True Life: I Wanted to Be a Comedian
There comes a point in every child’s life when their parent(s) shut down their dreams- directly or indirectly- and that moment is forever etched into the child’s mind as a pivotal moment. If you’ve personally never experienced that, keep reading to learn more about how these scenarios look for others- really, just myself.
I was in eighth grade when my school made the whole grade take a career aptitude test. The test consisted of personality questions, study habits, interests, etc. and then gave each student the top 20 careers they would enjoy or perform well in.
The top results were unsurprising to me and included artist, writer, photographer, film maker and any other job you can associate with the arts. Since fourth grade I had aspired to be a writer, so those results made sense. However, curiosity made me continue reading the results and I stopped at number 16. As a child who had been battling depression, I made it one of my life’s missions to help others who had been or were in a depressed state. The best way I knew how to help them was to make them laugh. Lo and behold, number 16 said, “Comedian.” I remember reading it and thinking, “This is what I’m meant to do. I’m meant to make others laugh.” I thought I had found my purpose in life- I was ecstatic.
I couldn’t wait to go home and tell my dad about my results and my new-found purpose in life. As someone who loves the future and tends to spend most of my time thinking about it, any small idea can become my whole world. Within hours, I had mapped out my future of comedian including comedy shows, traveling to various cities, and meeting comedian legends such as Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres.
Because this was before texting was the most used form of communication, and it was HUGE news, I impatiently waited for my dad to get home from work. When he got home I was bouncing with excitement on the stairs (where I like to tell him important information, so I can be at eye level since there’s a considerable height difference between us as seen in the picture above).
Happy as could be I looked him in the eyes and said, “Dad I got my career test results today and you’ll never guess what was on it!”
He started by guessing the obvious one: writer. I dismissed it because that was not going to be my future job anymore. I had moved on to the best job possible for me, ignoring the fact that 15 other options were listed before it. I hurriedly told him about comedian being on there and how I was going to be an amazing comedian and make people laugh for a living.
This is where everything went downhill. Real quickly too.
He started laughing so hard that he had to bend over and place his hands on his knees. The sound wasn’t even coming out of his mouth. I can’t say for certain, but he probably even teared up from laughing so hard. I was perplexed by his reaction and asked, “What’s so funny?”
And you know what this man said to me? My father, who is supposed to be my biggest supporter goes… “I love you but you’re just not that funny.”
And then continued laughing.
Instantly crushed. I wasn’t that funny? I made him laugh by telling him I wanted to be a comedian, right? And people always laugh when I tell stories? Being the stubborn, passive person I am, I avoided him for a week; or at least what felt like a week to me. My hopes and dreams were demolished.
Every now and then I bring up this story to my dad and he always responds with something like, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.” Well sir, I have not. Not that I hold grudges or anything…
Now, maybe we should all be a little grateful towards my dad because he is probably right, meaning he has spared me the heartbreak of not having people laugh at my lame jokes, anxiety attacks produced by my stage fright, you not having to sit through my lame jokes, and for the ways I will impact society as a pharmacist once I graduate.
While I am grateful my dad realized my strengths (and weaknesses), loved me enough to tell me them, and saw a bigger picture than I could, I will always remember the day my dad squandered my dreams of being a comedian. And mentioning how not funny I am after he laughs at my future jokes- again, I don’t hold grudges.
But Lex be real… it was truly for the best because I’m just not that funny.