Thank You 2017

I would like to formally thank 2017 for kicking my ass, and the asses of those around me. This year was a tornado nightmare that we apparently could not wake up from. If you had a good year, or perceivably a good year, I want you to go look in the mirror, look deep into your eyes, say out loud that you are a piece of shit, and then put your MAGA hat back on, and go back to your job as an unpaid intern for Paul Ryan.

As many of you know, and read, this year has been a barrel of garbage set on fire on the lower east side for me. It was full of shit, maybe had a rat or two inside, and was captured on many people’s instagram stories. I began this year on the roof of my Ridgewood apartment with my roommate, Alexis, who I adore dearly, and our neighbors who we had just met that night drinking champagne out of the bottle looking out at the New York skyline. What a picturesque beginning to the garbage fire that would become my life.

Even though I am deeply in debt and necessitate some serious therapy 362 days into this year, I am so thankful. This year I learned how to stand up for myself, and honestly, as a twenty-three year old woman living in this world, what a better gift to glean. I could list the issues that I encountered, but what good would that do. I’m not trying to create a black list of my life, I’m trying to grow and be better, and also not put myself in situations where I feel small. I mean like physically small is fine, because I am a tiny dainty woman.

Here are somethings that I am thankful for over the last year:

  1. UCBT and all of the friends and teachers and bosses I have had. Oh my god this place has changed my life forever and I am so excited to come back and kick some comedy ass and made more friends and laugh and laugh and laugh.
  2. My mother, who has dropped everything twice and driven me across the country twice in pursuit (or to flea) my dreams. She is an angel I don’t deserve.
  3. All of the 1000 different jobs I have had over the last year. Some were amazing and kind and the best learning experience, and others sucked the soul out of me and made me feel like a tiny dainty woman in a bad way. What I have learned from my 1000 different jobs is that some build you up and others tear you down into the person they think you are. Then I remember that I went to a top liberal arts school and studied English. Poli Sci, and Philosophy, so like I think I’m fine. Something better will come along down the road and feed me creatively, and I’ll chronicle all of these mishaps and laugh at the all the stress I put on myself to work a shitty retail job.
  4. MY FRIENDS. My sweet sweet friends, far and wide. You all are so patient and kind when I don’t respond for years to your texts, and call you crying after we haven’t spoken in months only wanting to talk about myself. All I can say is, my friends are the best, I love them so much.
  5. Finally, I am thankful for women. I think that women have had, perhaps, one of the most stressful years since the Salem Witch Trials, but through it all we are resilient. I am so lucky to be a woman, and to have strong women around me who wish to dismantle the patriarchy in all of it’s forms.

Most of all I am thankful to 2017 because this was the worst year of my life, and I really don’t think that it can get much worse. All of my years to come are going to be better, and more full of life and love and other things that make me feel like a full human being. We are one year closer to Trump being impeached, and one year closer to Elizabeth Warren being HBIC. I am so excited for next year, for all of us.

Thank you 2017, you son of a bitch.

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Lohan Year: The Catalyst

I’ve been talking in therapy a lot about what I want this narrative to be. The story that I want to tell people to seem both sympathetic and not totally bonkers nutso. The thing is, I don’t really care what people think. I want to make fart noises on stage for a living, but like in a deep eloquent way. So here’s what happened:

The day that I moved away from New York I ran into Ellie Kemper, A.K.A. THE Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, in the security line at La Guardia. She was with her hubby and tiny baby, and OBVS I didn’t bother her because CELEBRITIES ARE JUST PEOPLE WHO’S DREAMS CAME TRUE. I took this as a sign. Ellie was, likely, going to LA too, and if someone I have looked up to for so long was doing it, then I could do it too. The melancholia for New York quickly faded into excitement for what was to come.

