and am living a life of purpose and dignity. No,
People ask me why I look at them differently these
days and if I've lost weight. I haven't lost weight,
I'm just happy. I finally have the self-respect I've
been working so hard to gain.
Went to Pennsic. It's like Burning Man for fat
people. Women hit on me. I laughed at my new lack
of neediness for attention and approval. Women
frowned. No opportunity to explain what's funny.
Some people have gone out of my life, like my mom
(again.) Tired of explaining why I want respect, so
I just stopped engaging people who don't give it to
me. Mom, like others, keep trying to define me in
limiting ways, telling me if I felt X then I'd do Y.
Believe in myself too much for that anymore.
Surrendering just made me weak.
Mom doesn't like the tension of not knowing where she
stands with me. Nothing I can do about that. I
don't eat out of anyone's palm, nor does anyone eat
out of mine.
I'm finally being myself on stage, healing with
humor. I've kept my healing a secret to other comics
so I'll know my healing's real by their change in
reaction. So far it's been great. Amazing how I
thought predictability and routine would fix me. I'm
happy now and have less routine than ever.
Kinda bitchy these days with people, in a way I
secretly like. I used to make open-ended commitments
with people. Now my time is more valuable to me: if
you don't give me a time and date, you don't get me.
This is good for everybody, 'cos it helps me keep
from going into overdrive to please people, and to
not reward bad behavior.
Took a lot of time off from comedy, it feels
different now. I skip some open mics sometimes.
Funny, these days people always ask where I was when
I skip, before they didn't care. People actually
tell me unsolicited that they enjoy my contact.
Also seemed to be able to guard my feelings and still
feel them honestly. I used to be obnoxiously excited
about things I wanted, so people kept dangling
carrots in front of me. I feel better about people
too, 'cos I feel independent of other people for what
I can give to myself.
I've never been more interested in carrying my own
weight. I think this is how I discovered that I've
built some self-respect. I'm no longer consumed with
people taking advantage of me, 'cos I'm getting off
on each new measure of independence.
My 5-yr. debt consolidation loan ends in January.
I'm finally going to be able to bring some long-term
financial security to the table in my relationship.
Being able to choose how I want to live I think came
from starting to choose how I want to be treated.
Helped me get in the habit of treating myself better
in long-term ways.
At 35 I'm finally ready to stand on my own, and have
the courage to refuse mistreatment. The money
situation has been a big part of that. Maybe that's
I'm finally going out of my way for myself. I look
at my completed to-do list and shake my head in
disbelief. Thank you, Levitpro. Assertiveness for
noble ends. I'm a bitch with a heart of gold.
I've been trying to speak my mind for so long.
Keeping a journal FAITHFULLY finally. Helps me know
what my mind is so I can speak it.
Less malleable now. I like it. Ironically, my
behavior varies more. Try to do something new and
something in a new way everyday. Routine of
nonpredictability. Basil is the element of surprise.
About stage performance: I've outgrown trying to
mind-read the audience. All I'm paying attention to
is whether people laugh, keep showing up, and the
emotions they share. All that matters. I don't even
feel like I'm competing with other comics anymore.
People are telling me that they feel that I'm on the
verge of something. Now my dignity's worth more than
any road gig, and now bookers are calling ME instead
of the other way around.
I've broken that habit of pressuring people to tell
me their feelings. That was my neediness and is
disrespectful. God, how I used to chase people to
get them to "open up" to me. People just tuned out
and I didn't care. Grateful to be free of that now.
I used to talk out of nervousness. I like who I am
now, and occasionally even shut up.
For the first time, I'm not afraid to be alone. I
even enjoy it sometimes. I've become good company
for myself. I've noticed that I have an upbeat
attitude and it helps my own attitude by just hanging
out with me. I just don't care as much about being
with other people, 'cos I'm not so bad to be around.
There have been moments when I'm actually ALOOF!
People used to me hassling them for something are
weirded out that I'm taking care of myself these
days, and are asking to help me ON THEIR OWN.
Who'd'a thunk it. People don't seem to respond to my
words anyway; they only seem to respond to no
contact. It's strange interacting with the world
from a position of security. Strange and a little
scary. Security is scary? Yeah, 'cos it's still a
novelty to me.
Funny that I don't fear a little distance from people
now that I've learned to enjoy and reap the profits
of self-control. I'm practicing the habit of looking
to myself to give me what I need, and my friendships
now have more sincerity. I've caught myself actually
being CASUAL. Funny thing is, now my phone rings a
I think of all the time I spent nagging and
correcting people. I've given people a lot of
negative attention. What an idiot I've been. A
predictable idiot, I was. Talking like Yoda, I am.
I did the same things that cause me to tune out other
people when they talked to me that way. Duh.
Getting off now on empowering people to solve their
problems with no ongoing dependence on anyone else,
including me. Basil White: Existential Sherpa.
I think I'll always be someone who jumps through
hoops, 'cos I'm really enjoying jumping through my
own hoops for self-approval and dignity. I sound
really healthy, but all this blather is a work in
progress. You've just caught me on a good day. I
certainly don't take days like this for granted
anymore, and I don't feel obligated to give people
what they want up front despite myself.
I'm spending time with people I choose, not whoever
sends me an e-mail. Giving people their space and
independence has really separated the real friends
from the acquaintances. Nice to just...not worry if
I'm going to try to require people to do or be
something, or accept my smothering. Those
motivations are just gone. I started to think and
act based on my dignity first, and these terms and
conditions just spring up out of the sand.
I used to beat myself up for not meeting other
people's criteria, not even knowing that was what I
was doing. Starving for someone to give me the
dignity and worth I needed to give to myself, trying
to follow other people's rhythm, failing, unhappy. I
work to make my happiness number one, and everyone
else is free to go. Like a monkey off my back.