Have you ever blamed someone for something that went wrong in your life? I tried a stupid hacky joke last night that went, "Stop blaming your friends for your life turning out bad, grow up and be a man, blame your parents." It received a marginal laugh. I'm scratching it.
I have these certain thoughts that I don't express sometimes involving blaming other people. I think when you have these thoughts deep down in the darkness of your psyche they can feel so real. Not expressing them, at least in an honest way, makes them a big deal. This is a little bit of "airing my dirty laundry", but one, no one reads this, and two, discussing something you've never verbalized is dirty laundry that is in need of cleaning. So I'm just going to blurt it out.
I blame my wife for my talk show not working!
OK I already feel like a jerk for even saying that. That's why I keep shit to myself. Now I'm going to attempt to explore why I blame my wife and then at the end I will determine wether or not this thought holds any weight.
My wife is happy when we are making money. That's kind of a general statement, who isn't happy when they're making money? At least in some sense. The fact is my wife has a very high earning potential, at least she did. We met when we were young, she's three years older than me, she graduated high school 4 years before me, and she basically had a head start on me.
Be fore I met my wife, I was dealing with how to clean my room, feed myself and shower everyday right before we met. I was becoming interested in spiritual stuff. I was reading spiritual books and surfing everyday. I'm an all or nothing person. I surfed everyday in San Francisco for over 100 days straight. If I'm going to do something I do it all the way.
I'm a loner by nature. Only child. I can deal with time alone, although I admit I spent a lot of my time focused on loneliness and thinking about how I would be alone forever. The girl of my dreams wanted nothing to do with me yet I still held on to the dream of soul mates for an extra five years after we broke up. Secretly. Except for an expression of feelings through song. Sounds creepy, but I kept all the creepiness in my head.
Through the spiritual journey I had embarked on I was become more aware of myself. I became aware that I had to stop dating someone who wasn't dating me. I wrote her a letter. I told that girl that I couldn't be friends with her. I was in love with her. My heart would beat every time she walked in the room. I couldn't go on pretending that we were friends. I wanted her to be with me.
I had basically pretended to be her friend while secretly in love with her for 5 years. This letter I wrote ended the charade. I remember feeling so fucked up as I wrote it. Driving to the mailbox was fucking huge! I took a picture of me in front of that mailbox that I still have to this day. Putting that letter in that box was the equivalent of Laird Hamilton dropping in on a 40 foot wave. That's what it felt like to me. It felt like jumping out of a helicopter with no parachute.
She wanted to see me. What would she say? Would she go for it? I was fucked up, but I had got this secret out of my head and was doing something about it.
Long story short. She had a boyfriend. It wasn't me. We were never going to be together.
The lesson I learned here was huge, it's hard to find a girlfriend when you're going out with a girl that's not going out with you.
Put in a different way: Nature abhors a vacuum.
What does that mean?
Nature likes to fill up space. If you have open space in your life then nature will take something and put it there. If you have stuff in that space then nature will pass you by.
I had a girl in that space. Nature couldn't give me a girlfriend because I already had one. So, as I just said, I wrote the letter. She said, "no." Something in my psyche changed and I had broken up with the girl not going out with me. I was a free man. The space in my heart for a girlfriend was no longer taken up by that fantasy girl. It was vacant. When it's vacant nature can begin to work.
Here's a long story short. My wife came into my life. We spent every minute together. We moved in together. We got married, we had kids.
Remember how I loved to surf? That lasted for about a second with my wife. I think she came to Santa Cruz with my friend JP and I once for a surf session.
Small tangent. JP was the first friend I made in San Francisco. I was 22 and he was 18 so I felt like I was decades older than him but for some reason we hit it off. I loved hanging out at his parents house in the city because it reminded me of home. And they had a full refrigerator.
JP and I went to a musical that my wife (then girlfriend) was starring in. I had just started dating her. I'll never forget JP leaning over and saying, "Check out that chick, I want to fuck her."
"That's my girlfriend asshole!"
He quickly apologized.
