Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a white girl. I love to shop at Target and Trader Joe’s, and the most interesting thing about me is that I like dogs and coffee. Sometimes I go eat Mexican food with my friends and we get really colorful margaritas and cackle for hours. I’m 23 and everyone wants to fuck me.
“You’re supposed to start by saying you’re an alcoholic.”
“But I’m not an alcoholic.”
“Jesus Christ. Here we go again. Do you even know where you are right now?”
“Uh… church? I’m not sure, actually. Who are you again?”
Give it up for Jessica, everyone. What a story. The inspiration is hard for me to even grapple with it’s so poignant. Who needs Tony Robbins when you have this girl? A true American hero.
Well, I’m glad we did that. Maybe that should be my new introduction strategy for a while. Sometimes I feel like I can’t start my day until I make fun of women in their 20’s. Some people take a shower, some people go on a walk, I do this… A true and honest cleanse. I don’t know what I’m talking about. The first 250 words of every blog are usually some variation of complete and utter nonsense.
I’m at the tail end of my existential crisis now, so cheers to that. This was a doozie, folks but hot diggity damn with a side of strawberry jam am I glad it happened. I think part of me had to die in order for a better version of myself to live. I’m breaking through the dark cocoon and flapping my wings in the light. Did anyone have butterfly metaphor on their blog bingo card? No? Darn. You could have had it all.
Anyways, a lot of things have shifted for me lately. A crippling string of sleep paralysis nights and a couple bombs on stage sent me into a tailspin where I suddenly found myself struggling to find meaning in my life at all. It was a difficult thing to go through, but I wasn’t scared because I knew it was a sign from the universe that something had to change.
I think I talked in the last post about how I’ve spent a lot of my 20’s doing things that serve my own goals and interests. Part of it was out of necessity, part of it was selfishness, and part of it is just part of being in your 20’s. If there’s a time in your life to be selfish, it’s in your 20’s. I’m a firm believer than you should figure yourself out first before moving on to more sacrificial goals.
The most obvious example of this is when someone has kids. I think it serves the child much better if you’ve worked on yourself, you understand your strengths and weaknesses, what you want out of life, how to deal with pain and trauma, and learn to maintain some wisdom. By working on yourself and then having a child, you’re providing a better future for the kid and humanity in general by raising someone with a strong foundation. By focusing on yourself you can ultimately make the world a better place.
It’s odd to think about what it means to do something selfish or selfless because the lines are so often crossed or blurred. Sometimes we do “selfless” things do feel better about ourselves, and other times we look “selfish” when we’re really doing something for somebody else. I think the most important thing is that we’re shooting for something better. A better me, a better you, a better world.
When you enter a state of crisis and existential angst, you’re forced to think about these things. What is my purpose? Am I making the world a better place? What’s the point of all this shit I’ve been doing? These… these are the questions that plague the mind.
I thought about all of them, especially in relation to comedy. Why am I doing this? What do I want out of this? Is this the highest order potential destiny I’m meant to pursue? I had to come to an understanding with comedy and change my relationship with it. I took it too damn serious over the last couple of years. I put so much pressure on myself to achieve and “get booked” and try to belong as a real comedian that I lost sight of why I do comedy in the first place.
I do comedy because it’s fun. Because it’s funny. Because I like to laugh. I like to create a joke. I like be silly. I like to break the monotony of life. I like to say the thing everyone is thinking but nobody wants to say out loud. I like to lose my mind for a minute.
If you do anything enough, it’s easy to lose sight of why you started doing it in the first place. To be honest I wasn’t having fun doing comedy, which is a major problem. So I had to dig deep and really change my relationship with the art form. I’m learning how to have fun now. I’m learning how to get past the fear and have fun telling my jokes with love.
It’s incredibly difficult, because getting on stage is terrifying. I think every comedian has to go through this. People talk about learning how to be yourself on stage, but I don’t think you can be yourself on stage until you get past the fear. That doesn’t mean you won’t be nervous or weary of what might happen out there, but we have to get past the fear.
That’s why when you ask someone who has done a lot of comedy in their life what their best advice is and they almost always say “just get on stage.” I think that’s why, because it’s the only way to conquer the fear. These first few years are kind of like a war of attrition. I got too caught up in trying to prove my potential that I lost sight of how grand a feat it is to simply weather the storm, and I understand the weight of that now.
I’m more proud of what I’ve endured than what I’ve achieved, and I’ll never lose sight of that.
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