I’m flying to Seattle in a couple hours to speak at a conference for teen citizen lobbyists. Social justice advocate teen citizen lobbyists… pretty amazing, right?

As usual, I’m wide awake with no real hope of that changing. It’s been a few years now, and I haven’t outgrown this pre-trip insomnia. I really thought I would.

I’ve written before about how un-natural of a public speaker I am. When I started doing stand-up comedy, I would blackout from nervousness. While it sounds extreme, I’m not sure I would have ever kept going if I was cognizant of how terrible I was. Throughout the years, I’ve developed different pre-show practices that helped me cope with the anxiety. Until recently, I had to spend 5 – 10 minutes using the Kuji-In, or Kanji Mudra, hand meditation before hopping on stage, or there were no guarantees my head wouldn’t pop. Now I’m able to forego any pre-show rituals (though it’s not ideal) and I can actually pretend to not be super nervous and have a conversation with a human up until I take the stage. Unfortunately, I’ve developed this not so shiny pre-trip insomnia ritual.

The bigger the event, or the more meaningful it is to me, the more intense the insomnia. Before I keynoted the National Sex Ed Conference last month, I didn’t sleep for 3 nights in a row. I was up for 79 hours straight, spoke for one hour, socialized for four after, then slept hard enough that a gunshot wouldn’t’ve woken me up. And I don’t mean a gun randomly going off near me, I mean someone shooting me in the thigh.

Maybe in a year or two, or a few hundred more trips, I’ll shake this thing and be able to sleep the night before I hit the road. It’d be nice, but then when would I find time to rewatch seasons of Futurama?

We don’t live in the same world, you and I. But I’d love for you to try to show me yours, if I try to show you mine.

If you’re an artist, you see line and shape wherever you look. You take note of the cues that create perspective, and imagine mixing the colors you see. You wonder how the reality you’re looking at might appear in pastels, oil, and acrylic, and how you might recreate that reality later, and how you might alter it.

If you’re a comedian, you see humor between every line. Every word you hear, every thing you see, is passed through an algorithm in your head. [q:] Would that make people laugh on stage? [if no:] What do I need to change/tweak? [if yes:] Write it down.

If you’re a photographer, you see light and the absence of light in everything. You know that everything you’re looking at, and everything you can’t see, is being translated to your eyes through myriad reflections and refractions.Keep Reading

I created this because it’s been a long time coming, and I decided to stop letting time slip away.

People have asked again and again if I have a personal blog. I do not. Well, I did not. I do now. And I will keep it up for at least one year. 365 days. 12 months. And probably about 500,000 words.Keep Reading