THE FRESH AIR UP THERE

Last night, I was out at an open mic, and after a couple hours of sitting in the back this guy who was not performing came in. Although there were several empty seats he decided to sit next to me. I'm not sure if he was homeless, I don't want to assume that, but he was wearing a homeless guys body order. It was suffocating.

I wanted to run out the door gasping for fresh air, but I thought, "How would I want someone to treat me in this situation." So I decided to tough it out.

After about 5 minutes, which felt like 30 minutes in a gas chamber where literally my eyes were watering, I couldn’t take anymore. To not make a scene, I pretended that I had to go to the bathroom which was in the back of this dingy bar. 

I rushed to the bathroom, closed and locked the door behind me and breathed in as much air as my lungs would allow. Only to discover the bathroom smelled a lot worse than the guy did...that's when I threw up.

What’s the lesson here? I have no idea, but sometimes you need to sit next to a smelly guy or lock yourself in a dirty bathroom, to really appreciate fresh air.

IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE

Last night I flew into Chicago into a pretty decent snowfall. I don't have any fears about flying, but landing in snowy and icy conditions can be a little unnerving.

Sitting directly in front of me was an older lady who seemed to be well off. I say she was well off, because she had a cane. I assume canes can only be owned by rich people or comic book villains. Sitting directly behind me was someone who was not as well off, but more of a blue collar type. He said he worked for the Gas Company so...yeah you get it.

As we're landing, the rich lady looks out the window and says, "Wow look at the snow, isn't it beautiful," and at the same time, I hear the man behind me say, "Shit, I'm going to have to shovel all this snow when I get home."

In that moment it hit me what makes life great is that here we had two different people. from different walks of life, with different perspectives about the wintery wonderland we were landing in, and neither one of them knew I was the guy who had farted earlier on the plane. (I don't normally drink coffee).

What's the point of this? I guess it doesn't matter where we come rich or poor sometimes we all have to deal with the guy in 3A stinking up the joint.

TAKE INVENTORY

I decided to take a few moments this weekend to do some inventory. It was time to get rid of the things that are collecting dust and taking up space on the shelf, and remove the distractions that keep me from hitting my goals. I decided to start in the kitchen, and quickly found myself staring in a refrigerator full of condiments. I knew I needed to take action immediately, so instead of finishing cleaning I made a music video instead. 

JUST SHOW UP

It's been a month to the day that I moved to LA from Chicago. Most of my boxes are unpacked and there are bits of paper and LEGO pieces strewn around the floor.

You would think the "newness" of everything would bring with it a level of excitement, but I for me there's a level of anxiety that I can't seem to shake.

The things that were familiar to me while I was in Chicago aren't here: the friends I'd see at open mics or shows, people who I liked to write with or bounce ideas off of or even watching the Bachelorette with my old roommate. Those things are gone, and creatively Jonathan feels like he needs to get his groove back.

So many people move to a city like LA or New York to "make it" and although that was never really my motivation there comes a little bit of pressure with the potential of that idea. Admittedly, I was ready for a change of pace for sure, but I was never delirious enough to think that once I got here magical things would happen. Regardless of your field, whether it's entertainment or business, there is no such thing as an overnight success.

We get enthralled though with stories of celebrities like Jerrod Carmichael or Chance the Rapper who seem to come out of no where. Truth be told, these guys have been grinding it out for years before they got their big break. There are no shortcuts to success, no performance enhancing underwear for greatness. (first reference to PEUs...there will be more)

One of my all-time favorite athletes is Cal Ripken Jr.  aka "Iron Man" (also my favorite comic book character) who is a legend in Major League Baseball. Cal Ripken is the legend not Tony Stark.

Ripken won two Golden Glove Awards was a 19-time All Star and was twice named MVP. Most impressively Ripken holds the record for consecutive games played at 2,632 all without any PEUs. (Refernce #2)

Did Ripken show up for his first day of spring training, and say

"I think I want to play the most consecutive games in the MLB?"

I don't know, we're not close like that...but I really doubt it. What he did do was just show up. Over and over and over again. Iron Man just showed up each day probably despite aches and pains, bad games, self-doubt or any of the things that plague us in our everyday lives. 

I'd never want to be a one-hit wonder. I would like to be known as someone who is consistent and productive day in and day out. What would it be like to be known as the Cal Ripkin of comedy or whatever it is that you do? I think it'd be pretty impressive and a goal worth aiming for. So whatever it is that you do, just show up and be yourself. Unless you can be Cal Ripkin than always be Cal Ripkin.