Warning: This post gets a bit 'emo'.
I went to see Daniel Kitson at the Oxford Playhouse last night and it was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. He is my favourite comedian, and to see him onstage doing his thing was just an absolute joy to watch.
His routine centred around death. Two of Daniel Kitson's aunts have died this year and it has clearly been a subject that has been on his mind somewhat. As it would.
I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of his routine, but inevitably it made the audience think about death themselves. Well, it did me anyway.
I remember when I first realised that I was going to die. I was 8 years old, watching an episode of 'Wogan'. Terry Wogan was interviewing Cliff Richard, and Cliff suddenly went off on one about his Christianity, specifically to do with death and the afterlife and heaven. He didn't just make a mention of it, no, he went on about it for what seemed like bloody ages. I was terrified. I realised that I was going to die one day and it scared me stupid. I cried and cried and cried. I was inconsolable.
For many many years afterwards I was terrified of death. I mean, I'm still pretty scared of it now obviously, but I was absolutely petrified of it when I was a kid. If I ever thought about the fact that I was going to die, I would dwell on it to the point of feeling like I was physically unable to move, and I would just sit in my room crying and thinking to myself 'What's the point of anything? Everything I ever experience is in the past never to be relived. Everything I do is gone already, so why do anything at all? Why not just sit here doing nothing seeing as there's no point to it anyway?' etc etc etc. Actually just typing that has made me feel a bit odd and slightly upset.
This attitude has often stopped me from doing things. Not so much the 'I'm just going to die at the end of it anyway' side of things, more the 'Everything's pointless anyway' side. Almost everything I've ever done or tried to do I have given up on because there's this little voice in my head that started off saying 'What's the point?', but along the way evolved into the voice that also constantly tells me that I'm rubbish and I can't do anything anyway.
There have obviously been things in my life which have helped this evolution of my internal dialogue, but I'm not going to go into them now.
I always give up on things because of this voice. It is a constant source of frustration. It is a constant barrier between me and anything like an achievement. I never persist, I give up far too easily, I am too quick to be put off and demoralised.
This blog is the thing I have most stuck to. I'm not sure why that is, and there have been a number of times when I've nearly deleted it. I'm glad I haven't. I often think that what I write on here is total shit, but I'm glad I've kept it up. I've written some stuff on here that I'm pretty proud of, but more than anything I'm just glad that I've managed to keep one of my projects going, and haven't given up on it.
I tried writing my own stand up routine once. It was about 4 years ago, and everyone I knew seemed to be either in a band or forming a band. I thought to myself that it was about time someone did something different, so I decided I was going to be a stand up comedian. I told a couple of people about it and they were really encouraging. "You should totally do it" etc etc.
So I tried to come up with a routine. After only about 2 weeks of trying, I gave up. As my old mate from college David Moore always said, there is a massive difference between being funny to an audience than being funny to your friends in a social context. Being funny on stage is much harder.
But I only tried for 2 weeks. And that's probably being slightly generous to me, it was probably in reality even less than that. But the first stuff I wrote down was dreadful. I adapted it and made it slightly better, but it was still no good. Of course it wasn't. This was the first time I'd tried to do anything like this and I'd barely even started properly trying as it was, but then that voice, that "What are you doing? You know you're no good. You can't do this" voice cropped up into my head once again, and that was that. Dream over. Bye bye stand up.
Same thing has happened when I've tried to learn any instrument.
Same thing happens almost everytime I try and write a story of poem.
Same thing happened with my college course I'm doing, which is why I came so close to totally fucking up my first year and passed by only 2%.
Same thing has happened with the 300 x 300 blog.
Same thing happens almost every single time I try to do anything ever.
Which is why I worked an easy job for 7 years. Which is why I haven't really done anything with my life. Which is why I spend most of my free time sitting in my room not actually doing anything.
Because it's just too bloody EASY. And no-one tells me I can't do it. Least of all myself.
Hmmm... Gone slightly off the topic of death and into a very self-indulgent little rant against myself there. Sorry about that.