Adventure in Gratitude Day 22

Jeff.

Of the people presently in my life on a regular basis, of the ones I do not share blood, Jeff has been around a good long time.

Sharing friends with a pair of siblings in middle school brought us together. College kept us together. But even after we had graduated her has faithfully stayed by my side and loved me. He’s listened to my broken heart and broken mind. Empathetically and attentively. He’s asked questions. He’s let me have panic attacks on his floor. He’s offered me a room when I’m scared to be alone.

Even now he’s sitting across the table from me. Both working, but not alone. Never alone. That’s what I appreciate about my basically brother. I’m so happy he’s back home.

Thursday we hit the road again to visit Hannah and relax for a couple of days, and I’m just so thankful.

 

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Adventure in Gratitude Day 16

Baths.

I take baths more than I take showers. I just do. It’s relaxing. It’s comforting. With the introduction of bath bombs, they’ve only gotten better.

I’m also someone who enjoys shaving. I don’t shave for any societal pressure. I shave because I sleep better when my legs are smooth. And in a bath I can take the time to enjoy the slow catharsis.

Read a book. Read a comic. Listen to a book. Zone out entirely.

The bath clears my head.

Adventure in Gratitude Day 15

Today is a hard day to be grateful. Today was a hard day. I did something I never once thought I would do.

I walked off my job. No notice. Nothing lined up.

I cried. I called my mom. I cried. I picked up Erica. We got lunch, because she’s kind and patient. We boxed up movies. We sold some of them. I’ll sell more.

I applied for new jobs. I went to the bar to set up for the show. I waited through the delay. I left when someone who (likely, probably, by my way of thinking definitely) tried to drug me a few weeks ago showed up.

So what do I have to be thankful for? New chances. New anything. Open horizons.

Oh. And. The most supportive humans in the world. I didn’t tell a lot of people. The ones I did tell have been nothing, but supportive and kind and helpful and encouraging and proud.

I’m lucky. Life has been so hard lately, but I am so beautifully lucky.

Adventure in Gratitude Day 14

A year ago I was a mess. I was. I’d been a mess for a while.

One day this human started coming to our shows pretty regularly. Not every show, but a lot of them. Always nice to me, which at the time was even more unheard of than things are now.

One night he sat down next to me, while we waited before we opened the doors. Didn’t say much, just sat beside me.

People make me uncomfortable. They can make me feel threatened or like I’m in the way, more than I’d like to admit.

This one though, this person, made me feel safe. Still does. Tells me when I’m being dumb and overreacting. Listens to me whine more than anyone. Reminds me that the things no one else wants to hear, aren’t me being a baby; it’s trauma being real and dark and hard. He makes me laugh. He encourages me, even when he doesn’t fully understand. He met me where I was and despite everything continues to push me to grow. He helps me stay grounded. No matter how I’ve changed in the last year, he’s helped me feel so safe and so valued.

I’m so thankful.

Adventure in Gratitude Day 13

Comedy sisterhood.

My own scene is not riddled with other women. I’m supported. I’m lucky.

But just down the interstate or just over the state line are more women. More allies. More warriors. Fighting for stage time. Not because they’re women. They aren’t just female comics. They’re comics. Funny comics. Smart comics. Comics with more than just some good jokes. Comics with great ideas. With beautiful thoughts.

I’m proud to know them. I’m proud to bring them here when we can. Any chance I get to sit down with any of them is such a life-giving and empowering time.

I’m so thankful for each one of them.

Adventure in Gratitude Day 12

It’s been a hard weekend already. It just has.

But today, I went out into the woods to clear my head. What’s even better, my dear friend came with me. We wander the woods for miles. The sun was shining. The air was cool. The conversation was sincere.

We came back to town and wandered downtown. Showing off my city to my friend.

Some times a clear head does wonders.

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Adventure in Gratitude Day 11

Growth.

A year ago, I was a disaster. I was holding it together when I had to, but I was spiraling. Two years ago, I was so codependent that I could barely stand to be alone. Three years ago, I asked to go to Parkview Behavioral Health.

Today, I have so many ways to manage my thoughts and emotions. So many people to reach out to so that I do not bury my darkness and let it consume me. People look to me for strength, and it doesn’t overwhelm me so much that I can’t breathe. I have healthy friendships with boundaries and respect. I no longer sit quietly by while terrible things happen, because I’m no longer scared to be alive. I’m not. I’m not scared to exist. Things still terrify me. I still find myself sitting in the car waiting to feel strong enough to go into the house. I still cry a lot. I still feel incapacitating loneliness. I’m still scared for my person and what can happen, but being alive does not scare me.

Hope is real. Hope is real. Hope pushes and pulls you out of bed. Hope warms you on the inside when your whole body feels like the dripping walls of a cave.

Love is real. Love is real. Love propels you forward. It pushes out darkness. It creeps into dark corners and shines.

Strength is real. Strength is real. Strength is more than just lifting cars and tossing cabers. Strength is shouting for truth even when your voice shakes. Strength is holding the hand of someone in need even when your own hand shakes in fear. Strength is breathing. Strength is loving. Strength is hoping. Strength is living.

I’m growing.

I’m here.

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Adventure in Gratitude Day 4

Good thing I led with Guerrilla Theatre yesterday. What a beautiful transition into this thing of beauty that keeps me going.

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Let’s Comedy has done what it set out to do. We’re creating a community of comedy. It’s not perfect. Even we fight with each other. Even we struggle. Even we have fallings out. But we fight and we struggle and we fall together. It hasn’t also been easy, but it feels worth it. Things have morphed and grown, and I love where we are.

Do I get frustrated? Boy howdy. Do I get mad? You bet. Do I love every minute? Hell, yes.

Open mics. Local comics. Regional comics. National comics. Fort Wayne to Indy to Detroit. We’re growing.

I’m so thankful for each opportunity and door and friendship and conversation (even the hard ones) that exist because of this group. That Guerrilla Theatre exists. That I’ve met so many amazing people, and not just famous humans. I now have some of the best friends in the world, the most amazing support system of other female comics.

But when it comes to this team specifically, I’m so incredibly thankful for the men I work with. Who have fought along side me to create safer spaces for women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Maybe not always successfully, but we fight and we try and are constantly working to be better. Who have worked to bring people together. Who have loved me when I’m being a brat. Who have called me out on my own bullshit. Who have become some of my dearest friends. Every day, every show has not been simple, but we keep working.

Ryan, Jared, Ian, Alex, Corey, I love you all.

Even tonight, we have two shows and our first album recording, and I’m so proud.

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Adventure in Gratitude Day 2

I’m as surprised as you are that I’ve made it this far.

Day 2:

Hal and Kerry Johnson are the reason I exist, but they’re also a large part of my continuing existence. When I hurt my shoulder at the airport and had to have surgery, I was still living with them, but I was incapacitated for weeks. When I had my surgery on my ovary the first time they drove down to Huntington to be there the whole day. When I broke my collarbone, they welcomed me back into their home and recliner until I was useful again. When I had surgery on my ovary again, they welcomed me back into their home and recliner until I was useful again. And quite frankly, I think would have let me stay forever if I wanted to. Last night when my car rumbled until it was ready to stall, they traded cars with me so I could still faithfully get to work. When I told them about my assaults they stood in the living room hugging me and crying.

I’ve never felt like a success. I work my ass off to barely scrape by. I will always feel like a burden to those around me, but I’m so incredibly thankful for the unending love and support of my parents.

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