About a year and a half ago I lost my sense of humor. My life, at that time, was the least funny it had ever been. I just couldn’t find it in me to laugh at the things I once laughed at, to enjoy the things I once enjoyed, to be light and carefree. The defining relationship of my life – my marriage – was over, I was a notch past mid-twenties, I was starting life over but about 8 years too late, and none of my dreams were close to being realized. I felt washed up. I was embarrassed and used up. I was a bug on the verge of being crushed. I was not alone but lonely all the same. My ability to laugh took a backseat to basic functioning.
Break ups are hard, but seeing the end of my marriage meant that my future now looked cloudy, uncertain, and terrifying. Had I wasted all my good years working on something destined to fail? What now? And do I even want it, whatever it is?
Flash-forward to today: I’ve been doing stand-up for four months, I just signed another lease at the place I’ve been staying at for the past year, I have a level of satisfaction I didn’t know I could have, and I’m in love with the sweetest man I’ve ever known.
How was I ever afraid of this future?
Yesterday I visited my friend Laura, who just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and I was amazed at the smallness of her. So tiny. So fragile. And this is how all good things begin, I realized. How much stronger I am now than when I first started, how much better I have left to be. This tiny baby is going to grow and change in cool and unexpected ways, and just because I’ve done all the physical growing I’m going to do doesn’t mean I don’t still have ways to change.
It’s not all peaches and gravy: I will spend hours writing all kinds of great stand up material only to wake up the next day and realize it’s shit. Work gets hectic. Sometimes I’m too busy to shower or eat a decent meal with the proper nutritional values. Sometimes I worry that the things and people I love will leave me.
But this small, delicate, unsteady life I inherited is finally growing into something I can be proud of. And my sense of humor came back to me, a little worn perhaps, but with a lot left to admire.