I’ve always considered myself a “weird” person. I don’t think I’m weird in the sense that people will find me quirky or different. I think I’m weird in the sense that people will not know how to process me as a “package -” the way I come across to them. It’s a very self-made definition of “weird” that’s intensely personal. It’s been shaped by years of experiences with other people, many of them negative. I feel singular. Though I’m getting better at it, I walk through the world most days feeling like people will want to avoid me at most, and tolerate me at best. Not because I’m a negative or mean person, or because I’m toxic in any way, but because I’m unusual. I feel like even the nicest people will have the capacity to reject me outright because of this. That it’s part of human nature to reject the weird, especially if you are relatively normal. Is this the case? Most likely not. It’s just hard to tell yourself it isn’t the case when you’ve convinced yourself that your brand of weird — your self — is inherently dirty and unwanted. I’m also an extreme thinker, which doesn’t help things. My brain makes far-reaching assumptions and implications about other people. I tend not to question them.

I do a lot of comedy. It’s very fun and a thing I’m passionate about, but it’s also very personal. Comedy involves me presenting myself to others in the pursuit of making them laugh. When this happens, it’s obviously a great feeling. It feels like acceptance — not just of my comedy, but of me. I know it’s wrongheaded and damaging to think this, but I can never separate the two in my mind. As I naturally seek out more opportunities in comedy, I put myself out there even more. I do more shows. I submit and audition for things. Those things invariably carry with them a risk of rejection — something I’m learning to accept and work through. I think at this point that I enjoy doing comedy more than I fear judgement. The fear of judgement is still there though. And the rejection, when it comes, is a lot more personal and painful. I don’t know the reasoning behind it, so I assume. And what do I assume? That the people on the other end have judged me before they’ve judged my ability. But that’s not really their fault — if I really am as weird and intolerable as I think. I know comedy and weirdness are inextricably linked — but I also feel that my weirdness is just that, and not something desired by anyone, let alone the gatekeepers. I want this to not be the case. I want to get better as a comedian. I want to develop my own voice. I have to accept, though, that this world I’ve willingly entered is going to hurt sometimes. I can only hope that I grow tougher because of this. It seems it will take a lot more work for me than for the average person. Then again, I’m not especially used to the feeling of acceptance — something I feel motivates and assures others. I see comedy as something that will help me and make me better, so I continue to do it. And continuing is all I really care about.

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