Results of Improv

Improv has been a moving force in my entire adult life. After much encouragement, I’m doing the damn thing. I’ve been going to jams at Third Coast Comedy club and volunteering in trade for classes. The more I go, the more funny morsels I find.

Reading that last bit may have you thinking that I find inspiration everywhere. It’s not true. The Muse of Inspo isn’t real. I blame Pinterest for most of its demise in everyone’s search for right party snacks and the perfect shade of gray to paint their kitchen.

Depression often tells me that I have nothing original to say. It lies and tells me I won’t ever be funny if I’m not self-depreciating first. Being funny takes practice and patience and… timing.

So, I’m going to share a thing I’ve been giggling at to myself over the last couple months. The point of this kind of writing is for my brain to live somewhere else for a while. It’s not self-deprecating. It does put a bee in the bonnet of some fifth graders and builds a higher pedestal for my cats.

You may not like it but don’t worry – I don’t need you to.


My Cat Is Smarter Than Your Fifth Grader

Hi, I’m Britt, the self-appointed advocate for the kid-less cat people in your life. We’re very bored with hearing about how smart you fifth grader is. I’ve been summoned today to tell you the truth… My cat is smarter than your fifth grader.

Yes, it’s an outline. Your fifth grader’s teacher told me that parents like these when there are curriculum changes and book reports on the horizon.

My cat makes its own schedule.

  • It doesn’t need to send me a Google reminder every time it naps.
  • I never have to worry about if it got enough sleep.
  • It’s already taking a nap after eating breakfast AND sleeping through the night.

My cat doesn’t talk back or complain.

  • We ignore each other unless we both need the blanket I’m using.
  • It doesn’t ask me awkward questions about the things it heard on the bus coming home from school.
  • There’s no noise about tummy aches or brain freezes.

My cat doesn’t seek validation, drugs or hugs.

  • It can’t use a phone to call a drug dealer or plan a party while I’m out of town.
  • The only time it requests interaction is when I have leftover milk in my cereal bowl. No, my cat isn’t lactose intolerant.
  • It looks to other felines to debate the need for another season of Jessica Jones.

My cat understands my privacy needs.

  • It doesn’t ask me why I’m buying another coloring book.
  • It doesn’t ask me where I take its poop every three days.
  • It doesn’t enter the bathroom while I’m in there.
  • I do occasionally get an escort to and from the potty because Queens recognize Queens.

My cat is a minimalist.

  • It regularly knocks things over that I have but don’t need on my shelves, or in my life.
  • It only needs two toys but your kid clutters the house.
  • It has a 4-collar capsule wardrobe.

My cat is generous.

  • It brings me dead animals.
  • I’m a terrible cat and enjoy animal sacrifices.
  • It makes sure we match by transferring its hair ONLY my freshly laundered clothes.
  • It only vomits when I’m not home.

As you can see, my cat is smarter than your fifth grader. The takeaway for your life right now is to rid yourself of that fifth grader and get a cat. If you have a dog AND child, well… I can’t even right now.

Advertisements

I’m keeping up with… me?

Daylight Savings usually messes with my mojo pretty badly but I’m doing better this month than I have in a long time. How is this possible?

1) Well, the sun is out most of the day now.
2) I am writing a lot and not worried about if it’s bad or not.
3) I’ve been vulnerable enough to open up and deal with my trauma.
4) I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make sure my cats live forever.
5) I’ve been going to improv jam nights and meeting people.
6) I’ve been published on a website that isn’t my own.

It’s a challenge to feel good all the time. It’s what social media tells us. It’s what our mothers and loved ones want more than anything: for us to feel good. It’s not always possible. Shocking, I know.

For a long time, I couldn’t tell you what I thought feeling good meant to me beyond physical sensations. I worked really hard to be skinny in college but gained it all back. My habits weren’t healthy. I wasn’t fulfilled in other meaningful or challenging ways. I was keeping up with an idea of who and what I wanted to be. My ideas were not and still aren’t always good. Again, shocking, I know.

After years of counseling and making efforts to challenge myself to feel better about life as it happens, I still have depression and anxiety. It’s hard to claim the space your brain takes away from you in these diagnoses. Sometimes I have no idea what I will accomplish most days but I make a plan to try anyway. I don’t always feel good about it.

