Professional beach goer, bonfire builder, and boogie boarder. I also tell jokes at UCB Theatre
I spend all day obsessing over things that are so completely stupid and not at all worth a millisecond of thought. It is exhausting always worrying about things that should not matter. In the end I am left paralyzed and unable to move forward. What I wouldn’t give to not give a fuck anymore.
Inspired by an article I read on Medium.com, I have come up with my own “fuck it” list.
Facebook, what have you done for me lately? Nothing. Recently I began feeling dejected each time I posted something on FaceBook and none of my “friends” liked or commented on it. For the life of me, I can not understand why I so desperately need the approval of these people. Why do I need these so-called friends to care about what I say and do? My birthday was March 1st and I found myself debating if I should cancel my account before my birthday or wait until after. Because if I delete my Facebook account before my birthday, no one will remember my special day. I deleted my account on February 26th. Turns out, I have a lot of people directly in my life who care about my work and my existence and they all sent me delightful birthday wishes by phone and email. More importantly, since ridding Facebook from my life, over the past few days I have been significantly more productively.
I like you, you obviously don’t like me. I may not have verbally told you this (though I believe I did), but I think they fact that I spent six hours painting a picture of a gorgeous sunset as a going away gift, should have clued you in. The oil paint had not even dried yet when I went out of my way to have the picture framed. I rushed to catch a last Express train just give it to you because I knew I would not see you again for a long time. Only to have you leave this oil painting in a pile of non-important items under your desk at work. So lets stop pretending to be friends. The truth is that I would totally be okay with being your friend. But you are an asshole because you call me your friend and yet you treat me like an outsider. So do me a favor and don’t Skype me when you’re bored or ping me to complain about work.
I am certainly not the funniest person to come out of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and I hope I am not the worst comedian. It is so hard for me to imagine my life not performing. The problem is that I don’t perform enough. My reason for not performing as often as I should is because I have so much fear that what I am doing won’t be good. Like most people, I compare myself to the processionals. I want to be on their level and of course since I am not, I easily am discouraged. So I have to say fuck it to fear. You can tag along if you like, but I am making the decision to not give up anymore. Misery loves company and I imagine at some point you’ll abandon this ship and find someone else to torment.
As long as I can remember people, I have always been complimented on my smile. On a regular basis, random people tell me I have a beautiful smile, but too many times for me to feel very uncomfortable, those kind words have come from creepy old men. So I don’t smile as much anymore. In fact, I purposely make myself unapproachable. Forcing a frown has taken a toll on me though. I’m older and wiser now. I think I can handle the weirdos of New York City. So I’m going back to smiling. K? Thanks. Bye.
I am not sure if something traumatic happened to me as a child, but at a very young age I created this person in my mind. She is beautiful, she fell in love with her high school sweetheart. They have a son together now. She suffers from insomnia and so most nights are spent playing the piano. Thus enabling her to become one of the greatest pianist of our time. She is also dancer with an amazing voice who dreamt of being a broadway star, but ended up being a musical rock star instead. The saddest part about this person I made up is that she is the version of me that I have always daydreamed of being. Over the past several months I have been able to make her go away. But every now and then, she resurfaces. I may need psychological help… But for now, I am just going to refuse to care and think about this perfect imaginary person.
There is nothing I enjoy more than performing on stage. This includes acting, dancing, and playing my guitar. I am also naturally gifted in fine art. I love taking photographs and I’ve been told I am a pretty decent writer. There is a lot of content claiming that in order to find success, we need to focus on one thing. I’ve attempted to focus on just one thing, but I always end up depressed. I am in the process of writing a one person show that incorporates all of these skills. We’ll see how that goes.
Being an artist means I have to accept that I am different. It is extremely difficult to be confident in myself when I am supposed to be the only one like me. I never know if I am doing the right thing, so I choose to do what everyone else is doing. I choose to do the same thing. I choose to fit in. Like the British psychology professor Martin Hagger said, “No one will believe in you, unless you do….We are supposed to be different and when people look at us, believe in yourself.”
Despite the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio did not win an Academy Award last night for his insane performance in “The Wolf On Wall Street”, we all agree that he is incredibly talented. So who the fuck cares if he does not have a golden baldheaded naked man statue to place on his bookshelf. Just keep, doing your thing, Leo!
I encourage anyone reading this to create your own “fuck it” list. This has been kind of liberating for me.
We all know the saying “Good things come to those who wait.” Whoever came up with this probably did not mean that if you sit around long enough, an opportunity will eventually reveal its self to you. Quite the opposite actually. Good things come to those who work hard and work smart, and never give up (a.k.a patience). It is very important that you put forth the right amount of effort for the things you want in life.
