I met someone I like. It's a much more complicated and scary thing than I expected.
At the very least it's been surreal. It's not difficult to write about relationships retroactively, or write about them with intensity while they're falling apart. What's been strangely difficult is writing about one in any meaningful context while it's all going really well.
I still think of Jordan a lot, and that's been strange to process. There was part of me that felt very guilty for having real feelings for someone else. There was something in my head that still resisted the idea that I even could be with someone else in a meaningful way. Everyone else was supposed to be a placeholder; I'd live my life adventure and eventually we'd meet back up and live out our lives together. On some level I don't think I ever anticipated I'd move on.
There's a lot of weird baggage like that I had no idea I'd have. I wanted to wait before meeting anyone because I wanted to be "past" everything I've been through in the past couple years. I wanted a clean slate, but I guess time doesn't work that way; I can only build off of what I've been given, good or bad. I've been very fortunate that this boy has been patient with me.
I wanted to be okay by myself, to know who I was and to be sure that if/when I ended up with someone, they didn't put any limits on who I am. I didn't want to lose the identity I created, that's a hazard I face in relationships. I am very sensitive to the Pygmalion Effect.
In the past, if I like people I find myself getting lost in them. I don't really understand why or how I lose myself, but I stop being what it is that I am and end up trying to be what I expect they want me to be. I become a kind of doll. I don't think anyone I've ever been with has ever wanted a doll, either. They liked who I was and were probably very confused how that girl disappeared into something else. I think it's because I cut myself off socially; I only have them and their expectations and perception to draw from, and that becomes a vicious cycle.
I am a collection of things I like about other people. If no one else is around, I become a collection of one person's perceptions about me.
I've known that about myself for a very long time, but I'm only just now realizing that being a collection of things I like about other people also means that I am what those other people like about me. I think that's how I ended up becoming that blank doll. I would focus so heavily on what they liked about me that I wouldn't be able to see it any more, and then it would disappear, and we were all a bit confused.
I'm inconsistent and impulsive, I have this ephemeral projection that exists in different ways around different people. The idea of another relationship made me panic. I like to connect with people, I like to in a very deep way and I know it means I walk a lot of gray areas. It makes me worried that I'd accidentally be shitty to someone I'm in a relationship with. I saw it happen with Jordan and I don't want to do it again.
Looking back, the way I deified him has become to fade and I have become a lot more understanding of how all that broke down. I still want the best for him. I just don't want to know what happens in his life any more. I don't really know if he reads this or any of his friends do, but I guess he has the option of not knowing or knowing, depending on what he wants. That's a weird portal to know exists.
Now there is this new person, and I swear he's a little magical. I've been afraid of my malleability, how quickly I can change from one kind of person to another, and of the risk of me becoming lost, or turning into something I'm not. Relationships make me feel like a circus tiger, even if it isn't what the other person wants. I spill into this mold called "girlfriend" and it takes me out of the current I've been working so hard to be part of. That scares me the most, but it doesn't seem like that threat exists here. So far there's been a strange level of what I suppose is just being understood, but in a way I haven't encountered before.
I've been at a loss when it comes to describing what I like about this raccoon-of-a-human other than I like how he is, which is not exactly defined by who he is. When we talk about who we are, we usually mention our job, where we're from, our age and so on. None of that particularly interests me, and rarely do I think those definitions matter much. You are who you are, but how you do it is a much more interesting question.
He seems so self aware and empathetic. He is curious and smart and very odd, he's aware of how he feels and thinks critically about it. We can talk about anything. He's interested in what I do and he has faith in it. He's interested in who I am and complements it well. We're analogous; in a way, I feel better understood through knowing him.
The person I am when I'm around him, I think, is close to the way I think I am deep down, or at least the way I like to be. I am still a capricious monster, but around him, I am not a doll. I don't feel any need to impress this person. I don't feel the need to protect his feelings, so I tell him what I am thinking and feeling even if it's dark or potentially unpleasant. It's not hard to be honest. I'm still susceptible to the Pygmalion effect, but in this case it's become an advantage.
It's hard to balance the knowledge that the chemical release of love is temporary, that this feeling will be diluted by reality, with the understanding that I can't assume I know how this will end. I am not sure how long this will last or if it's meant to, but I'm looking forward to the shapes it takes. I'm looking forward to seeing the people we become, whether or not those people can continue a relationship. You can do a lot of harm, and a lot of good to another person once you've been intimate. We fear how things end, but I think I've figured out that it's not endings I'm afraid of, it's hurt. People who get hurt become bitter, and cynical, and it becomes more difficult to be open the more often it happens. I don't know if or how this ends, but I do know that we care about each other in a way where we won't leave the other one hurting.
Typical of me to try and write something light and fluffy about love and come up with that kind of dark sentiment, but my mind works a lot through those reciprocals. I understand things by their contrasts, and my ability to understand the loss of last time comes from learning about this new beginning and vice versa. Whatever it is, it makes me feel very good, and I'm grateful to have it.
If there is an ending, I really believe it won't be bitter, we will still be ourselves. It's a nice hope to have.
