I have got to get my life together.
This is a phrase I have heard a lot recently. By friends, family, complete strangers, I have even caught myself saying this in the past. On the surface it makes sense; we can become complacent or have contempt with our current circumstances. Life can get flat, like a soda left out for too long. Some days can leave a foul taste in your mouth and, if there’s enough of those days, it can begin to feel like the problem is inescapable. Something needs to change, I need to change, I need to get my shit together and get my life where it needs to be. Although I completely understand this sentiment of getting your life together, I also believe it’s inherently wrong.
I’m a storyteller by trade. This means that my livelihood is dependent upon engaging people with interesting stories. Whether those stories make them laugh, or entertains them, or reveals one of life’s truths, at the end of the day my success banks on telling a good story. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I don’t think I’m very good at it.
I’m being serious. Every time I pick up the microphone or get in front of my laptop, I struggle every time. I feel this is especially true of my abilities as a comedian. I get laughs but I’m not consistently killing. I bomb far more times than I kill. I’m approaching my fifth year doing stand up and at times I still feel like a complete amateur.
I’m not much better at writing either. When I sit down at my desk every morning, I struggle to find the words to say. The blank screen in front of me pierces through my soul to the point where I have to pull out my phone to distract myself from its deathly glare. Writing has been a part of my life for almost a decade but despite my experience, I still feel like an imposter.
Ultimately, what I’m trying to convey is that I too wish I had it all together.
Having it all together is a compelling concept. But what does having it all together actually look like? For me, it looks like the storytellers I admire. Having it together looks like Thoreau’s Walden or Louis’ special, Sorry. These are exceptional stories, masterpieces crafted for generations of enjoyment. I dream of creating something like these works, dream of being at that point in my life where I can create my own classic.