It started with this great article in NY Times Magazine on Judd Apatow. In it, talking about his young days as a comedian trying to find his voice, and ending up at L.A’s Improv where he found like-minded guys, he says, “I felt like the bumblebee girl in the Blind Melon video who finally meets other bumblebees…I cried every time I saw that.”
Hmm…funny how that works. Growing up I’ve always thought I was mismanaged in the assembly line when the ‘Big Maker’ was putting me together. I won’t lie to you, I was awkward – still have remains of it – I was shy, didn’t behave like the other kids, didn’t have the ‘talent’ like the other kids in doing mind-jobbing school work, had(ve) weight issues – no issue, I was fat – and was made fun of for it. Can’t blame those cock-smackers for making fun of me – they needed something to put in their resume for future McJobs (glad I could help). I did have one thing I was convinced kids shouldn’t have after a certain age – because others would tell me so – and that is a ‘wild imagination.’ It was always active and it would send me off to find shelter in movies, music, books, and comics. Oh how I fucking loved comics. Finished off Tintin, Asterix, Archie, Flash Gordon, and anything with speech balloons on them. Alas, I wasn’t a rich spoiled kid who could afford to buy new copies. I had to borrow, sometimes leaving my spine at home, from others to read them. Oh yeah, I was a spineless little bastard who let people walk all over me because I thought everyone else knew better. Don’t know why I thought that. It took me quarter of a century to shed that.
Don’t weep for me yet. I needed all of that to happen to me, all the bad things. It’s better if bad shit happens to you early in life. It was better for me I felt isolated and ignored. At that stage one can do two things, keep moving towards the end of the tunnel in search of light or, as I did, move to a different tunnel: New York.
Man, I feel like I should be ending this with a Mister Rogers like speech. Fine.
You are who you are. The way you are made is no accident. The way you’ve been handled in your lifetime is no accident. Yes, you are an important factor in the greater scheme of things. Yes, your presence is serving a purpose for others but you ought to serve some of the good stuff on your plate – from others as well. Looking at the big picture is not your goal; leave that to time. What you like is what you like. What you are is what you are. Can’t change the fact and can’t fight the fact. If you’re a train, you shouldn’t be spending all your life trying to be a car because you’ll be unhappy. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.
Your body is your body, your mind yours to cultivate. Your body will never be like another person’s body or mind. It will never fit the image of another person’s idea of a body, let alone perfect body. What is a perfect body, anyway? The one that has all the parts in the right place, isn’t it? You want a perfect body? Learn Photoshop. Your ‘weird’ world is yours to live in. There will always be someone who has seen that world, who has appreciation for it, and who makes you want to make that world inside you better. There will be others who will laugh at the same world, who will want to change it to their liking, use their power to manipulate it. Change the tunnel. Stay away from anything that brings you down. Stay away from anything that promises to bring you up. Promises are cheap and they are on discount at Wal-Mart. Lies are cheap too and they’re a buy-one-get-one-free deal that lasts forever. Knowledge is your true friend. The more you learn, the more you earn – love, respect, honor, accolades, legacy. Yes, all that has to be earned. Knowledge is not getting a Masters degree in ‘Everthing 2.0.’ Knowledge is about earning your place in your future and the future. I didn’t mention anything about earning money.
But you see, you don’t earn money; it earns you as its slave. You shouldn’t let it though. Besides, you can’t write a check from the grave. Yes, money matters. If I didn’t have my morning breakfast and a Venti coffee, this shit I type wouldn’t be philosophy to me. If I didn’t know I have my lunch stacked away in the fridge, this ‘money earns you as slave’ line wouldn’t tickle me. If I didn’t have a place to call home, wouldn’t I let money earn me? I would, of course. I have. You would too. But it’s your decision to free yourself from that when the time is right. Balance your life out with work, family, fun, passion, and money…hopefully equally. Don’t rush into things. Don’t live life medium-rare. Most of all, make it hard for the fucking obituary writer to define your life in clever short sentences that score high on SATs.
If you find other bumblebees, even just one special bumblebee, hold on to him/her/them till your last breath. And if you’re still searching…remember you can only find them/him/her if you wear your costume like one, behave like one, be like one, love like one, act like one, and not be ashamed to be one. How would you know when you’ve found them/him/her? That constant smile on your face that lights up the world around you should be your clue. :)