JP and I drifted apart as I became a relationship guy. Years later I heard he died in mexico on a scooter. I didn't make it to the services because I found out late and I didn't rush to get over there. I regret that. I loved him, he had so much spirit. He was young.
OK the tangent is over.
I loved surfing. Every day. I met my girlfriend. The surfing came to an end. I eventually blamed her.
I became a couch potato. We watched TV together. That was our thing. I became numb. At some point I have to take responsibility. It happened to both of us. If you're caught up in that weird rut, with someone else that just wants to become numb, it's on you. I know that now, but I'm just observing the blame my mind wants to put on it.
I always wanted to be in a band. I guess I was always attracted to performing. I couldn't sing. I had drive. My wife could sing. We started a band. I had a never ending drive to become a performer. The unfortunate thing is that my tunnel vision only visualized me accomplishing something if other people did what I wanted them to do. Lesley didn't want to practice. I wanted to force her. She resented me for it. I wanted to put 100% into music. She didn't. I could see greatness in what we had if we put the work in it. She didn't share that vision. It became an unspoken, me walking on eggshells type of thing.
I blamed her for crushing my dreams. She felt my resentment and blame brewing. She said, "I don't want you to have any regrets. If you want to go on tour then do it."
She was basically trying to step out of the way of the blame truck that would inevitably roll her over in the years to come. She wanted to have at least that one piece of ammunition. She wanted to come back at me and say,"I told you to chase your dreams years ago. It's not me that stopped you."
But in my head, there was no chasing the dream without her. She was the missing link to the completion of my dream.
Why didn't I start doing comedy 13 years ago. This is a regret I have now, or at least a voice in my head. I used to speak at meetings back then and people would frequently ask if I was a comedian. When I said no they would say you should be.
Why didn't I listen to the universe? The answer was there. I had no children for years to come. I was in the perfect city to learn how to do comedy. What the fuck! I could have been someone by now. (This is the voice in my head talking.)
So I guess this is a lesson that I'm learning right now as I write. As I blamed my wife for crushing my dreams the universe was directing me towards my dreams. Maybe if I stopped blaming and starting looking around at the signs I could be a happier person.
I feel better already. My new tool (this just in): Stop blaming, and start paying attention to the signs. Follow the signs.
Here's my recreation of history:
I used to blame my wife for not committing to our rock band. I needed her, but she wouldn't come through for me. Because life wasn't working and it felt like I was forcing something that wasn't going to work. I took a step back. I took an inventory of my personal assets and liabilities. I came to realize that if I were to make it in a band I would need someone else's help because I couldn't sing.
I decided that I didn't want to put myself in a position where I would be reliant on anyone else. I began to think about what I was naturally good at. It crossed my mind that I was funny while speaking in front of large groups of people. It also crossed my mind that people were telling me I should be a comedian and I wasn't giving that remark a second thought.
I started to think about comedy. Comedians can say something. They can point out a truth that most people didn't see. I also came to realize that comedians worked on their own. Their success wasn't necessarily dependent on any one person. I started to get excited. It's basically what I was looking for. I wanted to be the lead singer. When you are a comic you are the lead guy. The one everyone is looking at.
I quickly found the nearest open mike and soon was obsessed with comedy. I emerged myself with it. Day and night. I wrote every day. I wrote so much that soon material was just flowing through my pores. I couldn't stop the universal comedy god from whispering in my ear.
I had years of pain as I learned the craft but I was growing. I was learning and I was getting funny. I finally started getting gigs at the comedy club. Real shows! I was becoming respected. I respected myself. I had found something I loved.
The best part of it all is that I thanked my wife everyday for giving me the gift of not pursuing music. I thank my wife every day for giving me the gift of comedy. For allowing me to find a road that would allow me to become successful. I love my wife with all my heart and I encourage her to explore her gifts the same rewarding way that I have.
That's my revisionist history.
I want to do part two tomorrow and do this with the talk show blame. That actually just now worked. I really, while writing this, don't blame her for the band not succeeding.
Until tomorrow, Overandout,