Allow me to be totally cliche and begin this post with a classic Mark Twain quote:
“Humor is tragedy plus time.”
I kinda shrugged at that quote for most of my life.
I witnessed mother battle breast cancer for all my life until it finally took her life when I was 13.
I had an eating disorder for nearly a decade.
I had to take care of my father when he was diagnosed with terminal Brain Cancer and at the tender age of 24, I had to be an adult and bury my last remaining parent.
I wasn’t really laughing for a long time, I was waiting for the “humor” part of tragedy to kick in.
It was only after I buried my dad that I started to reflect on my life and realized that there is no one taking care of me aside from….ME. I had so much pent up laughter I’ve been waiting to let out and only now was I capable to let it out. There were no more dying parents to worry about, no more war against food (or lack thereof), no reason to NOT laugh at it all.
But there was one thing holding me back and that was being lonely.
Sure, I had the support of my friends and readers of this site which I greatly appreciated, but I moved in to my dad’s house with just a puppy and felt incredibly alone. The relationships you develop online and like blogs, Facebook, and Twitter can only do so much. For the past year and half, I was in and out of hospitals taking care of my dad, holding his fort up. My real social life was non-existent. I wasn’t interested in seeing people, dating, socializing, NOTHING.
So after the dust settled and my dad was laid to rest, I luckily didn’t have to struggle with the loneliness for much longer.
A friend of mine started a social networking site geared towards actually meeting people. Not a dating site, just a site to connect people nearby that have similar interests in order to MEET and actually do something! As fabulous as the internet is, it falls short on actually connecting people beyond simple messages, Instagram feeds, and status updates. This sounded like a great idea and I was eager to help this start-up grow and expand.
Ever since I started working for this new concept, I’ve broken out of my shell and developed the courage to actually try to make others laugh; a dream I had as I sat in the hospital bed beside my dad for months while watch George Carlin and Marx Brothers. A dream that even today, feel impossible.
Because, seriously! How DARE I think I’m hilarious?
The truth is, I don’t.
But there is no greater high than hearing someone burst out of laughter because of something you said. Why use drugs when you can just fart loudly in front of someone?!
(Cue photo of my mother and I probably farting in Paris)
Thankfully, my job allows me to produce a comedy show. I got some very hilarious and semi-famous comedians to help out and do charity comedy show with proceeds going to brain tumor research. So no other person will have to cuddle up beside their parent or loved on in a hospital bed, watching their parent’s brain deteriorate at an alarming speed.
If you happen to be around the LA area, you can come to the show and purchase tickets here.
If you can’t make the show but would still like to donate, you can also that that here.
Sure, I have a top culinary education behind me and I’m not going to be a doctor like my Jewish dad always wanted.
So that’s what I’m doing these days.
But making people laugh and being able to help other not be as lonely suits me better, and most importantly, it makes me happy to be me. I’m finally seeing the humor in life and living it.
And more than anything, I know that’s what my parents would’ve wanted.
(sorry, I just couldn’t end this on a sad note).