Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pool of Negativity

One of my favorite things to do is talk comedy.  I appreciate a good joke like most people enjoy a good bottle of red wine!  (I don't enjoy red wine.)  I’m somewhat of a comedy connoisseur; I study it and know it well.  I have been listening to these podcasts lately and all I want to do is talk to my boyfriend, or whoever will listen, about Will Ferrell’s point of view and Will Forte’s background in writing.  It’s my happy place. (Which is why I love teaching so god damn much. It’s my job to talk comedy and teach people what I love – and they WANT TO LISTEN!)

The problem with that is… when you get a lot of comedians together talking about comedy, it can get pretty negative.  Sometimes it’s awesome and you’re excited over the same things and swapping stories and experiences and it’s all well and good.  But then, there are times where it can get to a point of, “What are we doing?” and everyone gets dragged into the conversation.  It goes a lot like this:

“We’re not getting paid and that sucks.”
“You’re right. That does suck. And you know what else sucks?  The hours.”
“Totally! It’s like, I’d like to get a weekend off and travel but I feel guilty and terrible about it – and for what?”
“And we don’t even have benefits!”
“I’m in debt!”
“But we’re doing what we love, right?”

Those conversations leave you feeling like nothing.  I’d walk home from those kind of nights completely defeated.  I’d crash in my bed, put on Netflix and hate my life.  Talking out your problems/issues/concerns can be great sometimes, but sometimes it just creates more problems!  I feel bad enough on my own; I don’t need anyone adding to it!  Spending all of your time complaining can turn you into a real cynic, and that is the worst kind of person to be.

So, my goal has been to cut that shit out. It’s better to maintain a hopeful mentality and focus on the reasons why you love what you do.  This could be about anything – say you’re in marketing (another field I work in) and you only talk to your co-workers about how annoying clients are and how awful the hours are and how you hate egos and personalities of certain people – then that’s going to be your impression of that company/field/etc.  You’ll never be happy if that’s ALL the field is to you.  But why’d you get into it?  Why do you love it?  What projects or tasks fill you with pride?  What’s a good day?

It’s so easy to be another negative voice in the pool, and it’s totally OK to vent every now and then, but it’s not going to help you live a happy and healthy life.  Just contain that negative voice, be hopeful (and honest with yourself about what you want), stop comparing yourself to other people and focus on yourself and your own success.  It may sound naïve, but being honest and setting distinct goals can really do wonders.  Instead of saying “I want to be a successful comedian”, it’s easier to break it into smaller goals like, “I want to publish a book of essays” or “I want to be a Groundling” etc. 

Regardless, it’s going to be hard.  Everything’s hard.  Life is literally the worst!  But, it doesn’t help to be cynical and negative because then the only obstacle in your way of success is yourself and your attitude.  So check that shit!   Before you wreck… that shit.  I’m sorry.  I don’t know.

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