As a younger man I used to crave the friction of life. It was the tactile sensation that came from living. It was the soreness you feel after you worked out or the discomfort of trying something new. I embraced the unknown and the friction that would surely follow.
As I grew, I started to ween out of these thoughts and into the comfort of “good is easy” and “if it was meant to be, it would” and “go with the flow”.
I recently performed at my first paid comedy show, and I felt the friction. I felt the anxiety, the fear, the suspense. I felt all of it. And in hindsight I can say, I loved it. In hindsight, I can see it is what I need to grow and become not only a better comic, but a better person. In the moment, I felt the uncertainty. Until that moment, it was all unicorns and rainbows. Open mics and showcases, and it all felt like it was falling into place. It felt like I was a natural. But that night was something new. It was new people, new room, new town, new pressure. It was no longer an open mic, with little to no stakes. This was a show, that people paid good money to come be entertained. It forced me to accept certain truths and address my reality. The reality that, this life I envision for myself, will be unforgiving, exhausting, and sometimes unbearable. But that’s just the friction that comes from really living.
I still love the song “Smooth Sailin’ Tonight” by The Isley Brothers. But at this point in my life, I think I more favor the quote “smooth seas don’t make good sailors”. It’s the friction that sparks growth and the friction that builds character. I’m not exactly sure what the point is, but embrace the suck!