I am not the most social of creatures. I don’t think I’ve always been this way, in fact, I remember there was a time when I didn’t have problems interacting and being funny. I liked it. As in, I did it for fun and talked to people and made them laugh and didn’t think much of it. I was happy being social, I was comfortable with being around new people, I had clever things to say, I was quick on my feet. I wore heels more then, too. I was a good person to have at parties.
Aren’t we having so much fun with so-and-so?
And then I got awkward and didn’t even realize it was happening until it happened. A year and a half ago I went to a party and realized that I couldn’t think of a single thing to say. I chalked it up to nerves and then went to another party. Same thing. Problem was – I was being introduced by friends who I wasn’t awkward with when first meeting, so I’m being introduced as a funny person but I’m suddenly not feeling very funny and don’t know the right words and I’m failing at being funny and winning at being awkward, which makes me feel more weird, and I’m meeting new people and unable to ask questions or come up with clever anecdotes, and they’re waiting for me to be funny and then people tell them I want to do stand up comedy and then they’re really disappointed, and then I know they’ll never come to my gigs and I’ll never make money and I’ll always be the girl who used to be funny, and then at some point I went home and made a sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly? Grape? Don’t remember.
Cool story, bro.
The point is that I underwent a change somewhere and being genuinely liked became a real priority for me. An overwhelming priority. I started thinking too much about what to say. And when you think too much it stops being natural. And when it stops being natural then it’s not funny. But this is who I am – a little anti-social, a little unsure, a whole lot awkward, a sprinkling of neurotic, and mostly eager to please.
I’m a chihuahua, basically.
So, I’m still adapting. Coming up with how to interact with people as the older me is proving to be a challenge. I’m always concerned about not being heard, being drowned out in a sea of funnier, better, clearer voices, being mediocre, being disappointing.
Is anyone else having this problem? I always hear older celebrities saying that aging is super awesome, that things get better with age, and that being rich is baller status deluxe and everything’s better when you’re wiping your ass with Picasso sketches.
Maybe I made up that last part.
But I’m older and more awkward. More me and yet more unsure than ever. And I’m writing new stand up material (finally) and still have no idea what the fuck I’m saying. My notebooks look like they were written by a different person. But they’re me. But not.
Anyway, what are some tidbits you’ve learned? Did anyone else get more awkward with age? I know there are “It Gets Better” videos for gay youth, but are there videos for people like me? White, late-twenties, boringly heterosexual comedians? Surely there’s a market for me.