I've been really trying over the last little while to think positively. More so, trying to control a bit more where my thoughts go. What I focus on and where my mind wanders. For long periods of time over the last few years, I've been stuck in negative thinking patterns. For long periods of time, my own brain was attacking me, telling me that I was useless and untalented and any other number of things. The more of those thoughts I had, the more they became real.
'I'm your brain, and fine, you are.'
'Wait, I don't want to be stupid.'
'Well, are you stupid?'
'Okay. Fine. We'll go with that.'
There have been points in my life where all I did was think positively, believe in myself and do my best. What did that get me? Honestly, everything. I felt great, people wanted to be around me, and I didn't look at life as this huge struggle that needs to be battled everyday. I just walked the earth. Even when I had nothing! At one point in time I was sleeping in a closet, but I still was killing it. I was still having a great time, liking my life. I started doing stand up while I was sleeping in that closet, and was having a lot of fun with everything.
I've gotten into very negative points of thinking at certain times, not believing in myself and not thinking that anything I did was any good. What did that get me? ALL of those things. I don't do as well on stage when I think that way. I don't write as much because I think 'what is the point?' People don't want to be around me. Not even me! I can't get out of hanging out with myself but in that mind state I'd like to. I'd stay in bed way too long. I'd sit and and zone out, and worry about every single thing that's every happened.
'Nathan, what the hell are you doing?'
'I'm thinking that at 45 I'm gonna be living on the street.'
'While we're eating ice cream? Are you crazy?'
When I'm thinking negatively, I'm not really anywhere. I'm stuck in my head. I'll go on stage, stand at the back of rooms, hang with friends, but I'm not REALLY there. I'm in my head, thinking about how terrible I am, about how everything I'm doing is wrong and how NONE of it is good, entertaining, funny or whatever. I'll be around people but in my head I'm just tearing myself down.
I sort of wandered around the last few years, in and out of feeling great for stretches and feeling awful, not really realizing why either was happening. I would think, 'Why can't I always feel the way that I did when I was sleeping in that closet? Why can't I feel the way that I did my last year of high school and my first year of college?' I'd fall in and out of that feeling, and think that if I had this or that, killed on this show or that show, I'd feel better.
Then, I did a show a couple of weeks ago in front of ten people. That happens all the time, not crazy, but this one was in front of ten people, three hour drive from my house, and I was headlining. Doing forty five minutes to ten people in a big room. I was excited for some reason to do this show. I couldn't wait to get on stage. Had I been in a negative mind space, I would have DREADED doing this show. I would have torn myself apart for performing to ten people, that nobody cares about what I'm doing. That I have no business doing this and that it's all going to suck. These ten people were amazing and it was so much fun. Talked to them after and they were great, and one person from this show had actually seen me before and forced his friend to come check me out.
After the show, I'm driving back to the hotel, and something just sort of clicked. I started to think about all of the time I've wasted talking myself down and not having fun living my own life. How much time I've wasted being on stage and not really having a good time. Not having a good time ON STAGE. The ONE thing I've always wanted to do. I drove back the next day and I couldn't stop thinking about this. Thinking about how much of my own way I've gotten in over the years. How many times I've talked myself into having a bad show. How many times I've stood on a stage, telling jokes that I wrote and liked, hating them and hating how I was telling them.
I decided from that weekend to really make an effort to not go back to negative thinking. Not just saying, 'I'm not going to think negative', REALLY trying to keep my mind in check. Really trying to control what I say about myself and how I feel from day to day. I don't want to continue to do what I do if every single day of it is a struggle. I don't want to keep pulling myself to shows and to writing jokes or whatever. I want to STAY in the mind space of loving what I do, wanting to do what I do, and having so much fun with. I want to STAY in the place of wanting to get up everyday and walk this earth. Want to STAY in the place of having fun with my life.
I'm not saying that I'm not going to be negative again, or feel bad about what I'm doing sometimes. I'm just going to try not live there for a long time.