When I started this blog, I had a full, very pressing intention to focus it solely on current events and political philosophy. Initially I wanted it to be a vlog. I’ve listened to so many different shows (critically, all independent media) in the past two years that moments of extreme inspiration would wash over me and ignite the will to dispense my own world view unto the internets. I wanted my story to be readily accessible and on a broad open platform. Youtube was ideal.
Those moments often lingered like stubborn embers in a fire gone cold. I’d mull them over, weigh pros and cons, and then, make test videos in Photo Booth. When I did this, two things were brought to my attention immediately:
- I get nervous watching myself.
- I am hilarious.
I’ve talked to my girlfriend about this a lot. We’ve dissected my self confidence together, parsing out little by little why I am the way I am. I have a penchant for believing the only thing I’ve ever been supremely self confident in for as long as I can remember is my ability to make people laugh.
This is not a delusional fantasy. Trust me- people have been telling me I’m funny for years. I have memories permanently etched in my brain about when I’ve had an entire crowd rolling. It’s exhilarating. It’s one of the best feelings on earth.
Whats really interesting is while I’ve played this side of myself up throughout my adulthood, I’ve been a nosediving plane crash with pretty much everything else concerning believing in the self. People don’t always want to laugh.
Early on, I learned I couldn’t always make a joke because a situation’s gravity called for professionalism. Sometimes my humor got interpreted in a totally opposite way than intended. Sometimes I caught myself being so stupid, so overly willing to make the joke, I pushed through and realized I broke the bounds of professionalism and got my joke interpreted completely wrong.
Curiously, I never blamed my humor as the problem. Instead, I found ways to articulate my foolishness as a mirror reflection of my intelligence. As a reflection of my total lack of game with girls. As a reflection of why no one ever took me seriously. As a reflection of why I was the butt of everyone else’s jokes. I never actively identified my humor as a problem.
Do you know why?
Because I believed in it with every ounce of my being.
It was, and is, an extension of my true self confidence. Real, unfettered, un-muddled, completely genuine, totally organic self confidence. When I zoom out from this perspective, I realize making jokes was an aspect of my personality equally vulnerable to scrutiny from the demoralizing, “why am I such an idiot?” self talks. My humor was on the chopping block just as much as any other defect I could blame, it was just so encased in confidence the sharpest axe would’ve never come close to cutting it.
If you’re anything like me, you went through life with a basic enough idea of who you were, then got pushed and prodded on what sometimes felt like a daily basis throughout your early adulthood. You built up assumptions that were proven completely false and gained perspectives your 20 year old self would’ve never thought possible.
Throughout all of that however, you’ve had at least one thing you’ve never given up on. Maybe you haven’t even realized what it is because it feels like the most natural extension of your being. Maybe you know exactly what it is, but are too scared to admit it to yourself. Maybe you’re really smart. Maybe you have a natural ability to console people. Maybe you are gifted at math. Maybe you can jump, like really high. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if its one thing or thirty. The important thing is to understand that your confidence reflects your most earnest, real self. When you believe in yourself, it should be because it is who you are. Don’t try to discern the details. Identify yourself through your most natural gifts. It is what defines you. It is your soul.