Today is my birthday. I am one year older today than I was 364 days ago. I am older, wiser and smarter. That’s cool.
Every year I say to myself, “I am going to try and be ______ this year,” and sometimes I live up to my potential. Sometimes I say that I am going to be more open to things or more spontaneous and I do those things. A year ago I told myself that I was going to be braver. That I was going to stop bullshitting and buckle down to make my life better. Go on more dates, get out there more, make bolder moves in improv, be more experimental, etcetera. I’ve lived so many years telling myself that I wasn’t good enough to chase the white whale that is happiness, because I was scared and insecure, but I had decided that I was tired of that. I was tired of waking up unfulfilled and alone and disappointed with myself.
Sure, I’ve come a long way in twenty four years; I’ve moved to New York to study improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade, I’ve been in bands, I’ve submitted short stories to competitions. I’ve done a lot. That doesn’t change the fact that fear still cripples me. It grasps me tightly, twisting and turning and bulging in my gut, and keeps me from doing what I want to do. The butterflies that form feel like boulders in my stomach and it doubles me over in an aching terror. I used to use this as a reason why I didn’t ask my crushes out on dates and why I didn’t make moves in improv jams and why I didn’t talk to people. I was terrified. That’s not a good reason.
On August 18th, 2011, I told myself that I was going to follow the fear rather than flee from it. I was going to ask the people I have crushes on out on dates. I was going to go on dates. I was going to follow my dreams, trusting that the fear was a good thing rather than a bad thing. The rumbling in my gut was a signal of my proximity to a positive place rather than a warning of imminent self destruction. And I have done that.
Over the last year, I have gone on 300% more dates with people I was interested in (three dates, two different girls) than the previous years, which, statistically speaking, isn’t all that impressive, but I’m happy with it. The dates may not have wound up as I’d have liked them to (see: I’m still single), but I still view them as successes as I’ve gone on dates with girls and I wasn’t an asshole and they were fun. I have definitely been bolder in my improv (with help from Shannon O’Neill, Don Fanelli, John Timothy and Shaun Diston) and I have been holding back on WAY less moves than I used to. I have grown.
There isn’t some huge wrap up or anything, no closing comments, just me saying that it’s been a good year and I’ve come a long way. Over the next year, I plan to continue my growth in courage and I aim to mature in other areas. I plan on going on more dates, I plan on trusting my instincts more. Most importantly, here’s the main thing I want 24 to be for myself:
Over the next year, I am going to try and be more about what others need and less selfish.
Thank you for the great year and thank you for being fantastic friends.
“The (500) Days of Summer attitude of “He wants you so bad” seems attractive to some women and men, especially younger ones, but I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is. He develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies. He thinks she’ll give his life meaning because he doesn’t care about much else going on in his life. A lot of boys and girls think their lives will have meaning if they find a partner who wants nothing else in life but them. That’s not healthy. That’s falling in love with the idea of a person, not the actual person.”—Joseph Gordon-Levitt (via kristinjones)
But maybe if I wake up and quit dreaming I can shake the shit I’m fearing And I can realize I’m just freaking out for no good reason I’ll tell you what: If that’s a line I can cross, once I get there, I’m not ever leaving
I have posted this song many times already and I’ll probably post it many times after this, but what can I say, it’s a song that really takes it home for me. For reasons that I won’t divulge on here, this song means a lot to my life (especially my life over the last few months) and it both depresses me and entices me. Enjoy it.
Last Friday night Fesh and I were sitting in Big Daddy’s Diner (Park between 19th and 20th) and, as we were sipping orange creamsicle milkshakes, this song came on. We both stopped our conversation and said, “Oasis, man.”
This song is great, I mean, “cause you ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out.” OOF!
Anyway, today is Fesh’s birthday and he’s grown a lot. Buy him a soda if you see him!
Roads turned into highways and Sam Roman kept walking, his tiny legs carrying his tiny body across the pavement, a stoic expression pasted to his face to show a bravery that he had learned to fake. Inside he was trembling and crying, but he tried his hardest to keep that hidden.
Mostly, though, he wondered where his parents were.