably you will have to take it off. Or you can just keep it on and go swimming and have it float to the surface in a public pool and everyone has to throw up in their mouths a little bit because you couldn’t just take the damn thing off yourself.
I’ve hidden a lot of wounds myself, and I don’t blame anyone who does. It’s hard to expose our broken skin and scabbed attitudes. That being said, it’s pretty remarkable what can happen when we do reveal our broken fragments to the world.
I watched that film Jonah Hill made on Netflix about his therapist called “Stutz” the other night and he (the therapist) said something that really stuck with me: “Failure, weakness, and vulnerability are a connector to the world because you’re giving out a signal that you can’t do this by yourself.”
I hadn’t ever really thought of it that way, but it struck me like a dream in the dead of the night. I thought about all of the times I built a blockade around myself because I was afraid to fail, to be weak, or to become vulnerable. I thought about how it felt when I started writing about my struggles and when I began talking about my inflammatory bowel disease on stage.
I’ve felt completely different since then. I wasn’t even sure why. Over the last month or so I’ve just felt different; I feel more connected, more at peace… more human. It wasn’t easy. In fact it was brutally painful at first. I’m piecing it all together now, but when I first ripped myself open in front of a crowd, I was sent into a state of chaos.
It was like my soul was in the beginning stages of cleansing itself. It felt like a spiritual detox in a sense; like I had been living a certain way for so long and my self was a substance that I suddenly tried to get off of. Or like I was trapped in an egg and finally pushed through the shell, getting stabbed with the shards until I finally saw the beauty of the world in full bloom.
It’s becoming more clear to me why I do comedy, and why I’m on the journey I am. I’ve mostly only thought about it in relation to myself in the past. I do comedy because I am… blank. Whatever it was. Whatever I wanted to be or wanted it to become. But that’s only a small part of it.
Ultimately, it’s about connecting. That’s what made me feel whole when I was broken. Whenever I felt like shit I would think about going to school and laughing with my friends and everything would settle again. There’s a special feeling that comes out of being made fun of because somebody is opening your wound for you. They’re saying “if you’re not gonna show this to everyone, I guess I will.”
And it always hurts. We get mad. We yell at the person who made fun of us for something we knew was true. We say something horrible. We walk away. We cry and we blame. But it needed to be said. And that’s what comedy is about, saying what needs to be said. A true comedian will take all the anger, the blame and the rage effusing from the wounds they’ve opened on the stage and keep going.
A lot of times you’ll bomb because the audience is hurting. They don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable with you, so often times you have to be vulnerable with them first. But when you can all be vulnerable together is when the magic happens. Group therapy in the form of laughter ensues and everything is okay for a moment in time.
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