My move to LA was a Catch 22. When I first moved to NY I hated it, BIG SHOCKER. Everyone does because in August everyone is poor and hot and mad at MTA, so I applied to schools in California, because you know, the grass is always greener in a state that is literally on fire. So I went. The minute I got there it all felt wrong. I don’t know how to explain it. When I landed in New York I was unsettled in a way that I was excited of what was to come, but LA was more of a “what have I done”. The moment I stepped onto Gustavus’ campus it felt like home, the same cannot be said for Pepperdine.

I cried everyday for three months, and yes that is as bad as it sounds. My poor mother had to listen to me sob everyday for three months about how much I hated it there. I was so tired. Everything felt wrong. I was the bad puzzle piece, and Pepperdine was a very white-washed puzzle I couldn’t fit within. I, for the first time in my life, didn’t fit in. The Sacred Heart education I was raised within didn’t matter. Being an outspoken, intellectual woman, didn’t matter. I bit my tongue for the first time in my life. I said no to furthering my education for the first time in my life, and that has been one of the most difficult choices I have ever made.

All I’ve ever wanted to be my whole life is a screenwriter. When I was twelve I wrote my first “feature”. I just wanted to write movies and live in LA, and have a small fluffy white dog and a HOT HOT husband. This was my life on paper for the three months, I was in LA, minus the HOT HOT husband, but I was making progress with Zach Woods up until my untimely demise. I realized when I couldn’t be happy living out my dream something deeper must be going on. Even though I was so wildly deeply depressed in LA I knew I had support all around me, and all around the country. Not physically, because a lot of my unhappiness was circumstantial from an ill-fitting institution. It just like my mother and hero Amy Poehler says “Good for you, not for me”. I’m sure Pepperdine is someone’s dream, but it wasn’t mine, and it made it very hard for me to live out my dreams.

Maybe I didn’t give it enough time, maybe I should have finished out the semester. But I didn’t. Maybe I should have just stayed in New York, or never left Omaha in the first place. All of these possibilities have really been haunting me over the last month while I try to start over again in a new city, for the third time this year. It’s hard, and my heart feels really really heavy most days. I so scared I screwed everything up. I might have, but who knows.

All I know now is that I get to see my mom everyday, and that’s the coolest thing ever. I live in a huge apartment by myself AND I CAN AFFORD IT, well barely, whatever it’s not New York and I’m not flushed with cash after moving across the country TWICE IN SIX MONTHS. I feel funny, like really really funny, for the first time in a long time. I am supported by people who believe in my crazy dreams. That is what made all of this worth it. Thank you to those who continue to support me. I am so unbelievably lucky, I could cry right now, but it would be for happy reasons, not sad ones.

My Lohan Year

Week 1:

Today I made a picture of Joe Keery looking at rugs the background of my phone. It’s as if he is a little Ben Schwartz, age appropriate for me. Thank you she-god. That was the most important decision I made today, because this is my Lohan Year. You may be asking yourself, what is a Lohan Year?

Lohan Year: (noun) when a young white woman screws something up tremendously, likely dies her hair, and spends the money she would normally spend on drugs on therapy.

I don’t spend any money on drugs, BECAUSE I DO NOT DO IT DRUGS ARE BAD, but I sure as hell have a lot of artisanal candles.

Artisanal Candles: (noun) Drugs for young white women who are scared to do real drugs.

I was a young twenty-something spiraling, just like my childhood hero, Lindsay Lohan, and I needed a time-out. I have never had a time-out in my life, except for the one time I was kicked off my high school tennis team for yelling at my opponent, but I promise she deserved it. But for a chronic over achiever a time-out is exactly what I needed.

I wish my Lohan year is going to be as cool at Lindsey Lohan’s. I hope I start a relationship with Wilmer Valderama, and make Herby Fully Loaded 2: A Need For Speed. Probs not though. I’ll probably spend time with my family and friends who I haven’t seen in years, and take my grandma to her doctors appointments. I’ll probably lose all of my stress weight and get like super model hot. I’ll date a slew of men, and have to turn many of them away at the door. But that’s just what’s guaranteed to happen. Think of all the possibilities! I could make a web series, or write a book, or run for president in 2020 BECAUSE ANYONE CAN DO THAT NOW.

