expectation is a bitch
and how I fear not getting likes on social media
They say comparison is the thief of joy, which is true, but I I think the real culprit is expectation.
Comparison is the fall guy, taking the blame, but expectation is the mastermind running the show.
I’ve been having a rough go of it lately dealing with, ugh I can’t believe I am going to actually say this, low engagement on my social media videos.
Just threw up.
I hate admitting that because it’s just so…lame. Like, if you put all the problems in all the world on a list, this would be bottom 1%., if that.
But it’s true! I have been posting more videos since leaving my job (obligatory woot woot), and after posting a few I will wake up from a nap and go to Instagram and Tiktok and Twitter see that they’ve only gotten like 10 or 20 likes and I will be SAD.
I am going to delete this blog, this is too pathetic. No. Carry on.
Here’s a working theory
I expect myself or my work to achieve a certain something. In this case, big numbers and virals etc.
Achieving this will make me feel good about myself and temporarily conceal my baseline feelings of self loathing, self hatred, etc.
My work doesn’t meet my expectation, usually because the expectation itself is too high / I want it to happen to quickly.
I am saddened by this lack of achievement.
The dissonance between me and who I expect myself to be is shameful, and thus I am a shame.
Shame causes further pain which (shamepain 🍾, have a drink!).
Shame makes me not wanna be myself and thus need to do something to feel good about myself.
Head on back to step one you lil rascal and repeat.
A vicious cycle. Not to be confused with a viscous cycle. Alex, why?
Simple - love the one you’re with.
Fun fact about that song - Stephen Stills of Crosby Stills and Nash stole the tagline for the song from another musician:
Stills wrote the song after being inspired by the tag line — "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" which was a frequent remark by musician Billy Preston. Stills explained in 1991: "This song has been very good to me. The title came from a party with Billy Preston. I asked him if I could pinch this line he had, and he said, 'Sure. ' So I took the phrase and wrote a song around it. It's a good times song, just a bit of fun. My favorite part is the steel drums. I played them before a little bit but I just kept diddling around till I found the right notes."
I gotta start stealing more.
Doing stand up
Right now the thought of trying to start a career in stand up feels impossible. daunting beyond belief. Like, I can’t even get myself to an open mic. It feels heavy, and unappealing. Does this mean that I don’t want to actually chase the dream?
Or that I’m depressed?
I assume the former (the first). Sidebar: is language like “former” and “latter” gatekeeping? They keeps people who don’t understand that terminology from understanding. All of language is a gatekeeper of sorts, in this thesis I will argue -.
A couple days ago I wrote about a moment of happiness, of clarity. That feels like an infinity away now.
Maybe that’s what this blog will be - a place for me to chronicle my attempts at trying stand up. Or more specifically my inability to actually do stand up and instead procrastinate about doing stand up.
If you can’t do, teach. And if you can’t teach, blog.
Right now I feel like I may never try it, in which case this would be a super boring blog. Like a cooking blog by a guy who never actually cooks. “Today, I got takeout cuz I was tired.”
Honestly, that’s a pretty good idea. Or like a peleton instructor who doesn’t own a peleton (gonna film this as a sketch).
Maybe this will act as motivation for me to actually go and do stand up. So I at least have something to write about in this blog. Would that be bad? Probably not. Pathetic? Yes. But that’s ok.
Pathetic comes from the word pathos which means “pity” or “inspiring an emotional response”. Yep.
I love when people use etymology of words to justify their actions. Authors do it all the time. Makes me laugh. Like, the origin of ‘murder’ is murdras which means ‘to end a bad thing’ so yea that’s why I murder.
Just got put on a watch list.
Yesterday I listened to an episode of Good One with Paula Poundstone that I found inspiring. They discussed her focus on ‘crowd work’, though she hates that term. I think she’d call it more like ‘conversations with the crowd’, and it makes up a majority of her set. She asks two basic questions -
Where are you from
What do you do for a living
And from those simple prompts, the magic comes.
I bring this up because I feel like that’s a style I would enjoy. Just talking. Reacting. Seems a lot easier than coming up with material, for one thing, and also more authentic. Genuine. Would at least help me create the feeling of conversing with the crowd, rather than it being a lecture.
I think that’s one thing that I’ve never understood about stand up - how to make it a conversation. Because that’s what the best comics say, that they are talking directly with the audience, and the audience is talking back with their silence, and with their laughter.
I’m too nervous, I often feel, for it to be a genuine conversation. Or if it is a conversation, its one where the other person, the audience, is someone I am terrified of and in desperate need of them liking me, approving of me.
But honestly that’s what all my conversations are like. So maybe I just have to accept that fear rather than try to make it go away. Ok now this shit is gonna be easy.
Jk but fr.
Maybe that isn’t something that happens with the flip of a switch, cognitively, but over time, in the body. Muscle memory. One can only hope.
Till next time.