JUST TRYNA BE FUNNY

Dear Reader,

I posted an unattractive picture of myself on Instagram today (no filter) because it made me laugh.   

That’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. What people find to be funny and how important that can be. 

I’ve never quite been a “class clown” type character, and even in friend groups where I’m the one receiving the most laughs, it’s usually because my sense of humor (and the jokes I tell) is (are) obnoxious. 

And if there was every something I wanted to be so badly it was “the funny one.”

No one can deny how good it feels to make someone laugh. And–even more egotistically–how good it feels to be labeled as funny. But I’ve always been too insecure to actually feel like I’m funny (probably because I’m insecure about everything). 

I’ve been so obsessed with comedians and all different styles of comedy. I read all these hilarious autobiographies and watch clips and TV shows like Last Comic Standing and Whose Line and SNL. I am obsessed with my school’s improv troupe, and I so desperately wish I could be a part of something like that, but I know I’ll probably never put myself out there in such a way. 

Because there are two things I know for sure: 

1. Not everyone can do it. And that’s the sad truth. And I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to think that quickly or keep my face from getting red or manage to not trip over my speech in front of a crowd. I mean how could I–a shaky, red-faced nobody–be able to deliver a punchline?

2. You have to have confidence. Or, at least, you have to fake confidence. 

All of my favorite people and comedians and even YouTubers are the ones who know they’re funny. And that’s at least half the battle. 

There’s a great quote from Bossypants where Tina Fey describes Amy Poehler through an exchange she had with Jimmy Fallon that proved one single point: she did everything she did because she wanted to, and she didn’t care who did (or didn’t) like it.

It’s like the picture I posted tonight. We took way too many, but this one made me laugh, so I posted it. Then I said “what if I just had the caption be #nofilter?” And we laughed some more. And then I saw that one of the locations I could pick was “Fort Meigs: Ohio’s War of 1812 Battlefield.”

So here we all were, rolling around the basement at 11:30, laughing at stupid jokes. And I posted that ugly picture that took us too long to take with the lame caption and slightly incorrect location, not because it’d get a lot of likes on Instagram or because people would think it was funny. 

But because we all thought it was funny. 

I think it’s funny. 

So I’m trying to do more shit like that because life is too short to be worrying about what everybody else is giggling at when you could be making yourself laugh instead. 

Sincerely,

Sammy

Advertisements

WE’VE ALL GOT A TYPE

Sometimes I wonder,

when I’m sprawled across your bed

and the sun is just starting to rise,

How would you describe this moment?

If you had to write it down–

If you had to capture it,

What would you say?

What would you notice?

Would you talk about the way the light hits my skin?

Or the separation between my lips,

or the curve of my back?

How would you describe my stare?

Would you call it pensive,

or vacant?

Would you wonder about the thoughts that lay

just behind my eyes?

 

But then I snap out of it,

look over at you,

and realize what’s happening

and who we are.

I didn’t find you pouring over literature in coffee shops,

I find you in math lectures.

I see you solving calculus problems,

not writing poems in the park when you’re in love

and suddenly everything looks beautiful.

And maybe you don’t even fall in love,

because you choose numbers over words every time.

So I stop thinking of the words you’d assign to me

when I’m staring into your eyes

or playing with my hair.

And I wonder if I’m just another number to you.

and what that number is.

tumblr_nzntotWNq41uem0vto1_1280

SOMETIMES I WRITE CRAPPY POEMS IN MY NOTES AND FIND THEM LATER

I often find myself reflecting at night,

Thinking about this diagnosis I try to pay no attention to while the sun is up. 

And sometimes I’ll slip and think, 

“Well, of course. Anyone with my life would be depressed.”

But I know that’s wrong. 

I have so much. 

I’ve been given so much. 

I’m so fortunate for it all. 

The unfulfillment and self-loathing and all these thoughts are separate,

For I recognize my life as good. 

So then I rephrase. 

“Well, of course,” I’ll think. 

“Anyone who thinks the way I do–anyone with a brain that works like mine would be depressed.”

And then I start to get it. 

