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Mission Aborted

December 19, 2014


I had every intention of showing up to last night’s open-mic. I’d registered for the 8:45 slot, but here it was 7:00 and I was completely exhausted…physically and mentally. The way I felt, there was no way I wanted to be in a bar;I couldn’t imagine getting up in front of people and being vulnerable when I was completely pooped out.

After sending the cancellation email, I felt both relieved and disappointed. Four days prior, someone asked me to speak at an event (unrelated to my new adventure). At first I vacillated, then, out of obligation I ditched my plan and accepted the commitment. I didn’t want it to be like this. How was I supposed to get my 10,000 hours if I was so easily derailed? Ok, so I’ve always been told how important it is to say ‘yes’ when I was asked to speak, and yesterday I actually believed that I could get up at 7am, write for half an hour, work 9-5, speak at the meeting, call my boyfriend, eat, give myself a pep talk, wait for the mic to start, give myself another pep talk cheerleading session (complete with victory pose) in the bathroom, then do my 5 minutes at the open mic.

Returning home, suddenly reenergized, I got down to vigorously cleaning session –  I sprayed bleach on my shower curtain, scrubbed, swept my hardwood floors, swiffer’d, vacuumed the carpet, fed the cats. All the while, feeling resentful with myself. It played like a record in my head.

Calling Rakesh (my boyfriend of ten months) at our regularly designed time, I told him that I didn’t go to the mic but I’d decided that from now on, when I make a plan for myself, I’m sticking to it! Why should it be different than a commitment to a meet up with a friend? What about a job. My commitment to myself had to be that important and to me, that I had to schedule these things into my calendar and not cancel plans. I had to commit without fear that I was missing out on something. “I’m feeling completely burnt out,” I said.

“Sweetheart,” he said gently, “You need to go slow. Swimmers,             runners, cyclists, it’s all the same. If you burn all your energy in the beginning, you won’t make it through.”

Yeah, but how am I supposed to get where I want to go, how am I–is it totally ridiculous to think I could be a stand up comedian–at my age–with a full time job?

I decided to put all of those doubts out of my head, to schedule another mic, to pick my material, and just show up. Like everything else, it’s one day at a time. The fact is that I LOVE writing the material, and I LOVE rehearsing, and I LOVE getting up in front of people. It seems like they respond well. For the most part, I get a lot of laughs, right?

Maybe I can just do it for the love. Geoff, my career coach, told me to do one thing each day for my career. Does writing count? Or is it all about ‘getting out there,’ is it all about reaching out and building a community? I’d like to think that going to my writing class is for my career, that journalling each day, that rehearsing…but I know that’s not true. It’s about the energy I extend outside myself.


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