Living Regretfully: My Life as Liz Lemon

Some people say that they have no regrets. That they live their lives with abandon and seize the day. They justify this with the explanashame that you only regret the things you hadn’t done. I will point out their face tattoo or that you’re right dead people don’t have regrets. I find regret useful. Like guilt or losing at board games, it is a necessary and instructive part of life. I carry regrets around with me in that place where a heart should be. Regret guides me the way that morality ought to (but doesn’t because I’m an atheist).

I’m joking. I’m always joking, but the problem is that not everyone gets that. In writing, it translates well enough but in real life there must be something wrong with my delivery. Instead of people relating to me better with my humour as I was promised by television, people assume I’m a wretched person. They think I’m Eeyore. It’s a shame because I’m more of a Rabbit who I believe to be the Miranda of the Pooh-niverse. In reality, I have been socialized to be the caricature of perpetual misery, Liz Lemon.

It has always been my dream to be compared to Tina Fey, but I had hoped it would be for my writing and not my stress eating. Since I’m a gay man who has had to be strong and resilient, I will try an assets based approach. Here goes.

Being Liz Lemon means that I am intelligent and creative enough to know how something to do good (sharkfarts this is hard). Alright that’s not going to solve my problem, but I will continue to mistake Ms. Fey and other comedians as role models. It seems foolish, but I ascribe to the healing powers of poetic justice and laziness.

With that in mind, I present the suggested changes to my worldview found in Bossypants.

  1. Say yes – Say yes means acknowledging the value of other people’s suggestions and working from there.
  2. Say yes… and – Means contribute, don’t just sit there. This will be good career advice for me. When I start saying yes, I will need to follow-up with something that doesn’t make me sound like a moron.
  3. Make statements – Part of yes and is to make statements. It tricks people into thinking you are confident.

These are actually rules for improv, but I’m not that funny and at the very least it might cause some zany misadventures. I would also like to add in Mindy Kahling‘s admonishment that you should never complain about stress. I  always do this. When someone asks me how I am I will respond “tired”, “stressed”, or on a good day “alive”. Not ALIVE! with naive zeal, but a ho-hum, alive with an implied ellipses for smooth transition to complaining.

I am tired a lot of the time, but it’s not a great way to orient oneself in social situations. It shuts down conversation the way that my resting bitch face normally does. This negativity makes me seem more melancholy than I actually am. Other people don’t need to know that I’m tired as though I’m bringing to the table a half-assed 50%. I don’t know that I’ll ever admit to buying into positive energy bs, but I might be able to sell it. Maybe, if I frame it as “at least this way people will be less inclined to dislike me” I might, maybe, be able to handle it without my eyes rolling out of their sockets.

Resolving to answer with an “I’m fine” or maybe one day a “great!” won’t come naturally, but at least it’ll give the appearance that I will want to talk to you. It won’t fix all my problems (see corpselike appearance) and it shouldn’t. It’s okay to have bad days and as a person who has a history of depression I will have days where I will be tired/stressed/emotionally exhausted. However, a knee-jerk reaction of externalizing my negativity when really it’s an okay day is not best practices. At the very least I will be bearable some of the time, eventually. So hang in there people, one day this pain-in-the-ass will be useful to you, I promise.

For the record, I regret nothing because I am a cylon.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Sense of Community | Advice Ignored

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