Shit sort of went down (?) on my tumblr today, and I felt like making a post about it.
Someone brought up the idea of a Plan B to me. And no I don't mean the morning after pill because for that to apply to me there would have to be a night before, and that is happening approximately never (I can turn ANYTHING into a joke about my invisible sex life!). And I might have gotten soapboxy, so I don't mean to determine anyone else's lives for them. But I feel pretty strongly about the way I'm living mine right now, and I want others to know that it's okay to feel the same.
When I decided to leave a traditional state university to study television at an urban arts/media college, I pretty much said goodbye to safety nets and backup plans. I had tried to see if getting an English or media degree from a traditional establishment with a better chance at having some sort of money paying opportunities in the future, and it didn't work for me. I had to be doing something I really gave a shit about, or I was going to be (even more) miserable in college.
A good chunk of my life is a royal mess, but the one thing I know for certain is that I want to do comedy. It took me nearly 19 years to get to the point where I figured that out, and another year after that until I really tapped into the passion I have for it. And everything else feels so uncomfortably uncertain that, with every bit of might in my flabby arms, I'm gonna hold the fuck on to that passion and let that be the thing I let myself have. So even though I felt like I was the worst and I angsted regularly over my nonexistent social life, I still knew I was doing something I loved. I could bang out a dramatic blog entry and cry a little at night, and then wake up and go to sketch writing class and feel happier than I'd ever feel anywhere else.
All I know is that sitting around a table, joking with other people and talking about what's funny and what's not? It's the best time I've ever had. There's nothing that brings me more joy than to figure out how to make people laugh. I feel like it's the same as how to make people care. It's a positive reaction and it makes everyone feel better and feeling crappy is shit so I want everyone to feel AWESOME because FEELING AWESOME IS TITS! And tits are lovely, so.
Essentially, I love doing this thing and I'm terrified of ever letting myself give up on it, because the drive I have is the only sense of stability in my life. It's why I'm in New York instead of flopping around like a dead fish back home in Chicago suburbia. Instead of dipping my little toe into the water I just kind of did a fucking canon ball because there is probably a pool noodle that I want in the pool and not I am in the pool and I have to find it. And yes it totally is hard because I can't open my eyes in chlorine and like, lungs, y'know? But the pool noodle is going to be fun FOREVER once I find the damn thing so I'll just keep inhaling water through my nose on accident and hoping the warm spot next to me isn't piss.
Where the fuck did that weird metaphor even come from...
Basically, right now, I'm 22. I just graduated college. I just moved to New York City. And I'd like to think I'm doing pretty okay, given the circumstances. I've got food in my fridge, even it its a weird assortment of cheddar cheese and peanut butter with no bread to make an actual sandwich. I was fortunate enough to land a paying part-time job just two weeks out into the city. And I get to go see improv shows full of people I admire and who inspire me whenever I want to. I've been fortunate enough to see my personal life hero four times this summer. There's a comedian I look up to so much who sometimes responds to my tweets like she is interested in my life (I still don't understand, but I'm grateful times a thousand). I've found some other comedy lady friends who inspire me and make me wanna make shit.
Right now, anxiety aside, my life is pretty fucking dandy. I feel like I'm moving toward something I want to do and I'm fortunate to be in the perfect environment to do it. I don't have to worry about what I'm doing next month. I don't even really have to worry about what I'm doing this weekend. I don't WANT to worry about that stuff now. I have my whole life to worry! But right now, when I can, why not take some chances and let myself believe that I'm capable of achieving some awesome shit?
You can sit around all day thinking "maybe someday I might do something sorta cool." Or you can sit around and think "FUCK I'M GONNA WIN SO MANY EMMYS IN MY LIFETIME THAT I'M GONNA GIVE LIKE FIVE OF THEM TO STEVE CARELL TO BALANCE OUT THE WORLD'S INJUSTICES!" There's probably about the same chance of success in either school of thought, so why not choose the one that gives you a lifeline while you need it?
Studying television in college is a scary thing when you face the real world after graduation. But I'd rather give myself reasons to enjoy the ride while I can. I spend so much time feeling crappy for other reasons... I just want something I can believe in. I need that. I need to tell myself, "Hey buddy, remember that time in five years when you're gonna be on SNL and that time five years after that when you're gonna rule the world? YOU WILL." Because that makes me feel awesome right now.
Maybe there will come a point where I burn out. Maybe it'll crash and burn and my name will never be in the credits of a tv show and I have to stop. But hell if I'm gonna let that day be any time soon, and hell if I'm gonna let that happen without clawing tooth-and-nail to avoid it. I don't, at this point in time, care about what I'll do if that happens. Right now, I'm gonna try to do comedy and attempt to enjoy myself while I do it. Maybe something happens, maybe it doesn't. That's life.
This might have gotten lengthy, but I've actually made myself feel a lot better in general at the end of this. I don't know if this will help anyone else, but if you're at an uncertain place in your life, make an unnecessarily long blog post about why you're doing something you love. This has been extremely therapeutic.
And I feel like gracing Steve Carell with Emmys will help achieve world peace, so it's not like I'm not working toward a greater good.