Have you ever….?

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It was early September, 2011.  I was 38, single and unemployed, yet again.  What few things I did have were in storage, as I had moved back home for a brief period of time.  But I had a big decision to make that had nothing to do with job hunting or finding a place to live.

A few years prior I was into the political scene in the province, and had aspirations of running for political office.  I had been in the party mix for a few years, having attended the important functions and being part of the yearly weekend convention that bounced back and forth between Regina and Saskatoon.  I was also a two-term president of a constituency in the city.  I had been out of the political scene for a couple years to that point after I was voted out at the constituency AGM.  The guy in our riding had lost the last couple elections and I really wanted to see him win.

Something was beginning to tug at me and possibly take me away from the political scene I was going to reenter.  About a month before the election writ was to be dropped, there was a comedy competition to be held at Beiley’s on October 4th (when it was still open).  I had talked to a couple of the local comics leading up to the contest and had seen a few shows to get a sense of how things were done.  I have to admit, comedy seemed like it was a lot more fun than politics.

So, would it be comedy or back into politics again?

Needless to say I chose comedy and have been going for just about five years.  But at what cost?

I have stuck with comedy longer than I have ever been at a job. That is a bad thing to say, especially at my age, which is why I have chosen to not attend my 25 year high school reunion in less than two weeks.   Why?  What will I tell them?  I haven’t been successful at anything really.  If I had a LinkedIn page it would be fucking embarrassing, listing the number of times I have bounced from job to job.

I know that some of you have gone through some hard times for a brief period, but you came out of that and have had a reasonable amount of career stability or personal success in your life.  Me, on the other hand, I’ve never had that and anything good that appears to come my way doesn’t last for very long.  Do you know what it’s like to be 43 and still a failure, to still struggle with everything?

I’ve been on EI probably three or four times in my life.  I’ve always collected a GST cheque since its inception, showing you how poorly I get paid.  Sure, I could have stayed working for dad’s company and have a new vehicle to drive every few years via company lease and have a condo or house of my own, but I really don’t like the verbal or physical abuse I was subjected to in my 4+ years of working there.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Some of you may be of the opinion that I deserve everything I get that’s coming to me, or that I somehow asked to be put in situations where I never get a break at all.  But to assume that says a couple of things.  First, it usually speaks to who you are as a person because generally someone who thinks I deserve all this crap never asks to hear my side of the story.  They just look at the facts and conclude that I really am a failure.  I usually go into a situation treating others how I want to be treated.  Then eventually the asshole comes out of the other person.

Look, if somebody is a dink by nature, then it’s only a matter of time before they expose themselves for who they really are.  Some of you have unliked my comedy page because I’m being too honest, but I would rather be real and transparent, rather than being nice to the audience and treating other comics like shit.  I didn’t ask to get shit on, and certainly never started any fights either.  But when people are insecure bullies eventually who they are comes to the surface.  I think my biggest problem is the fact that I stood up for myself.  When people started to shit on me, trash me on stage and throw me under the bus online, I wouldn’t tolerate it.

Like I said before, my I.D. does not list my name as doormat.  When you have been talked down to by various people all throughout your life, at some point you draw a line in the sand.

The last several years have been a real struggle for me personally, getting dicked around and fired or having to quit jobs.  I’ve also been paid poorly too, and I think that poor pay is equal to how you get treated.  I have never been at a job where I have been truly valued, appreciated, respected or rewarded for the job I have done.  I’ve never had a raise based on merit.  Never received a promotion either.  I just get shit on, left, verbally abused and thrown under the bus.

Then combine that with the struggles I have had in comedy and it just seems to magnify my shit life that much worse.  It’s been nothing but one long, constant struggle since I’ve graduated from high school.  I would like to say that I had a period where I was successful, but looking back on my life I can’t find it.  Family, friends, former employers and people on Facebook manage at times to make me feel as if I have very little value at all.  Any friends who do happen to be happy for me or proud of me, well those feelings are usually short lived because like I said, the good times with me don’t last for too long.  The majority of fb friends I had previously will stay blocked, because I don’t need to feel worse about my situation, and I certainly don’t need to disappoint any of you with mine, though you can always message me through the comedy page.

All I have ever wanted was for somebody to believe in me and help me, give me a break, a chance to succeed, but I’ve never had that.  Anytime I make a mistake and try to do right by it, even if it means doing the right things for a year or more, it seems like there are certain people close to me who will refuse to see see good and changes I have done, simply labeling me as a mistake, and treating me as such.  I have lost three very good, close and whom I thought were loyal friends.  Worst part is that all three disappeared on me around the same time about a year ago (don’t worry V, you aren’t in that group).

Now, how would that make you feel?  Sure, some of you probably struggle at times, but I doubt for this long with just about nothing to show for it.  The more I fail, the more embarrassing it gets to try and explain things to others.

It’s kind of like the movie I Am Sam, where the main character speaks to his lawyer and says:

you don’t know what it’s like when you try and you try and you try, and you just don’t get there

If there is anyone out there who has failed repeatedly despite their best efforts, for a number of years, then speak now or forever hold your peace, because at the moment I’m not sure any of you really do exist.

If this piece lacked clarity, then the next one will make this one make sense.

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