a priori/a posteriori

Monday, March 19, 2012

Damage Control, aka Days I’m a Piece of Shit

It’s 1:30 in the afternoon. On a Monday. Monday, March 19, 2012.

So far today, I’ve been a piece of shit.

I don’t have a job, but I woke up by around 8 or 8:30. I watched a few TED Talks, and then I had a good breakfast. I even took Adderall, which usually means that I’m going to do something productive and focused with my day. At 9:30, it looked like this was going to be a great day. The beginning of a great week.

Then it all fell apart. I started playing an app on my iPhone - a mind-numbing, repetitious video game app.

And then it was 3 hours later, before I looked up. And now it’s 1:30. I haven’t done a damn thing today.

And you can’t start a day at 1:30 in the afternoon. 9:30? Yeah! 11 in the morning? There’s still time to build momentum. But 1:30? When the day is already more than half over? When you haven’t done anything except be a lazy bum so far?

No. Come on. Who am I kidding? The dye has been cast. I’m a shitty person today. And since it’s Monday, that probably means I’m going to have an unproductive, pointless week.

And, it’s already the 19th! It feels like March just started. God damn it I’m a piece of shit. What have I done this month? I haven’t read a book, I haven’t watched a movie, I haven’t done any amazing shows, I haven’t gotten into any clubs. What have I done, in 19 days? Nothing.

And honestly, at the end of March, we’re already a quarter of the way through the year. Seriously? A quarter over? I’m still writing 2011 on my checks! Or I would, if I ever used checks.

What have I done this year? Honestly, what’s different now than my life 3 months ago? I’m not making any more money. I’m not in at any clubs. I still haven’t been on TV. I still haven’t cleaned my room, for Christ’s sake. What the hell is wrong with me?

You know what’s really messed up? I’ve never had a clean room. It’s 2012. I was born in 1984. I’m supposed to be a 28 year-old man right now. Some days, that’s too hilarious to be sad. But today, that’s too sad to be hilarious.

I can barely see my bedroom floor. There are 3 glasses next to my bed, because I bring a new one in every night and never bother to take them into the kitchen the next morning. I know that’s a little thing, but the little things add up. Flossing? I’m lucky if I remember to brush my teeth half the time.

I haven’t had an hourly-wage job in 4 years. I say I love stand-up, but how often do I write during my days? I say I work hard, but how often do I choose a girl, or a conversation, over what I claim is my life’s passion? Am I any more disciplined than I was when I finished college and was trying to do this when I was 22? The things that took up my time - watching sports, playing games, chasing women - am I any better at living my life now than I was then?

No. That was six years ago. What has changed - really - in six years? My lifestyle is almost exactly the same - I live in an apartment, I eat pizza, and I go do open-mics at night. I never work out with any consistency, so my body is almost exactly the same - right around 150 pounds, like I have been for the past decade. My work ethic is the same - I go to plenty of open-mics, but I don’t call clubs, I don’t e-mail bookers, and I don’t work off-stage to tighten my jokes.

Sure, I’m a better comic now. But not because I’m actually any different. I’ve just been doing it for longer. Is that really a reason to get excited?

I’m the same person I was six years ago. You know why? Because of today. Because I’ve had six years of days like today. Where I wake up. And have a chance to not be a piece of shit. And then I fuck it up.

I feel bad that I didn’t do anything from 9:30 to 11. And no matter what I do the rest of the day, it won’t be as much as I could have done. So I spend 11 to 12 avoiding getting started, and facing that reality. And then I feel even worse for the next hour-and-a-half, because I know that clock is ticking forward.

It’s bizarre. It’s almost like I’m thinking if I live a day shittily enough, it won’t count.

Every year, Major League Baseball has a “Home Run Derby,” where the best hitters try to hit as many home runs as they can before they get 10 outs. So somebody throws a pitch, and if they swing and don’t hit a home run, that’s an out. And you just count how many home runs each guy hits, before he has 10 swings that aren’t home runs.

The thing is, if they don’t swing at a pitch - and just wait for a better pitch next time - then it doesn’t count as an out. If they don’t think it’s a good pitch, they can just let it go by, no penalty.

That’s kind of how I live my life sometimes. It’s like every day is a new “pitch,” a new chance to hit a home run. But I’m so terrified of not hitting a home run, that most days, I just end up not swinging at all. I end up taking the pitch.

It’s so stupid. Logically, I know that. Because that’s not how life works. In real-life Home-Run Derby, we get a certain number of pitches (God damn it, I’d like to get through ONE POST on here without turning into a motivational speaker. Christ).

I don’t know what my point is. So I’ll just go back to the one I planned to make when I started this an hour ago:

That was the mentality I fell into, for most of the first half of 2011. Last year, when I first moved to New York, I just got into a funk. I didn’t go to any open-mics the first night I was in town. Or the second night. And then all of a sudden, it was the first week. Then, I’d gone out 5 nights in 3 months. It just snowballed. I avoided facing the present, because to do so, I had to admit my past.

So far this year, I’ve been doing a great job of limiting the damage. Sometimes I’ll have an unproductive day, but I don’t let it become an empty week. Today isn’t going to be as productive as it could have been, but it can still be something: I’m writing this blog, which is something. And I still have time to head out and get some open-mics in.

But I gotta get going. And keep going. I’m a fuck-up. Oh well. Part of the game.

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