In With the New

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Image courtesy of Horia Varlan. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Next weekend, I begin round two of improv classes. I will no doubt continue my fine tradition of walking the thin line of complete mortification at my own failures while also being secretly quite pleased when things work out (improv, my personal life, whatever). I am very much looking forward to it.

The first time I took improv classes, my main takeaway was that even if I sucked–and I was very, very sure that I did–it was okay. I could fail and it would be fine. I could fail badly and it would be fine. Nothing would eat me. And as completely cheeseball as it is, that has stuck with me in the months since.

Since I first took classes, I’ve continued with my volunteering at that improv theatre (I’ve quit writing about it because “this weekend I sold people tickets, drank beer, and hauled trash” is only compelling fodder for so many entries). Most nights that I’m there, I sell tickets to folks. When I started that volunteer position, I was actively, painfully terrible at it. I blushed and stuttered and couldn’t tear the ticket stock right. I was very sweaty. It was mortifying. Continue reading

Halloween is Upon Us

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Image courtesy of CleverGrrl. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.

Little Five Points is Atlanta’s Haight-Ashbury equivalent–it’s the neighborhood where you can, as a teenager, wander unsupervised to buy we-swear-it’s-just-for-tobacco pipes and crystals for magick before making a stop in the natural food co-op and heading out for pizza. As an adult, it’s a place where you can go access several of the city’s theatres and performance spaces, and get drunk (while sadly ignoring the pizza in favor of the natural food co-op). Halloween is, of course, the neighborhood’s favorite time of year.

That’s why there’s a Little Five Halloween parade each year, where the neighborhood’s art organizations, theatrical troupes, and general weirdos gather together to march a mile down the road with floats ranging from hastily-assembled to elaborately-planned (credit goes to this year’s Godzilla entrants, whose paper-mache beast was 30 feet tall). As part of my volunteering with the improv theatre, I found myself marching in the parade this year. Continue reading

Making Myself Useful

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Image courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to write this blog post. I had a couple of ideas for topics, mostly centering on this John Green video about becoming an adult, but they all wound up mopey and self-absorbed and awful. They did not begin to approach the level of fun of, say, my piece on bears on leashes.

Basically, I am aware that being 22 sucks for a lot of people, but that does not make it less terrible for me, right at this moment. I feel like I’ve screwed something up by being in Atlanta rather than New York or LA or Tanzania, and even though I know that nothing about this is permanent, and that my life is likely to change more than I can possible imagine in the next 10 (or even five) years, there is a giant gulf between what I know objectively to be true and what keeps me up at night feeling somewhat adrift.

However, it is also totally possible to autopilot my weird bout of self-loathing and sadness–that’s part of what makes it so boring to read about. I am able to realize that I’ll probably feel that way no matter what I do, so it is easy for me to rationalize getting back out in the world to make myself useful. To that end, I went out to volunteer over the weekend.

I’m glad I did, because you know who’s super-nice, particularly after you’ve spent most of your weekend talking to no one but your cat and immediate family? Volunteers.

They are the actual nicest. Rather than being frustrated with me for not knowing what I was doing, every single person who was working with me over the evening thanked me for coming out, helped guide me through what I was supposed to be doing, and then made perfectly nice smalltalk about how I wound up volunteering there. It was really pleasant to be surrounded by kind people who were also not talking about tech support.

Plus there was free beer and cupcakes, which is not a bad volunteer perk.

Continue reading