This has been a challenge to sit down and write. A lot has been going on in my little world, and it's preoccupied my observations of the larger one as a whole. Usually, the month of October is the worst for me, but for the first time there haven't been any major catastrophes, just a lot of time to think.
I came to a point at the end of September where things slowed down, and now things are right back at their scheduled chaos, but I've run into a problem; I'm stuck. I am frustrated, and I don't know if there's nowhere to go or just no room to. I have a lot of ideas and they aren't moving forward; I hit the bottleneck.
This is a weird thing in Denver comedy that I imagine everyone begins to notice once they're where I'm at. People don't want to take risks on you. There are a lot of talented people, but we all tend to give stage time to people that we see other people give stage time to. There's a hierarchy, which is fine, but not a lot of people look to promote anyone within that hierarchy, we just adhere to it. We're effectively a caste system in terms of stage time; there's open micers, openers, features and headliners. Nobody goes up or down, not far anyway. Your only leverage is if people can get something out of you. Since I run a show and I'm a woman, I have two things regardless of how funny I am. I have a spot I can offer you and I make your show look a little more diverse. Both of those are bullshit criteria but I'd be lying if I didn't say I think that's a huge part of why I get what I get.
We all build up inside the bottle, perfecting our spots. We get good at the places we're at. Once in a rare while someone sneaks through the neck of the bottle because someone took a risk on them and everyone noticed. Denver in particular puts a lot of stock in the comedy competitions which I think is ridiculous, but I'm likely biased given that I don't do well in contests.
I felt very lost after San Francisco. I'd gone out there with a purpose that didn't really work out. I wasn't upset about the opportunity loss, I just didn't know where to go from there. I'm very goal oriented. At the beginning of the year I made a commitment to try and figure out how to make (some) money doing comedy, which I guess I've started, but I needed somewhere to go from there, I just haven't figured out where that is.
I thought I was being patient, but patience can teeter dangerously on waiting for things to happen when it's my job to bring them about. Waiting is something I reserve for when I don't know what I should be doing. That's where I was at when things slowed down. Things were slow and I was okay with that, but I didn't want to wait for something to happen. I just needed to know what I should be doing so I could start.
It's taken me awhile to work it out, but I think I have started the answer; I have to make something here. Traveling is great, and you make a lot of connections (with people or concepts), you experience, create and explore. Now that I'm home I see myself as stuck, but I don't think darting around the country will get me anywhere. I need to be looking at this place. My problem is not unique. I need to break the fucking bottleneck.
I'm guilty of this too. I run a show that I care about and I always want to see do well, so I don't take a lot of risks when it comes to who I book. I'm contributing to the problem I'm experiencing. I'm going to make it a point next year to change that. I'm pretty experienced with risks, now I need to start taking those chances with people. If I'm lucky that will start being reciprocated.
I didn't get my cartoon up for the first Wednesday, which felt like a little failure. That was one of my goals this year, to add those twice a month, and it sucks a little to know I couldn't do it, but at the same time, it was certainly an indicator for me. I try to do a lot of things at the same time, and things that aren't prioritized or particularly special to me fall off the edges. Learning how to manage those things has been a huge process. I don't take that kind of failure as hard as I used to. I push myself and look for edges so I know where they are, and apparently, I hit one. This one appears to be the amount of things I can accomplish by myself.
I feel like I'm at the point where I've done all that I know how to on my own. For awhile I was frustrated that there was no sense of leadership, that I had no one to look up to in order to figure out what direction I should be going. I'm realizing that maybe that's the incorrect way to look at this, it goes against dancing to presume there's a shape to it. I can't do it the same way as other people and they're not going to be able to do it my way.
What I'm hoping to do now is to work with other people. I suppose it's a lateral approach. I'm not really sure how to work upwards but I'd like to work with people I know in order to see if we find places to go out of it. I've always held to an idea that a sense of community/connection with people is a huge problem solver. I was planning to look into it and use it as a springboard for this big project on homelessness I'm working on; some stuff about neotribalism but hopefully you'll get a really cool article about that later.
I've been wanting to do a little more with the articles here. They've mostly been my own thoughts backed with just enough research to make sure I wasn't completely mistaken about anything. I've covered a lot of my own basics and now a lot of what I'm writing about is stuff I'm learning about at the same time, and they're becoming bigger puzzles. It's pretty interesting, we'll see where that goes. I'm getting more of an idea of what I'm doing by writing them in the first place. When I first started, I really had no idea why I was except for that I liked to. I didn't have any great sense of purpose.
I just realized that as a person, I'm a microcosm of that big project. I have been wanting to do more. Every time I see a large system I realize that the flaws in it are easily reduced to the same flaws in an individual; you can turn almost anything into a metaphor for itself and that approach makes things more understandable and therefore more fixable. I've been looking at this big social problem and it's ultimately because it's the exact same problem I have on a very small scale. I am interested in homelessness because I have no place to go.
I don't know what it is I'm going to start. It's still new and shy and hard to see through the logistical thicket. Here's hoping that somewhere in there it gives us a place to belong.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.