Yesterday, as I prepared to go out to an open mic, the familiar feelings of fear, dread, and self-doubt began to marinate into my bones. Thoughts of bombing, doing poorly, feeling inadequate, all rushed in. Then, I thought, ‘One day at a time. One performance at a time. You don’t have to be famous today.’
And it helped! I did aiite for an open mic, but as I was getting into my car, the business student inside of me scorned, ‘So, what did we learn from this experience?’ But before I could swallow myself into a clinical, exhausting post-mortem, analyzing and bubble-sorting the wheat from the chaff (like this post and this post and this post and this post), I thought, ‘Congratulations, man! You made it out! That’s good enough! Didja learn some stuff? Cool! Let’s enjoy this chune (incidentally, A$AP Ferg – Shabba Ranks remix)!!!’
I don’t know the way ahead. I used to take solace in having a plan, having a definite course of action, but now that I’m spending more time enjoying the beautiful moments in life, the plan doesn’t seem all that important anymore. I’m having fun. I’m, ‘…living the question’ as Ram Dass put it. For me, the reward of comedy comes from the practice itself. And, what’s more, now that I’ve stopped beating myself over the head all the time for not having achieved, this that and the other, I’m slowly removing that intermediary between myself and my life.
Now, do I still want the fame and adulation and all of that stuff? Sure, but I’m having A TON of fun enjoying those sweet moments when I make myself laugh, that moment where my tweet can upload fast enough. Granted, I haven’t developed the comfort on stage that allows me to fully embrace the laughter of the audience (I’m too focused on what comes next, but that’ll come with time). After all, that’s what it’s all about. The joy is in the expression, even if that expression is just to myself. How lucky am I to have found what I love to do?! Amazing.
I’m nowhere close to where I thought I’d be when I graduated. I thought I’d be some CEO, moving and shaking, and I think there’s a part of me which will always prick me (no homo) about those old dreams, trying to remind me of what I should want to have. But I have what I want today. I have what I’m ready to accept today.
One day at a time.