Ironically, the last post that I made was on a Sunday and not only do I not do stand-up anymore, but I don’t work at a comedy club anymore. Today IS Sunday, though!
I left my job about 3 months ago. I went back to cashiering for a couple of months and now I’m doing customer support at an education software company. I’ve been yelled at a few times over the past couple of weeks since I got trained on phones but not as determinedly as today. This woman screamed at me for a full minute at the top of her lungs because she purchased a device that isn’t compatible with the app. Yeah, seriously.
It obviously wasn’t my fault but I ended the phone call nearly in tears and it exhausted me for the rest of the day. Because of that, I don’t see myself in this job for very long, which is a shame because the company is great. I have actual health care and the pay is decent. And mostly, the job is cool.
But I left my last job because I was so stressed out that I was constantly battling suicidal thoughts, and I’m not looking to bring that mentality back into my life. Seriously, I thought that I was mentally ill for a long time. I was considering counseling and medication, and three months out of that job, I don’t feel the need for either of those things anymore.
I’m still not the picture of mental health, but I mostly don’t want to kill myself anymore, which is something I haven’t been able to say since I was 8 years old. I think the good thing about being around comedians for the past 5 years is that I was given permission to not be a cartoonishly happy person all of the time. I got to be cynical and nihilistic and the people around me got it because they were, too.
That said, now that I’m okay with not being happy all of the time, I am starting to look at how to be happy some of the time. I’m not sure if stepping away from stand-up is causal or coincidental to that shift, but either way, I feel okay.
Leaving the club was hard. It hurt. I put my notice in and then came home and cried for three hours — not exaggerating. And I cried every day for three weeks after I left. And then I stopped crying every day. And not crying isn’t necessarily a sign of mental health but crying every day with the suicide hotline open in one browser while I’m booking a show in another definitely isn’t.
So, I don’t miss it. I think I will, at some point. Eventually, all of the jagged edges will be sanded off of my memories and my brain will only hold onto the brightest, shiniest stuff. Right now, I don’t feel much. I’m not sure if I’m numb or if it’s just that I went from feeling everything to the ultimate intensity all of the time to feeling things at a regular human intensity and the contrast makes me think I’m numb.
I do know that I’m very mindful of not getting myself riled up. Any time I start to feel anything intensely, I pull back and re-evaluate. Not sure if this is that whole boundaries thing people are always talking about or what. But it’s nice to not care too much, for once.
I’m trying to not get too involved in this new job, in case I need to leave. I still want to get out of LA, although my finances with this new job don’t make this as pressing a necessity as it was 3 months ago. So I don’t decorate my desk and I don’t participate in office festivities and I’m trying not to make any lasting friendships.
My goal is to like everyone a little and love no one at all. At least, for now. That looks like a super grim statement, written out like that, but there’s more hope in it than you’d think.