The fact of the matter is, I’m excited to have little decisions for once in my life, and not have to literally count quarters. I’m excited to see my friends and actually hang out with them. They are so cool!! I love them!! I finally have the time to make my dog instagram famous. My Lohan year will be restorative and creative, and I am very thankful to my overworked mother who drove me across the country last week. Maybe I’ll make her instagram famous. Basically, I get a year to do exactly everything I want and I am so GD lucky.

P.S. If anyone wants to collab on some stuff let me know.

P.P.S. If anyone wants to pay be to collab let me know.

 

The Wake of Weinstein

I had a dream last night that a man who I had offended beat me to near death with a phallic trophy. I woke up and had to remind myself that it wasn’t real. I am so lucky this was just a dream, because this dream that I had is a reality for thousands, probably millions, of women throughout the world.

Women over the past few weeks, in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting transgressions, have lived and relived the horrors of men. The coat of insignificance and imminent danger have been keeping me cold as I read yet another New York Times article. Through all of the bravery the “lesser sex” has shown over the past week, and I am more frightened than ever.

I do not wish to rehash my moments of sexual horror on a website for all to see, mostly because I am a private person when it comes to these matters, but because I, like most women, have used levity to deal with an issue crushing an entire gender. This issue, for those perusing Breitbart this last week, is sexual assault and sexual harassment toward women. I laugh, and make these moments absurd in some way or another, but when you are trapped with someone exposing themselves to you, or trying to touch you, or trying to rape you, dealing with the atrocity that just occurred is the farthest thing from your mind. The man you report it to, says it happens all the time. You go about your day. We don’t speak up in those instances because we are scared. Scared that our bodies are going to be dismantled from the outside, rather than the in. If our body bears no scars, people may never know what we have been through.

I, like many women, have spent my life trying to trust men. Leaning into relationships only so far, as to not get hurt. It is hard to trust someone you fear so deeply. As we grow older we encounter more difficulties, more distrust with those we hope to grow old with. I often say to myself, my life would be so much easier if it wasn’t for X. When we solve for X we usually find the root of the equation is the patriarchal society that we are conditioned within.

It is difficult for me to chant the rally cry of the women who came before me, because as of late we have seen what is behind the veil (though most of us knew what was behind there). I am sickened and disheartened that people that I know, still think so little of women. Trusting women, and the strength of female relationships are the only reasons I am still breathing. I am sick of it, I am done, and I refuse to be bullied for being a woman.

To men, I hope that the current “witch hunt” alleged by your brother Woody Allen, isn’t too much for you. I hope that one day you don’t have to visit the graves of your brothers who died for because of their sex, the way we have for centuries. I hope you realize that the pain of the reality you created is barely a fraction of what we carry with us everyday. That every unwanted touch, every skirted glance, every “smile more”, is another ton we have to carry with us everyday. We are getting stronger, while you are getting weaker.

A Year in Review

A year ago today, I was just wrapping up my first month in New York, just as I am wrapping up my first month in LA now. All I can say is, what the fuck is going on, weep, check my bank account, and cry some more. Just kidding!! I’m chill and VERY emotionally stable. This year has been absolutely nuts and it is really hard for me to wrap my mind around. I wish I could get cryogenically frozen just so I can relax for like 4 seconds, but unfortunately it’s too expensive and I am so afraid of science (just like our president!). To sum it all up, this last year I have been sublimely happy, and very scarily depressed. I have had jobs I’ve loved, and been treated horribly by my employers. But honestly, my heart is on fire and I feel like I’ve been in a warm hug for 365 days.