If you are at work constantly daydreaming of the things you’d rather be doing, then it’s probably time are a change. The longer you stay in this situation, the more discontent you will become in life. Find a job that makes you happy. You should not have to suffer through 40 hours of unwanted work.
This worse when you have a family to provide for. So much worry, precise planning, and usually sacrificing things human beings should never have to sacrifice is involved in living paycheck to paycheck. I always gave up food so that I could pay my bills. This time in my life was certainly no picnic (pun intended). We have to do what we can to get by. The help is out there and can be extremely hard to find. Which is why it is important to stay positive and not give up.
A study conducted at the University of Michigan revealed that the use of Facebook leads to a decline in overall gratification in life and daily happiness.
Maybe you are overweight, maybe you are promiscuous, or maybe you drink yourself into oblivion. Whatever your vise may be, it all leads to having extremely low self worth. I struggle in this area a lot. Staying creative and going to the gym typically pulls me out of this state. I don’t go to the gym to stay physically fit, I go to stay mentally fit.
Whose life are you living? Your family’s ideals for you does not align with your personal ideals but you respect and love these people and you want them to be proud of you. I have never personally dealt with this and if I ever do, I will more than likely move as far away from my family as possible. It’s easier to be influenced by people physically present in your life. So, sometimes a separation is needed. Baby birds can not learn to fly if they do not leave their nest.
Most friends probably do not mean to be discouraging or even realize that they are. People unknowingly project their own insecurities to those closest to them. If this is happening, it is important to be aware of it and assertively and lovingly remind your friends that you need their support, not their fears.
Ugh, dear GOD! When I was a kid, I read the bible every night and recited scriptures as I prayed for my grandmother to overcome her illness. I prayed for her leg not to be amputated and that she lived long enough to witness someone in the family finally find success. She lost her leg and later died when I was 14 years old. Strike one! Sex, drugs, and alcohol are things I was exposed to by the very same people who held my hand during bible study prayer. Strike two! I was constantly being led to feel an overwhelming sense of guilt. I didn’t like feeling like a sinner. After all, God made me this way, right? I shouldn’t feel as though I committed the biggest act of treason just because as a 22 year old, I spent my Saturday night at Hotel Cafe and drank two cans of Boddingtons (English Beer), ate a plate of overpriced but tasty salad, while watching Greg Laswell jam on his keyboard. However, the next day the church pastor certainly made me feel like I did something worth being damned to hell for. STRIKE THREE! And so I lost my religion. I don’t really have a resolution for this type of situation. I only know that religion that is being practiced fallaciously or taught incorrectly can lead so some serious unhappiness.
Or maybe you just like reading. Either way, I hope you find the happiness that you deserve.
Two weeks ago comedian Chescaleigh, posted a video blog on why using the word nigga or nigger is socially acceptable for black people and why it not acceptable for other races to use the word. Chescaleigh explains how she is bothered when a non-black person argues that it is not “fair” that they can not used the word nigga/nigger without negative consequences and that is a double standard when black people can say nigga/nigger.
I am probably among the few people who completely disagrees with Chescaleigh. If a is acceptable for black person to use the word nigga or nigger, then this should be true for anyone else.
Nigger is a combination of the Spanish noun for black which is negro and the Latin noun for black, which is niger. European/white people began using the word nigger during slave trade as a way of implying that black people lacked common knowledge and are primitive.
In many places around the world, nigger was used to describe a dark skinned person. Someone who is not white. Nigger was not used in a derogatory manner. However today, most countries consider the word to be racist. Some areas it is illegal to use the word nigger.
In North American the word has always been used as a pejorative. It is an insult and is meant to display disrespect towards a black person.
It is a little harder to pin point the origin of the word nigga. Back in the 70s, comedian Paul Mooney started using the phrase “Nigga, please.” Later the word nigga became popularly used in hip hop music.
According to Chescaleigh, there is an inside-group vs outside group dynamic which allows me to say nigga all day long and it okay. But who is inside the group and who is outside the group?
If you ride the train far enough Uptown in Manhattan, New York you will hear the word nigga used very causally among groups of hispanic people. No one ever seems bothered by this. It is also not uncommon to see that one white kid amongst his black friends using the word. I have definitely heard nigga being used within groups of Asians. There is no clear definition of who is inside this group of people who can say this word and who can not.
Eminem says nigga in his old songs “Biterphobia” and “What Color is Soul”. He has also been known to say it while free style rapping. It’s probably even safe to assume that before Eminem became famous, he used the word just as often as the black hip hop artists. However you will not hear him use this word today. Okay, so now we are starting to define this inside/outside group. Thus far it looks like famous white people are apart of the outside.
