Last week at work I had an epiphany.
Jumahl was in his late forties or early fifties. He was 6’6”, obese, a smoker, and a black man. He loved going to the local bars, getting smashed and then hitting on woman. He swore like a sailer and always bragged about the porn he and his wife watched together. The only thing I had in common with Jumahl was that we both hated our jobs.
"So what did you want to do with your life?" I asked.
"I painted. And I was pretty good too. I wanted to be an artist and I actually got a scholarship to an art school when I was younger."
"I got busted selling pot. Lost the entire scholarship".
"Yeah. It was stupid but I wouldn’t have been anything anyways."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"It’s too hard. I even think about starting painting again but I just get overwhelmed by it. I would not have been successful and I would not have been happy."
"I don’t think you’re right about that."
"You know, I know you’re right but I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s just too hard. It’s too late for me."
There was no point in arguing with the man any further. In his own mind he was defeated. I walked back to my station and it hit me in the guts what had just happened.
I had just had a conversation with my future self.
Well, I’m not black, obese and I’ve never sold pot, but I completely understood his mindset. I’ve already given up on myself. I’m setting my course for Disastertown as I type.
My therapist had me write down my list of goals and identify the most important one, the most one that’s most crucial. Writing for a half an hour a day is number one priority. That’s the root of it all, it’s where it all starts and I have yet to sit down for one minute to write a single word of comedic material.
Because it’s really really hard.
I don’t think you understand so let me explain a little further.
I HATE IT. I HATE DOING SOMETHING HARD BECAUSE WHAT IF IT’S NOT WORTH IT. WHAT IF I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
But, as Chris Martin would say:
"But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”
And then Gwyneth Paltrow would say:
"DAMMIT CHRIS I JUST WANT YOU TO LISTEN AND TRY TO SYMPATHIZE WITH ME. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO TRY AND FIX ME??"
I should probably just try. There’s a good chance I could end up like Jamahl if I don’t.