I have laughed the hardest I have ever in my entire life. I’ve become funnier, and I have met some of my best friends. I realize as I’m writing this a year ago today was my first class at UCB, thank you to that place for keeping me sane and driven in New York, and for being a soft landing cushion in my move to LA. I really hoped that my move to LA would be prompted by Mindy Kaling reading a funny tweet of mine and commissioning me to work with her on her next project OR hiring me as her nanny, but I’m here now and just a phone call away @mindykaling. But WOW the opportunities I have been given. I got to meet the loves of my life Nick Kroll AND Jason Mantzoukas. That last fact carries more weight than it probably should, but I am a mere mortal, and very desperately single. Chris Gethard looked me in the eye and told me about his hemorrhoids. I am proof that dreams really do come true.

The last year has proved that you really can do whatever you put your mind to. When I was twelve I wrote this HORRIBLE feature length screenplay, but now I get the opportunity to write equally horrible features for my career. I get to do exactly what I have always wanted to do. That is NUTS. I mean who can say that? Things aren’t perfect, obvi, I am a crazy person, but I am unbelievably lucky to try to do what I do. I feel like an earnest post is necessary because I am so grossly vapid on every form of social media, and I almost exclusively talk about my petty hardships. Moving to LA has been so hard, it does not feel like home yet, but I don’t think New York felt like home yet either at this point. I need to keep reminding myself that.

Beyond the oozing privilege in this post, this year has been hard because our country is a shit storm of stupid. I got into a fight with my grandma about abortion in a J.Crew outlet and in my head I was just like HOW DID WE GET HERE. That was the whitest moment of my previous year, other than the J. Crew sample sale I went to, or the hundreds of hours of improv I’ve done. I am so scared of this next year, I hate Trump, I hate him so much. I hate the system that made him more. I am so scared for everyone I love. If you are one of the cruel idiots who voted for this system of privilege and hate, I hope you change, I hope you find happiness within yourselves. I hope you realize how you have destroyed the lives of many. Hillary, my girl, I wish we could have done better by you. This year has been a combination of knowing when to speak up and when to be quiet. I don’t like being quiet, I am not very good at it, I have a very loud disposition.

I don’t know what else to say, I’m grateful as hell. Everyone is so special to me, I think about it all the time. I cried yesterday thinking about how proud I am of Mindy Kaling, unrelated but equally important. I’m excited for the next 365, hopefully there will be less moving and FAR less shitty bosses, but I hope for more laughing and more love and a big fat impeachment.

Half Marathon/Half Person

As I sit here waiting for my toenails to officially fall off, I will recount how crazy I was to run a half marathon without ~really~ training for it. Let me take us back to my Sophomore in college. I had just quit college Tennis, because of my anxiety, which turned out stemmed mostly from the sport, and I had quickly gained 50 pounds and was crying staring in the mirror at my new stretch marks. College was more about me struggling with my physical and mental health than it was about me doing well in my classes or finding my forever boyfriend. I had a switch flip my senior year when I realized the transformation I had been undergoing was not for my benefit, I was unhealthy, and I was sick and tired of being the fat funny friend. Now I’m the sexii funny friend (LMAO JK BUT NOT REALLY SELF ASSURANCE IS IMPORTANT), but TBQH I haven’t been trying that hard, except for running a few days a week and being too poor to afford real food.

I have been a chronic underachiever my whole life. I have always done well in school, but I could have done better. I was a good tennis player, but had my diet not solely consisted of Cheetos and bagels (plz refer to rapid weight gain) I probably would have been better. I love excuses. Any valid reason to get me out of doing something I don’t want to do. So when high time for training for this half happened I got “sick”, and then my mom came, and soon it was 6 days before the race and I hadn’t been running more than three miles. Then a day before the race I got my period like I had never gotten one before, and I was in bed unable to move from cramps. I truly did not think I was going to pull this off. But yesterday I went, and I did the damn thing. Yes, at points I thought my uterus was going to fall out while I simultaneously thought I was going to shit my pants. Yes, when I took a drink of water I almost fainted from tipping my head back too far. Yes, after my race I chased the bus to the next stop and won, because I am a crazy person. But I did it, and I did it faster and stronger than I could have ever hoped for. Not a lot of people can say that, except for like every white person I know who also ran a half marathon last weekend. I may not have done it right, or well, but I did it my way.

