The Funniest Journey Ever

I’m not a sentimental person. I don’t like to feel feelings that might make me cry, even happy cry. So I keep myself too busy to reflect. But right now, as I hide in the bathroom from my kids, I have nothing else to do… unless I want to referee another bout of “which kid offended the other first”. Which I do not.

When I think about it, 2017 has been a milestone year. It didn’t happen on purpose. I didn’t set out to do something impactful for myself. I just took a step. And that step led to another step. And before I knew it, I was in it to win it. Fulfilling a dream.

As long as I can remember I’ve loved to make people laugh. My biggest idols have been comedians. But I never ever never ever ever thought I could make people I don’t know laugh on purpose on a stage. It was just a dream. Something I admired other people for doing.

Some of you may not know… I don’t often mention it (I think I’ve only mentioned it 60 times today to my family), but about 6-and-a-half years ago I decided that I hate my job. Then I discovered Etsy and decided that if other people can quit their day job and sell random shat on a website, I can, too. And I can stay home with my babies and never have to wear dress pants again. But after 2 years and only making $36 I realized that I’m not good at making jewelry. Cuz I have absolutely no jewelry-making skills. But one thing it DID do was awaken my need for a creative outlet. And it was like an addiction. I had to have that release.

In 2015 I started blogging. When I looked back at all the things I’d gone through with my first marriage and raising a baby by myself while working full time and paying off debt that wasn’t mine, I thought maybe I had something to say. Maybe by writing about my situation with laughter and sarcasm I could give hope to a single mom or, even better, let women everywhere know that they don’t have to stay in a bad situation out of fear of failure. Whether it’s a job or a marriage or even a friendship, if it’s bad, get out. I promise it’ll be better than ok.

But after about a year it wasn’t enough. I wanted more of a connection to the people I was reaching out to. I didn’t want to STOP blogging. I wanted MORE. Then one day someone randomly asked me about my blog and why I started it. After going through the story I blurted out, “my next goal is stand up. By the end of the year”. What? It was DECEMBER! I didn’t consult ME about that. Well, now that I’ve said it I gotta do it. I didn’t make my goal by the end of that year… but it started the series of events that would lead me there.

I thought about it. The more I thought about it the more I wanted it. It was starting to move from dream to possible. Then I started writing. I researched the science of a joke. What makes people laugh. How to establish a setup and a punchline. The more I wrote the more it became my calling.

Eventually I searched for open mics. There was one right by my house. I reached out to the owner of the bar and he gave me the time/date. The following Tuesday I bathed my kids, put them to bed, kissed my hubs and I showed up. To a bar. I’d never been to before. By myself.

So here I was… a married woman, in a bar alone. I’d never been to a bar alone before. It was awkward. I was glued to my phone waiting for start time: 8 pm. I sent my friend, MC, a text, “I’m at a bar. By myself. WTF.” Next thing I know she’s on her way to hang with me so I wasn’t alone. She drove an hour so I wouldn’t be by myself. And I will love her forever for that.

Eventually 8:15 came and went. No comedy show… 8:30… no show… I was afraid I got the date wrong. Or maybe it was cancelled and I didn’t know. First rule of open mic club: The start time is a soft suggestion. MC showed up and shortly after the comedians started. Once I saw that they were all “normal” people, my dream became real. It was attainable. We all have to start somewhere.

I did the same thing 4 weeks in a row. I showed up and watched. And then, on April 25th, 2017 I did it.

Have you ever had a moment in life that seemed so surreal it felt like you floated through it? It was beyond words. I didn’t bomb. I wasn’t great but I held my own. Honestly, if I had bombed it wouldn’t have swayed me. I knew the moment I held the mic that I was where I was supposed to be.

Laughter has always been my escape. Life can be pretty shitty. It just can. But then something funny happens and for a moment, it’s all forgotten. If I can give that gift to just one person, I’ve done what I came to do.

2018 can be your year. It can be epic. It can start a journey that lasts the rest of your life. All you have to do is take a step toward something wonderfully terrifying and unreachable. What will your step be?

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New Year, New Mariah, New You

It’s 2017. If you’re reading this, you made it! Congratulations. It probably means you aren’t a cracked out rock star, beloved screen actor, or Princess Leia. Maybe it means you’re Betty White! GO BETTY!

Anyway, with each new year comes a renewed effort to start anew and begin again… to become a better person and along with that many of us make goals and some lofty resolutions to keep ourselves on track.   Be our best in 2017. I want you to know that those goals, your goals are all within reach. No matter how lofty or big they are, you can make those goals your biatch.

The difference between goal setters and goal reachers is that goal reachers put one foot in front of the other, even when the fog is too thick to see the end. All it takes is that first step, then the next, then the next. Some people are mistaken by thinking that they have to perfect that first step before they take it. New Year’s Eve proved us wrong.

Did you see it? Mariah Carey’s performance? If not, hold EVERYTHING and Google it. Immediately. But be sure to come back. This shat’s about to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself. Even your 2016 self.

It was pretty crazy, right?

If New Year’s Eve with Mariah taught us anything, it’s that you just gotta get out there. Did she know the words? The words to her OWN SONGS? No. No, she did not. Did that stop her from getting out on that stage in front of millions? Nope. Not only that, she was confident. She stuck both of those legs in that sparkly, high-cut leotard and walked out on that stage like the diva she knows she is. And that, as “THEY” say, is the first step.

Was she there to sing? Yes. Did she? No. But she smiled and held that microphone like she was gonna love it. She owned her suckiness and gave us a show that none of us expected. And there we all were left with our mouths agape wondering what just happened to us.

I don’t know what your goals are. Maybe it’s to be more present. Maybe it’s to get in shape. Maybe it’s to pay off your debt so you can fulfill your dream of becoming a Bikram yoga instructor.   If MC taught us anything, it’s that life won’t stop so you can line everything up for perfection before you take that first step. Sometimes you have to get out on that stage unprepared “without a functioning earpiece” and make the best of it. But as long as you sparkle and own it, that stage is yours.  If you fail, put on your highest heels, slap some mascara on those lashes and get back out there.  At least you’re pretty.

So, what will you do? What’s your first step?

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