Here’s the catch: While I’m not always feeling good, I do feel like myself most days. It’s the best. I am keeping up with myself. When I need a nap, I take one. When I’ve got an idea, I write it down or share it with someone. I take my meds. I wash my makeup off at night even if my laundry isn’t put away.

I hope you are finding ways to keep up with your needs. If you’re not, let me know how I can support you. Seriously, drop me a line.

What do you like? Are you doing it?

Oh, my feels.

How much time do you spend on things you enjoy doing? How much of that time is spent solo doing the things you enjoy?

I don’t know either.

I’ve had a difficult time figuring out what I enjoy doing lately because of the deceptive cocktail of depression, anxiety and a dash of Imposter Syndrome. I’ve made the decision to take care of my body as best I can by going to talk therapy, taking medication, seeing a chiropractor, and tasting my food rather than eating it.

Still, every day is a battle to decide what I like, love, and can live without as well as why these things matter. Sometimes the battle manifests as a panic attack. Other times, I have the urge to cancel plans and not leave the house.

But, there are these moments that come through like a sweeping wind and pushes me to the next step. When I see it, it can be an overwhelming feeling.

The next step might be showing up simply because I said I would. It might be writing and working through the trauma I want most to ignore.

Occasionally, I’ll overthink if I deserve to move past this sensation. It’s very hard in that moment to remember that depression lies to its victims.

What’s the point of this emotional bare all?

I want you to take time for yourself and decide what you want to spend time on. I know a lot of resources that might help you turn your self-care up to 11.

If you need to share in the struggle, it doesn’t make you weak. You are not alone. I’m always available too.

 

Knowing Your Worth

Worth – noun. The value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

 


Knowing what you’re worth is a loaded piece of information. It’s slightly existential. For some, it’s purely financial. For most, it’s a mystery. It’s taken me five years of professional growth, three years in psychotherapy, and many tribulations to get an idea of what my worth is made of. What I’ve learned is there’s a baseline, benchmarks, and no magic formula.

Establish A Baseline – Take stock of who you are.
I’ve struggled with self-esteem for a long ass time. The first time I was bullied about my appearance was in the second grade. Their words are burned into my brain forever. I internalized every lie they said for most of my teenage years.The recovery of my self-esteem didn’t come until college. I found my tribe and discovered that friends build you up and challenge you to be better without senseless competition.

These friends also taught me that I didn’t need to identify myself in reference to someone else first. It’s an extremely difficult concept to sort out because, as women, we are always proud of our contributions and impact on our loved ones.

After coming around to seeing I’m more than someone’s daughter, sister, and friend, I could focus on me. I focused on becoming a professional writer. If I listed my work experience on my way to finally being a writer, it would overwhelm you. I guarantee it but each of those jobs gave me a piece of who I am at this moment. The details mattered at the jewelry shop. Showing up on time at my grocery shift was essential. I’m a better writer and content creator for each of them.

Where are you right now – mentally, professionally, etc.? How do you feel are you in those spaces? Are all of your day-to-day activities essential? If you streamlined them, what kind of time would you have to grow in the ways most meaningful to you?

Determine how you measure success – What can you do?
You don’t wake up a success. It’s essential to define benchmarks you need so you’re consistently building your worth but… there’s a catch. Success subjective and not every success is measurable.

Professional success to me means projects that bring cash flow and sharing my knowledge with other people in my circle. Sharing builds my confidence. Helping a friend test a new theory about their target market genuinely excites me. When the work yields connections for them, my time is instantly worth the effort.

Personal success for me happens on a much quieter level. It involves me planning the time it takes for me to recover from the week’s efforts. If I can meditate a few times a week and get through some tough conversations, it’s a personal success.

Where does success matter to you? Is it getting new clients? Is it being there for a friend when they call?

There’s no magic formula.
When I was a child, I often asked, “How much longer ‘til we get there?” My mom would respond with, “Distance equals rate times time. We’re going 60 miles per hour and have 45 miles left.” We figured it out from there.

She’s a math teacher so the world was often broken down, researched, and reconstructed with solutions. My world and reality don’t always work to the effect of a magic formula. I do know that there are some questions I can ask myself to figure out if something is going to aid or hurt my self-worth.

  • Is it challenging?
  • Does it help anyone?
  • Who else is/needs to be involved?
  • Have I done something like this before?
  • Does it align with my personal beliefs? Professional goals?

If most of my answers are positive, the situation tends to add to my self-worth. If I can get paid for it… well, we’ll save that take for next time.