I would classify myself now as a high achieving under achiever. I, for whatever reason, pick the hardest things to do, and I do them, but in a way that leaves people rolling their eyes and my haphazard successes. I see hard work through my comedy in the hundreds of shows I’ve seen, and hundreds of hours spent in class and practices (and thousands of dollars I’ve spent). Maybe one day I’ll be a high achieving high achiever, but where’s the stake in that? I fully attribute my success in my race yesterday to being a college athlete for the time that I was. Tennis is an endurance sport, as is a half marathon, the two are friends. I am their enemy, because I am equally good and bad at both of them. Maybe I’ll work really hard at something someday, hopefully it’s a TV show, or creating a sick instagram for my dog. Until that time comes, I’ll keep putting things on my vision board and hoping they happen, and warming up pizza rolls in the microwave.

Self-Defining Through Late 2000s MTV

I grew up in what I would call MTV’s golden era, If You Really Knew Me, True Life, Room Raiders, Next, THE JERSEY SHORE!! I grew up hoping that some day a complete stranger would want to go through my room, find my weird underwear from my freshman year of high school that I still have, and then maybe want to date me, but probably not. I wanted to live in a house of strangers, and be known for the camera cutting to me as I’m rolling my eyes. I’d have a catch phrase.

My generation has grown up in a time of constant public self revelation, but all within our “brand” or whatever personality we had developed for ourselves. All of our social media apps are created with a sense of detachment, never taking ourselves too seriously. Frankly, I openly mock people who create their entire selves around who they are on social media. So yesterday I was told on one of my social media apps, Tinder, that I use for bits and finding people that I know and judging them entirely on what their bio says, that, and I quote “Your website is like not completely funny. I mean it just seems like you have no voice. Like OMG I’m a white girl that takes classes at UCB. Who gives a shit?” I won’t devolve into what other intrusive and rude this COMPLETE STRANGER said to me on A SURFACE LEVEL DATING APP, buuuuuut then he went on to tell me I would never win an Emmy, that I have never been criticized and that’s why I am the way I am, and that I’m not funny because I don’t insult people. So, here’s my issue, I’m not trying to put this dude on blast (his name is Ben incase anyone is wondering), but I feel like it is just a testament to not take yourself seriously. Tinder is like Next and Room Raiders all roped into one, and you believe that you are going to get something real out of me? No way. I posted a picture of myself shitting in a Duane Reade on my instagram yesterday, does someone out there really think that they can debase me via an app?

Maybe the root of the issue isn’t that I don’t take myself seriously, but it’s that yes, I am another white woman doing comedy. I certainly hope that comedy becomes more diverse, but me wanting to follow my dreams is not causal of systemic racism/classism/ableism. It’s symptomatic sure, because I don’t have to actually worry about money/healthcare/my constant supply of Kombucha. And here I am, another white woman talking about how hard it is to be a white woman. It’s boring it’s tired, and we just need to own up to how much a part of the problem we are. So, sign me up for True Life: I’m Privileged as Fuck, because I can’t control who I was born as. I can control, who I became, and she’s pretty fucking cool, and “very funny”*.

I went into the confessional yesterday on Snapchat about how I felt in the moment, and honestly I don’t think I would thrive on a reality TV show because I don’t care at all. I just think that it’s important in a time when how we present ourselves is so colluded, that we have a firm sense of self, and do not let people fuck with us. Because H8 2 BREAK IT 2 U but women and people of diverse back grounds are the future of comedy. Ok that’s all. Um, if they’re casting for a True Life: I’m Addicted to Probiotics can someone pass my info along? Thank you.

*Quoted by someone who is also very funny.