My new year’s resolution was to make my life awesome. Let me explain…I’m proud of the life I’ve made for myself in Miami — I have a new job that’s exciting, great friendships, and an occasional social life when I’m not on my couch enjoying doing as little as possible.
But, you know, every day is pretty much the same. Weekdays turn into too-short weekends that turn into months, punctuated by sporadic trips, parties, holidays, milestones. Year over year. Wash, rinse, repeat. Sound familiar? I know…not awesome.
I have found that this routine, uninterrupted, is the easiest way to end up in a mental and emotional rut. And in a midlife crisis. Don’t get me wrong…I THRIVE in routine. But this monotony is one of the reasons I made the drastic decision to quit my job and travel for three months in 2017 (gosh that seems so long ago now!) You eventually start to feel like you’re stuck in a cage of your own making, not realizing that the door is unlocked and you can step out anytime and spread your wings.
Since I haven’t saved enough money to quit my job and travel again (yet), I wanted to do other things to mix it up — get out of the routine, meet new people, do new things. So for 2020 I decided I’d make my life awesome by taking classes — in improv comedy, French, art, creative writing — all things I want to learn more about, but never get out there and just do!
I have a friend who really got into improv at a comedy club just down the street from where I live, and she kept encouraging me to try it out — “You’ll like it. It’s fun.” So, for my first class I went for it.
I was a weird, imaginative child. I became an awkward adult. Improv is perfect for this. Going the first night, I was more nervous about having to talk to the strangers in my class than going up on stage and pretending to be an orangutan (yes, that really happened) in front of them. And that was ok because guess what? they were also acting like animals. Any awkwardness with strangers turns into silliness with camaraderie.
It was a safe space for grown-ass adults to play and pretend like when we were little kids, to say stupid things and do ridiculous ice-breaker games all for a laugh. It felt so liberating, honestly. More often than not we weren’t very funny, but who cares because it was FUN!
I grew up dancing; I love to perform. I can go onstage and become someone else entirely, anyone I can imagine, as weird as I want to be. Someone other than you is up there. I have more anxiety getting in front of people as myself. That feels more vulnerable. I don’t like it when all eyes are on ME. But as someone else, give me a stage and a spotlight any day!
Whether you are dancing, singing, reciting lines, or making it up as you go, it’s transformative. And I love that. But before I sign up for the next level of improv, I’m going to try something else.
“I have friends to discover and many things to learn.” -The Little Prince
Trying new things makes us engage in our own lives. We owe it to our very selves. That is so important no matter what age you are or what state of life you are in. I know that’s easy for me to say having no partner, no kids, no pets or even plants to worry about. But I think it’s worth it to invest in yourself in SOME way even if you do have all those things. Life is so short, y’all.
So I encourage you to take that class you’ve always wanted to, read that how-to book, take up that cool hobby. Do something interesting and exciting that’s going to shake you awake and make you step out of your own box and live a little.
I’m not ready to move to New York and try to make it in comedy. Not all changes need to be drastic. SNL will have to wait*.
*See…I can write jokes now!