  

HE GAVE ME A GIFT

He tried so hard when he finally had a daughter, just in case the gene that carried his intelligence didn’t transfer. He taught her algebra when she was still able to use her fingers to give her age. He only allowed her to play educational games on the computer. He quizzed her endlessly in the car on things like energy and the four forms they come in.

And she was picking it up.

She excelled at the tests he gave her, even though they were meant for kids older than herself. She understood the metaphors he used. She was even creative enough to make her own sometimes.

He had tried so hard, and he succeeded. Because in fourth grade, she tested at an advanced level and had finally owned up to the term that had been used to describe her for five years: gifted.

And it makes sense, because a gift is something that is given to you. A gift is not something you ask for. She didn’t ask for the lectures after soccer practice or the tab on the computer that marked the educational, “Dad-approved” websites. She didn’t ask to be put in a primarily fifth grade classroom when she had just turned nine.

In fact, she was almost kicked out of that class because she never did her homework. We’re not sure why, but she just never did. So she fell behind in math–she didn’t know anything about fractions. And one day, the principal was called in and she sat down the girl and her teacher and talked about how fortunate she is to be in this class and how there are other bright children who would gladly take her place and work hard to keep it. She warned her that if she didn’t get her act together, she could get kicked out.

But the girl was never kicked out.

She went onto sixth grade excels and didn’t read any of “Treasure Planet,” but still managed to pass the class. And in eighth grade, she would copy her friend’s science homework every morning in homeroom. She’d do just fine on the tests and would end up passing that class too.

In fact, she’s never failed a class. She skated by time after time despite her poor time management skills and awful problems with procrastination and lack of motivation. How she did it? We’re not quite sure. Maybe it’s because she’s gifted. Maybe it’s because her father tried so hard. The day she learned to speak was the day he taught her to read. Just like the day she touched a soccer ball was the day she joined travel soccer.

But she ended up quitting soccer after ten years.

And now she wants to quit school, too.

Because you can mold a young mind into memorizing multiplication tables and understanding the metaphor of a firecracker when it comes to the four different types of energy, sure. But you can’t stop there. You can’t work hard(ish) with her for the first nine years of her life and then assume that she’ll be okay.

Because she won’t be.

Sure, you can tell her time and time again that she needs to “get her act together” and “own up to her potential.” After all, she is gifted.

You have the tests to prove it.

You even have her high school diploma, with the golden sticker that tells you she graduated with honors, probably hanging in your office somewhere.

But she never read The Scarlet Letter. She never really tried to learn trigonometry. She probably never even opened her ginormous textbook for AP Biology.

And she knows this is all her fault. She’ll always place all the blame on herself, and just chalk it up to another personality trait of hers that she absolutely despises. Another piece of the puzzle that is her self-loathing.

But don’t think she won’t remember. Don’t think she won’t wonder. What if there had been more structure when she got her first C in history? 

6e346b3e542ae665449ee4e5af3420b8.jpgWhat if she had more help with her homework when she got home from school–help that didn’t end in a yelling match and tears.

What if her parents were at that meeting when she was nine?

What if she never aced that test–the one that marked her as “accelerated.”

What if my father didn’t try so hard to make sure I was gifted.

WHY I TAKE WALKS IN THE RAIN

Dear Reader,

If you know me as well as I sometimes like to think you do, you’ll know that I love the rain, as most people do. I mean, who doesn’t love the sound of rain on tin roofs? Or watching droplets race down the sides of windows?

People love the rain. It’s a perfect excuse to get out of leaving your house, and it’s kind of nice to sit inside, all bundled up with a blanket. Maybe a book. Maybe a loved one. And you just sit and watch as the rest of the world gets clean.

It’s romantic, right? Showing up on someone’s doorstep means so much more if you’re out of breath and drenched in rainwater. Even if the flowers you’re holding are ruined, it’s even more of a grand gesture. Because you went out in the rain.

But I love going out in the rain. Not to dance and splash in puddles, necessarily, or run to the houses of those I’ve deeply wronged. I just like walking. Being alone with my thoughts. Maybe a good playlist. Not having to worry about seeing another soul because everyone else is hiding inside where it’s nice and dry.