Oh but wait. Louis C.K. said nigger a bunch of times while talking about the meaning of certain words in his one hour comedy special "Chewed Up". As did George Carlin. Neither was ridiculed or labelled a racist. Nor did they issue a statement apologizing for using the word. And just to clarify, they both used the word nigger. Not nigga.
I make the distinction because Chescaleigh points out in her video, that some black people use the word as a term of endearment. As a way to “Reclaim it. An act of defiance… turn it around and change its meaning into something else.” she explains. Like 2pac said “Niggers was the ones on the rope, hanging off the thing; niggas is the ones with gold ropes, hanging out at clubs.” He also made nigga an acronym that stood for “Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished.”
If there is a different between nigger and nigga, then why was Madonna recently chastised for using the hashtag “#disnigga” referring to her son in an Instagram photo? She was obviously using the same philosophy as 2pac.
Thus far it just seems as though a certain type of white person is on the outside group and the specificity of this outside group is still not clearly defined.
I am sure I’m not the only person who despised Samuel L Jackon every time his character “Stephen” uttered the word nigga in the movie “Django Unchained”. The manner in which he spoke the word was so much more offensive and had so much more hatred behind it, than when the other actors used it in their dialog.
So I don’t understand this “inside group vs outside group” justification for being able say nigger or nigga and having it be socially acceptable.
The final point Chescaleigh makes in her video is that the people who argue it is a double standard for a black person to be able to say nigger or nigga without consequence and other races can not, are self serving and disingenuous. She goes on to say that these people do not care about fairness because if they did then they would be focused “real problems.”
Well, I am black and I completely agree that it is a double standard. Does that make me self serving and disingenuous. No, because I sincerely do not see a clear line between who can say nigger or nigga and who can’t say it. Or when it is appropriate to say and when it is inappropriate.
The use of the nigger and nigga is very much so a “real problem”. Everyone has their own priorities and just because it does not align with what Chescaleigh views as a “real problem” does not make it any less important.
Nigger and nigga are words I choose not to use in my everyday vernacular. I also made a point to not say “The N-Word” because it reminds of "He who shall not be named" and how no one in the Harry Potter stories would actually say Voldemort, except for Harry. Hiding from the word doesn’t make it less real and doesn’t make it less hurtful or offensive. I believe hiding from the word just gives much more power to it than it deserves. (If you did not understand my Harry Potter reference, then you’re probably only 3 years old. In which case, that you make you incredibly smart for being able to read this)
Long story short, we shouldn’t say it is only okay for black people to use the word nigger or nigga, then get pissed off and scream racism when a non-black person says it. Nigger and nigga is racist, no matter who says it. So lets just all stop saying it.
Chescaleigh’s video is below, watch if you care to.
Life can be so overwhelming and many times we need relief from the anxiety, the worry, the stress, and all of the mentally draining stuff that is looping over and over again in our brain.
For the most part, I have found my guitar to be an “Aleve”. It’s pretty easy for me to jam away all the drama.
Several years ago my Yamaha Acoustic Electric guitar was stolen. So for a period of time, I had no source of outlet. One night while laying in my bed thinking and trying not to think at all, I suddenly felt an incredible pain in my left knee. When I touched my knee it was swollen and sore. “Oh, right. I banged my leg against my desk this morning.” I remembered. Oddly enough in this moment of feeling that pain, I was relieved. For the first time all day and probably my entire week, I was able to feel something other than worry. I was so overwhelmed with doubt and anxiety but the aching in my knee somehow eradicated this. I vividly recall pressing harder and harder on my bruise and the pain was so intense, yet that pain felt so much better than all of the garbage I was carrying in my life at that time.
I was a bit embarrassed to share this and almost deleted the article from my site, because I’m not a person who deliberately harms myself for the sake of experiencing the same relief I had that night. Self injury is obviously a terrible solution to for finding the peace we need.
The trick to getting to a place of peace when we are submerged in chaos, is to simply not think about it. But of course simply not thinking about the problems in our life is not at all simple to do.
What helps is being activity. Engaging in something physical. This is why I love performing so much. No time to obsess over life when I am dancing around and being goofy on stage. Not everyone is a performer though, so you have to find what is right for you. A lot of people go to the gym, walk, meditate, play a sport, or dance like no one is watching. Finger painting is a great way to calm your nerves. It’s fun and easy. You certainly don’t have to be a painter. Remember how exciting it was in pre-school or elementary when the teacher busted out the paints?! Oh and let’s not forget the things we take for granted, like the sun.
If the sun can liberate Superman when he is powerless, then it can definitely be a source of relief for us mere humans….. 😎