My hair is so long. It’s the longest it’s been in a while. I cut all my hair off the spring I turned 20, and now I’m nearly 23 and a half. It’s taken a while to get back to this point. I remember starting Comedy Studies—two years ago, next week—and telling some of the boys that I was working on growing my hair out.
"That’s not a thing you have to work on," one of them told me. "It happens on its own."
I don’t really know what to do with it right now. It’s big and it’s heavy. When I cut it all off when I was 20, it was in reaction to a lot of things. I don’t like saying I cut my hair off because a boy made me sad because that always sounds stupid. But I was sad and I was sad about a boy and I was sad about moving away to London, so I cut all my hair and I felt so good and new. I don’t know that I want to feel new right now. I think I just want my neck to be less sweaty. Occasionally I get into moods where I just want to shave it all off. I don’t know that I could pull that kind of look off, but I do know that it would make me feel courageous. My roommate asked what would have to happen for me to just do it one day, and I told her I would just need all of that courage on that day. Who knows when that day is gonna be, but sometimes it feels like it’ll be soon.
I’m behind on writing about film and I’m behind on writing about books. I saw One Direction in concert almost two weeks ago and I haven’t written anything about it (okay—I haven’t written anything coherent about it). I felt all antsy today at work, tapping my fingers and listening to the same song on repeat until I had to put my phone into my purse so I wouldn’t check it anymore. I was just going to come home from work and nap, but I felt energized on the train and bought a few groceries. Nothing too special, but when I’m anxious, I like to make myself dinner. I did that the night before I interviewed for the Onion job. It didn’t do me any good in the long run, but it made me feel peaceful in the short run (which I think is almost—if not, equally—as valuable). I bought meat for the first time since I’ve even lived in this apartment (vegetarians, am I right?) because I smelled ground beef for the first time in, like, months the other week and I thought I was going to pass out. I have nothing but tremendous respect for people that don’t eat meat but holy shit, I love meat so much.
When I get anxious, in general, I start making things. I suppose it’s good to have that nervous, creative energy, although I also wish I could just make things without also feeling like the whole world is crumbling around me. I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a poetry collection that I’ve been working on for a year and a half now. Certainly not consistently, but it’s always been in the back of my brain. It’s about food and sex and romance and bodies and eating. Those aren’t the things I tend to write about most of the time. I remember writing a singular autobiographical, romantic thing in college and everyone was like, “this is not your image.” But I was always kind of alienated from my body and my relationship with and to it and what I put into it up until I graduated from college. Then I started being around food and kissable idiots more often. Win some, lose some. It was a poetry collection that I was always pretty embarrassed about—and still might be, to some extent, but more for the quality of the writing than the content itself—and then I read this Taylor Swift article about women and feelings (among other things). It is a silly thing to say Taylor Swift inspired me to write about my feelings because that it is definitely not how this happened, but I did feel validated. I like working on the collection, even though I know it is not objectively good, and I also think that is important much of the time. Short term peace of mind.
A lot of what Taylor Swift said about songwriting and romance was also applicable to stand-up. I started trying to date again last month and mostly it was a nightmare and everyone said, “well, at least you have good material for stand-up!” I think they think that anything you experience that is vaguely negative is worthy of jokes. That’s not necessarily the case. It was bad because I felt anxious and uncomfortable and not sure of myself. I don’t like it when people hit on me after stand-up shows because my stand-up persona is my worst version of myself. Similarly, I don’t like going on dates because I hate having to present my best version of myself. My actual version of self is irritatingly early, annoying, charismatic, and makes prolonged eye contact. Maybe sometimes funny, maybe sometimes a good listener. I don’t have any jokes about dating or OKCupid messages or that kind of stuff. I’m not really interested in poking fun at people also trying really hard to meet someone they like. I didn’t really like anyone I met, but I also don’t always like myself. Shit’s hard. I’m no more likable than literally any other human being who has ever lived except maybe Hitler. I just have big hair and a lot of feelings.