It may seem lonely, but I don’t really think it is.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_6a8x5hyu3g8wgwkk8wok0ok4s_640

I think it’s much more lonely walking around campus and not seeing a single familiar face that will greet you with a smile. It is lonelier sitting in a room and hearing roars of laughter outside. It is lonelier noticing that life is going on around you, but you are experiencing none of it for yourself.

And I guess none of that stops when rain starts to fall. People are still laughing and loving and being together. I guess it’s just that they’re not in your face as much. They’re all inside, keeping to themselves for the day.

Though I don’t know why, really. I mean, a little rain never hurt anybody.

It’s never hurt me.

So I guess I’ll just keep walking in the rain until it does.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS

We all like to think that we’re destined for great things.

We all see our future as brighter than our present

and we long for the days to come

because we like to think that they’re better than the days we’re having now.

I mean

we certainly don’t think they’ll be worse.

tumblr_n5uzvaT5dB1ql2ng0o1_1280

How can they be worse?

But we look to the future with dumb optimism.

We see things better than reality

because we compare ourselves to people we can’t become.

We see ourselves as better than average.

We all do.

But that, in itself, is flawed.

We cannot all be above average.

It is impossible.

And I’m starting to realize

more and more

how unfortunately average I am.

And I don’t know how to be okay with it

because I was raised to believe I was better.

I’M WRITING A BOOK (LULU.COM)

Dear Reader,

A few weeks ago, I found out about the website “Lulu.com” and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner. So I’m sharing it with all of you.

Lulu is a company that allows you to self publish books and ebooks. You can sell your work through their website and others, but that’s not quite what I’m intending to do.

I started a novel last spring and wrote like crazy for almost three weeks, managing to rack up almost 26,000 words. And then I just kind of stopped. I planned on working on it over the summer, but I kind of forgot about it. And I thought about finishing it up and revising it like crazy and then get serious about getting it published. Maybe I’d look for an agent or start going to writing conventions, I don’t know.

But then I remembered why I wrote it in the first place. I feel like a broken record, but I write for clarity. I take things that happen in my life and try to make sense of them. And last winter, I started feeling really sad. I felt ultimately alone, and I found myself easily aggravated at the few people who I constantly found myself around. And all I wanted to know was why. Why was I, a privileged girl from the suburbs who has the world at her fingertips, feeling depressed?

So I sought out therapy (you can read more about that in my recent post here), but it didn’t help like I thought it would. Then again, I might’ve had unrealistic expectations since I thought there was no way possible that he would actually think I was depressed. Even didn’t think it.

And then more stuff happened and I started to feel better, which made me think it was just seasonal, but then it got worse, which just made me feel helpless, really.

So I started writing a book.

A new book.

I started with a character that I largely based off of myself. She was a freshman in college, at a college very similar to Miami, and she was sad for seemingly no reason. But then the story started writing itself, and the girl suddenly wasn’t me anymore. It was a girl who had a traumatic experience, went through multiple therapists, and finally found one who she trusted–someone who actually understood her. And she fell in love.

So it was no longer my story, but it still helped me to write it. I still related to her, sure, and I loved finally working on something that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It was my own therapy, in a way.

And now I’m back at school, and it’s weird. I have so many good memories from last year, but I had so many bad thoughts as well. And I’ll listen to my playlist from J-Term and feel overwhelmingly sad again. Just because the music will bring me back to that place in my life.

So, long story short, I suppose, I’m going to finish this book and I’m going to publish it using Lulu. I’m going to have a hard copy of something I created, and I’m going to see my own name in print.

I’m going to have this goal I’m working towards–a goal that I so desperately want to reach. Not because I have dreams of being rich and famous and seeing my name in bookstores and signing over rights for the movie version. But because of the whole reason I like writing in the first place–it helps.

So these big dreams can be put on hold momentarily. I’m helping myself first.

Sincerely,

Sammy

6a00d8358081ff69e20192ac1350b7970d-800wi