The past 7 days have felt like the start of a new chapter in my life.
We returned from a fantastic vacation last Tuesday (I'll get into the details in another blog), and at the end of that trip, my girlfriend and I spent almost 48 hours in airports and airplanes. It gave us a lot of time to just sit and talk about our lives, and our future. We have a lot of the same outlooks on life, which is a big part of the reason we've been together as long as we have. One of the opinions we share, is that life is too short to not be doing what makes you happy. It took us some time to reach that conclusion, but we're both there now. And what makes me happy, is stand up comedy.
So as of last week, I don't have a job anymore.
That's certainly not a brag, it's more of a leap. It's like I've been standing on the edge of a cliff for a while now, too scared to jump. But the time has come. I haven't liked working since I was a teenager. I've had some fun jobs, and I've had some fucking awful ones *cough* Uline *cough*, but even when I didn't hate my job, or the people I was around, I hated having to go there. The feeling of someone else telling me how I have to spend 8+ hours of my day has always bothered me. I just always figured that I had to suck it up, because that's how life works. It's what were taught from a young age; get good grades, get a good job, work until 65 and then enjoy the "golden years". That's what most people do. And hey, if that's what makes you happy, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But it didn't make me happy. I've been looking for alternatives since I graduated High School. I've tried many things; traditional work like warehousing and sales. I worked with sheet metal for a while. None of them scratched that itch. I would settle in for a few years, bound and determined to crush it, climb the ladder and become successful. And then I would hit a wall, I'd get bored, sick of routine, and I'd have to find something else. I always knew that I didn't want to have a regular job and a regular boss, but I didn't want to start my own business. That's a ton of work, and I'm not motivated by money, I'm motivated by freedom.
And then I tried stand up. I remember telling people before my first set, I wasn't scared of bombing on stage. I was scared that I wouldn't like performing comedy. In High School, I would walk around with Jerry Seinfeld's "I'm Telling You For The Last Time" in my disc man, and I would lip-sync it the same way I would Eminem and Limp Bizkit. (I know). It seemed like such an incredible thing, to stand in front of a bunch of strangers, and make them laugh. It intrigued me. All this guy does is travel and tell jokes.....
(For the record, the last couple years have taught me that there's a lot more to it than that!)
So after spending the last 15 years hyping up the life of a comedian in my head, I was scared that I wouldn't like it. And then I would be stuck. "What do I do now?" I think part of the reason it took me so long to try comedy was because of that fear. I could hate my job, but daydream of being a comedian. The thought of trying stand up, hating it, and then not having a dream to escape to anymore was terrifying.
But I tried it. And while it certainly isn't the glamorous, free wheeling life style I thought it would be, it's pretty sweet. And now, I've finally hit a point where I don't have a regular job anymore. I'm a comedian. Not a famous comedian, or a rich comedian, or even a successful comedian, but I'm a comedian. And I'm happy.
And now I have more time to really dedicate to my chosen craft. More time to write, to hit open mics, go on the road. I need to tell jokes to buy food. There's something really cool about that in my mind. I have the most supportive partner in the world backing me up. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
I'm 34, and for the first time, I'm not spending my days fantasizing about what I could be doing with my life. I'm trying to wrap my head around the idea that I'm doing it. I don't want to be rich or famous, I just want to be free to do what I want. And I am.
I numbered this post "#1". I enjoy writing, and now that I have a little more free time, I'm going to do a lot more of it. I've been (verrrrryyy slowly) working on a novel, and in addition to dedicating more time to it, I'm bound and determined to blog more. I'm going to shoot for 100 posts in 100 days. I don't care if anyone reads them, I just want to do it. I tried YouTubing a vlog, but it's just not as fun for me to do as this is. So we'll see how it goes.
The only thing stopping me from hitting 100 in 100 is me. The only thing stopping anyone from doing anything is themselves. If you have something in the back of your mind that you keep there as a dream to escape to every day, you owe it to yourself to try and make it a reality. It can change your life.
Start a new chapter.