Note to Self
Updated: Mar 17, 2020
I don't know where I'm going.
But here I go.
My recent blog series soaked up what feels like the last bit of important, meaningful, nonsense I will ever say, so I don’t quite know where to go from here. Over the course of my NY blogging experience I’ve described my entire childhood (essentially a weight complex paired with an identity crisis), which led to my substance abuse issues (all of the drugs, but mostly booze), which I’ve now resolved (besides the occasional pot and psychedelics - those get to stay). So, that’s it. I did the thing I thought I couldn’t do… now there’s just all this space to actually do what it is I want to do. But what is it I want to do, anyway? Be a comedian? A writer? An herbalist? Perhaps do something good for humanity? Maybe all of the above.
Now that I've given up alcohol there is undoubtedly a clearing in my life. But now I get overwhelmed at what to fill it with. It's vastness both intimidates and inspires me as I'm learning to forge my own path. I meant what I wrote in my last blog when I exclaimed; I honestly thought once I quit [drinking] I would just cease to exist. That I’d fade away into the background of some story far away, never to be seen or heard from again. But the opposite is true. I’ve only gotten more present and more engaged in my own story.
But the road I walk winds, and the moods that accompany it shift frequently these days. There is no more avoiding these moods/emotions, there is only space left to sit in them. There is no where left to hide, and it's intense. No wonder I drank, life is a lot. I'd even go as far to say it's everything. One day I'm walking on sunshine, powerful, beaming. The next the sun may never rise again, devastated, lost. The lows are rough. They leave me perplexed I'm still somehow missing the point. The very point I'm trying to make to you aka myself, so here goes...
I want to be clear, I haven’t suddenly discovered my self-worth as if it were hiding under a rock the entire time just because I quit drinking. Things like worth, compassion, and forgiveness are not something you can just find whole. They are fragmented all over the place. We pick them up as we go and place them where they'll fit. Much like a mosaic creation of our own design. Upon finding a new piece you feel powerful and inspired. But old thought patterns die hard and return with a vengeance whenever they can. The trick, or the mastery rather, is catching yourself when this happens. When you become aware that you are aware, you can choose how you respond. Choosing to observe from the expansive consciousness you are helps you realize these relentless, liminal thought patterns are just a byproduct of your evolution. Same with all positive thoughts, too. It's all just chatter in your head. But neither are truly you.
I have a greater capacity now to understand just who this "me" is. This conscious collection of space dust confronting it's existence. But it's not just easy now that I’ve given up something I believed was “holding me back”. I'm finding you aren't naturally propelled forward into all the spaces you feel you belong just for doing so. I must've been confusing physics with my reality. The reality is that life doesn't happen over night, and transformation (mine anyway) is a slow burn. This is an exploration until it's end. There is much missing still and there is always much to learn. But now I'm finally on board, perhaps even steering. Not dangling off the side of the fucking ship.
I still don't know exactly who I am.
But it doesn't matter.
I was never one of those addicts/drinkers who did well at making her pain into art while using. I was no Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse. I made it to a karaoke bar here and there, but I mostly just cried from my barstool to strangers and terrorized my exes. Which is a form of art I suppose. It's not unpopular that many wildly successful, iconic artists also suffer from addiction. I smoked cigarettes out my window through runny mascara and wine stained teeth, but I never took too much of anything to canvas. I was always blacked out by the end of an evening barely able to speak or walk, much less come into my fullest self-expression.
It's only been in the last two years after cultivating more self-awareness and dabbling in sobriety that I finally took my compulsion to do comedy to the stage. Alcohol helped me get on the stage, a few drinks before my set sure loosened me up. Yet alcohol also kept me from getting on the stage all the years leading up to that moment. It was to blame for everything. Everything bad and everything good.
Alcohol is why I was never thin enough, or fully happy, or rid of anxiety. Yet I simultaneously believed booze provided me with all of my humor, wit, and anything lovable about me. Alcohol was everything. The reason I was and the reason I wasn't. I spent the majority of my life swimming (sinking) in the paradoxical illusion it cast. But now the booze is gone and a lot remains the same. Some major things have changed, no doubt. But a lot remains the same. Which leads me to believe I'm dealing with much more than alcohol. I'm dealing with myself. Or at least who I thought I was.
It's clear to me now that drinking was only the tip of the iceberg that kept me from operating as the human I longed to be. Underneath the tip lies a giant, icy mass made of me; experiences, and ideas/stories/concepts about those experiences. Now the real work has only just begun. Thankfully, now the real work is able to begin. But the more I explore the more I see the work isn't what I thought it was at all. The work isn't about chiseling away at myself until I'm okay. It's admitting I am okay. The work isn't even work so much at all, and to view it as such makes it seem like more of a disservice than the wondrous adventure it is.
Old me would create a dozen more problems in an attempt to avoid taking accountability and accepting this truth. The truth that I'm okay. But new me (conscious me) understands life is more than just problems. It's how we handle them and what we create from them. It’s as if I created problems to avoid life’s problems never realizing I was only doubling my load, because life will deliver them regardless. Maybe this is it. Life is just a series of knowing and not knowing, then knowing and not knowing again. It's learning to live without all of the answers. It's being in the puzzle, as the puzzle, observing the puzzle. And only as one piece of it.
There are a lot of things I still struggle with.
Open mics still intimidate the fuck out of me. Feelings of despair and insecurity still loom overhead. And putting my voice in the world still feels like a push. But I'm not going to get down on myself about it. I'm not going to make it wrong or take it personal, because it's okay. I accept that being nervous and having fear is okay. Once it's okay, you can just move on from it. I accept that it's perfectly normal (for me) to take my time finding comfort in my voice. I spent a lot of time suffocating it. There will be things that just take time. And my time-frame only has to do with me and no one else.
I'm ending this blog. Not meaning I won't still be writing here. But this blog as you and I have known it is ending. I told my story, I worked through my story, and I owned my story. And now I'm okay. This was certainly an element of healing, this sharing process. But I feel it’s time to move forward and broaden the horizons of my existence, and therefore what I write about. I am finally ready to put the past away.
I'm ready to start here, right here, in the midst of the great wide unknown. A place of possibility and abundance. I hate that I just used both of those words in a sentence. But let's be real, life isn't waiting for me to be okay. It's not waiting for me to believe in myself of have it all figured out. It's happening regardless. Maybe some people naturally believe in themselves; I'm happy for them. But I'm going to have to continue with or without it. Because as they say, the show must go on. And it's okay.