Most of the big “look how good I’m doing” moments of my life have been counterpointed by pain.
In 2016, I headlined for the first time at Ms. Roses. I had never done that much time before and nay sayers (and myself as well) were not convinced I could do it. To make matters worse, the day before, I got a call from a chiropractor that he saw an MRI of my back (I was in daily constant grinding pain) and he told me I needed immediate surgery. He said that another quick injury could lead to loss of bladder control. Fucked up, terrifying information for a more or less healthy 32 year old to get on the best of days. Even worse the day before the biggest gig of your baby comedy career where you are expected to be funny.
Long story short, the show was an undeniable and thoroughly enjoyable success. It sold out, I crushed, and more than anything, I felt in tune with myself and the crowd. It was a high. In time my back got better without surgery (fuck all chiropractors, they have no idea what they are talking about).
There are some things that we know and yet each time we learn it its as if we never heard it before. Music is like this, Jiu Jitsu is like this, people’s personality’s are like this. We remember what we forgot what we remembered.
For me, the thing that I am remembering is that my experience of something is different from the thing itself. That is both terrifying and extremely helpful.
I’ve had a hard year. I started it riding high and enjoying the recent sale of my house and looking forward to renovating the new place with plenty of money and time. Then a partner pulled out of the deal with no heads up and it put me into a huge hole. The scope of which only got bigger as I kept pushing on. I’ve been broke most of the year. Not no food broke you should worry about me broke, but no rest from the stress of money broke. It won’t last, I will prevail and already am, but for me, how I am doing with money is directly tied to my self worth in a way that can only be explained by my upbringing and the hurts I’ve collected on my journey to here.
I’ve competed this year. Another thing that is out of character for me. I low key hate competing in Jiu Jitsu. I hate so much of it. But I know its a shortcut to growth. In May, I got my ass beat so bad at a competition that I was embarrassed to talk to my teammates for a few minutes after the match.
In comedy, its been a mixed bag. I’m doing more and bigger shows, and yet I feel dissatisfied at times. I feel the need to reach for something bigger that can help me grow more.
These are just the externals of my life. There has been a storm of ups and downs with people near and far. Fair and unfair cool and seriously not cool things. Tiring and good.
This year in short has been uncomfortable. Most of the time, its felt like shit was falling apart. Or barely taped together. I’ve spent a lot of time distracting myself as a coping mechanism.
I find that when I am succeeding, I work fast and hard. I decide quickly. When I am broke or feel like I am failing, the factory grinds almost to a halt. Its the best example of how we all in some way are masters at working against ourselves.
I don’t know how this year will feel when it ends, but I can say with pride that what it has been is a success regardless of my experience of it. I have with lots of mistake and help from friends/family rennovated a property and learned a lot in the process. I won two tournaments that I didn’t expect to. I got my brown belt. I am aiming at big things with comedy/arts.
The year for inward me has been troubling, the year for long term me will be one for the books. Thats got to count for something.