Please don’t drown on my birthday!
As I write this, the smell of köttbullar fills my nostrils, the wind blows as little birds fly and chirp gayly in the air. Ah, the feeling of Swedish vacation! Most people are out of town, either heading to Way Out West, a summer house somewhere or my personal favorite, fishing!
Being out in the woods is good, I think, at least for me because it allowed for the ole’ noggin to wander. “All those who wander are not lost”, I think the quote goes. What I found is that there’s a life outside of comedy and its pretty exciting. Getting away from the “I gotta make it” mantra is therapeutic because it puts things into proper perspective. This dream is only but a fraction of my life. I was on the net for a bit, and within 30 minutes I realized, “JESUS CHRIST” the world is on fire! From ebola breakouts, war in Gaza and commercial airplanes being gunned down by rebels, comedy seems to pale in comparison.
You learn a lot about yourself when on vacation. One thing I’ve learned is that I’m a horrible swimmer. Over our vacation it was my fiancé’s birthday. The whole family went for a swim because thats what Swedes do, plus there was a not so lagom heat wave happening. With reckless abandon I dived into the lake and was pretty confident in my swimming abilities until I noticed the look on everybody’s face from ashore. My swimming technique apparently looks like a frantic panic that resembles a drowning person. I didn’t think I was that far out until I heard my lady politely shout “babe… please don’t drown on my birthday” which would suck to say the least.
What made it worse is that I really DO know how to swim but my panicked gasping and flailing arms made it seem like I was drowning. Perception people! I was panicking all the while I could’ve easily just put my feet on the lake floor, apparently I was still in shallow water. I literally walked back to shore with this look on my face like “I have no idea what just happened”. Here’s the kicker, I was trying so hard my engagement ring fell off, IN THE LAKE! So now mormor and everybody is putting on Goggles, diving to find this needle in a haystack ring, in a lake! Luckily my super handy father in law found it after a few dips, he didn’t have goggles on or anything, just boom “Jag hittade den” after like 5 minutes.
I thought I was a great swimmer because I took a swimming 101 course like a decade ago (yikes kinda set myself up for that one), its no wonder my crawl looked like crap. I think as comics we are all slightly afflicted by this thought process. “I have done X amount of years so I should have this manager, I should be booked on these shows, get better press, have this much credibility”, but what have we done to actually achieve those entitled goals? Where does this self-entitlement come from? I’m guilty of thinking this more times than I should, but how can I not when social media outlets tell me how much greater everybody else is doing? That’s when it hit me, the only reason I felt my comedy career is in the toilet is because I’m comparing an inflated digital self to everyone else’s. Social media is nothing but hype, likes and shares. Follows, pins and grandiose flair. No one is wading in the water except me. Actually many are wading in the water but its not being shown on my FB feed. There, everybody’s making it!
Back to the swimming, I didn’t want to be super bad at swimming so you know what I did… PRACTICED! I asked my lady for tips and pointers every day. Now, I’ve practiced the swedish breast stroke so much I went up a whole bra size, say hello to these B’s (shoulder shimmy). I’m still no Michael Phelps but I do look less panicky than before.
I sat down today to write about my vacation and why its good to take a hiatus from your dreams. Almost drowning, grilling dogs, picking raspberries and living life is therapeutic fun! I felt way more alive almost drowning, loosing my ring and just being away from it all that I realized life is greater than me and hey maybe even got a new bit! You can’t be a great comic without experiencing things, otherwise what would you talk about? Almost drowning (more like a water panic attack) made me realize that I might loose something precious if I don’t check my ego. My life, my ring, my career, my dream? One in the same. The lesson here comedy comrades? Family is the floaty arms of life. (The more you know) J/K. Just enjoy the rest of your summer comedy comrades and wear a life vest!
ITS THE FIRST OF THE MONTH!