For once in my life, this headline is not a metaphor. I am currently planning on moving, tentative date somewhere between late January and early February.
I am a restless person. I don’t know if its some type of low grade manic depression, being an artist, being more aware of death because of the siblings I’ve lost, wisdom, folly, bravery… I don’t know what it is.
I just know that the hardest thing in the world for me to do would be to do the same thing every day for a year, a decade, a life time. Because of this, I feel out of sync with Charleston. I always have. I love so many things and even more people here, but my rhythm has never matched.
One of my earliest stand up bits was about how everyone in this city lives in a prescribed timeline. IF you are 18-22, the only thing anyone expects of you is to get wasted and look for a phone charger. Then from 22-27, the expectation is to get into your first failed marriage, one that involves at least ten brides maids and groomsmen. Then the 30’s are a god damn wasteland here.
People have either completely given up, are deeply committed in families or marriages (which is great, just obviously not me), or meandering with no traction. Then there are many amazing capable, but even they can feel the unease. Its a wind that blows off the shoulders of many people here.
I was never going to be on beat here. I feel it all the time. I’m too old and too young. Lucky for me, I have had enough experiences in other places that i have some conception of what is possible, and the chance of change.
As I’m writing this I feel like all my pretty words just sound like a long winded version of me not wanting to grow up. There is a meme out that says that starting stand up is the guy’s equivalent of a girl considering to grow out here bangs. If thats true, then moving away to pursue stand up is joining the circus for middle aged men.
But for me, I never even meant to be here. The first phase of my life was marked by my loss of everything. Starting at 0 again in Copenhagen. Getting into Berklee, not being able to afford it, and being forced to be here. I always wanted the road, but I also wanted my independence. I can’t be the dude that needs drinks bought for him. I want to be on the stage, and I want to pay my own way.
Lately I feel like life is squeezing me. As I write this, I have 13 minutes to finish before I have to be at another meeting. In the process of sitting here, I got an email from Air bnb where they reversed their own decision on a borderline racist review someone left on one of my listings. Shit is a time vampire and frustrating. At the same time, I ran into someone who I love just sitting here and got to catch up.
In a nutshell, thats how this season to me feels. Pressed, in a hurry, and surrounded by good and bad extremes.
I have been so resentful for how busy I feel lately. Then recently it occurred to me that maybe the press is the universe pushing me. If you know me, you know I don’t believe in signs or things like that. But sometimes even bad feelings can be traced back to good overall goals and targets.
I first contemplated leaving at the start of the year. I did the Marie Kondo thing. I cleaned my house, and I realized that stripped of all its extra clutter, it felt like a rental and not a home. This just connected more to this deep sense of movement I’ve always had in me. The need to get on the road, to see what I can see.
I am moving to Chicago, and I’m doing it practically blind. I’ve been once, and had a blast. I know maybe 4 people tops. I have 0 connections. I will be going up when the weather sucks the hardest.
I’m moving there to see what I can be with stand up. I want to see if I can develop a pro skill set.
I fully expect it to not work out. I expect it to not be what I thought. I expect to discover I’m less good than I imagined. I would not be surprised to discover that maybe I’m not really a comic, but more of a writer. I half expect it to all blow up in my face.
I am willing to risk what I have now because what I have now is built on this fault line.
The only unacceptable outcome is to not try.
Practically, i will be turning over my school to my mentor in the sport and my amazing teammates who have all helped me be a better man. I will ensure that no one gets lost in the shuffle.
I have a lot more to say about this. But I guess the only thing is to say I am thankful for all the people in my life who have made this season what it was.
We are all a story with a pulse. All stories have origins, Charleston will always be that for me.