I’ve been doing something that I hope will change the world. I have been pursuing fun as my main goal in life. Having a good time and enjoying myself is my number one priority. And you know what? It feels pretty good.
I’ve always been an outgoing, bubbly person when I’m around other people. I feel exuberant and optimistic when I share my energy with others. When I’m alone, on the other hand, my light dims. I stay indoors. I binge watch shitty movies on Netflix. I avoid phone calls and really any activity that involves leaving the house. It’s me and my laptop, my pajamas and my two cats. Those lazy assholes don’t exactly inspire me to leave the couch.
In the past, I tended to collapse without some sort of structure in my life. When I have too much time and nowhere to be, I panic. I do nothing. I wake up every day with anxiety because I have no idea what to do with myself. And then I’ll talk myself out of anything I actually DO want to do with some sort of negative, self-deprecating, “You’re a piece of shit” type thoughts until the thought of even leaving the house to go watch a movie in a dark theater seems like the world’s most impossible task. But I’m so tired. I feel like shit. I haven’t showered. The movie will probably suck anyways. The list goes on until I end up staying on the couch to watch yet another one and a half star Netflix movie.
And if I can’t even leave my house to go see a movie, I can forget about doing anything creative. Then the self-hate will really take over and I will think of at least a few dozen reasons why I shouldn’t work on an art or writing project. “This is going to look stupid.” “This is never gonna go anywhere. What’s the point?” “I’m so bad at this.” My inner voice was a total dick. As an artist, I need to create. If I’m not making something, I start to feel like life is pointless, that I’m a waste of space. So when I’m so depressed I can’t make anything, and then I don’t make anything because I am depressed, I can fall to really dark places. It is a nasty cycle that has sucked up months and even years of my life.
So you know what I decided, FUCK THAT. No way. I am done feeling shitty about myself. I am done feeling like I can’t do the things I want to do or be the person I want to be. I fell into one of these black holes after Burning Man. It’s always difficult coming back to the default world, where the focus is not usually on fun, and where people are more guarded and therefore, more judgmental. This year was especially hard because the TV gig I was slated for, a nice long 12 week stint working with my husband and friends in LA, was postponed indefinitely. Between myself and my husband, that was a huge financial hit. We had just paid for a wedding and a trip to Burning Man. We hadn’t worked much over the summer and were really counting on building our savings back up with this show. With one phone call, it was gone.
The depression set in. Pajamas became my daily apparel. Netflix and Chill became Netflix and Panic. I had no job and way too much time to worry about lost opportunities and what I should be doing about it. Then I got an offer for another gig, but it was an insultingly low rate and on a project I wasn’t really that excited about. Trusting my instincts in the moment, I turned it down. I was so sure a better offer would come along. But nothing came. I spent weeks waking up with crippling anxiety feeling like someone was sitting on my chest.
I knew there had to be more to life than succumbing to the whims of my shitty thoughts and feelings. So I tried to start having more fun. I took a solo trip to San Francisco when my husband went out of town. I rode my bicycle over the Golden Gate bridge and went to a figure drawing class. I can’t even draw well. But, I gave myself permission to do something for fun, holding literally no expectations for what would come out of it. As long as I was having fun, that was the key.
And so, focusing on fun, I got another offer for a TV gig. Working with my husband and with close friends, I was going to get paid to learn about cameras and gear. I thought to myself, “Finally! I knew all this positivity would pay off!” My husband and I were so thrilled about this job, we took off for a Tool concert in Phoenix and then went camping at the Grand Canyon.
We came home to a text. The show was cancelled and I had just lost the only job lead I had been excited about in months. We hung our heads in disbelief and I knew I had two choices. One- to retreat back into my cocoon of laziness and shame, or Two- DO THE OPPOSITE. The exact opposite. Instead of staying in, I’m going out. Instead of talking myself out of creative projects, I’m doing all of the projects.
I decided to focus on fun. A 30 Day Fun Challenge. I committed to doing one or more fun thing per day, usually a whole day’s worth of fun things. For every day I spent at home hating myself, for every shitty thought I’ve ever had, I’m dedicating twice as much energy to fun. I’ve been dancing three nights per week! I started a 5 week stand up comedy workshop. I have gotten further with my writing in the last week than in the entire 32 years I’ve been alive.
Here’s the gist. If somethings seems fun, I do it. If something looks interesting, I stop to check it out. If someone looks friendly, I start a conversation. I want to go everywhere and meet everyone. You wanna go to the beach? I’m in! The Getty? Let’s do it! Impromptu trip to San Francisco? Yes, yes, and YES! All night rave wearing Grumpy Cat pasties. HELL YES. I’m doing only what feels good and so far- it seems to be working out. I’ve never been happier. And things aren’t perfect in my life. I still wake up feeling shitty sometimes. But I don’t sit in it. Whenever the little asshole voice pops up, I can observe it instead of reacting to it. I remind myself that the negativity isn’t true. Life is beautiful. There’s fun to be had.
The BEST PART of this whole thing is that the Universe supports fun! Everyone wants YOU to have fun and enjoy your life. We all want each other to be happy and we all want to find happiness ourselves. We are not here to work and pay bills and take care of everyone’s needs but our own. We are here to expand, to experience, to laugh, smile, and sing. So make a commitment to yourself. To fun. To letting yourself experience real joy and take pleasure in it. Being happy and having fun in such a tumultuous times can seem crazy. Shouldn’t you be focusing on your career, or your children, or your bank account? Global warming or endless wars?
Here is the secret. You can still focus on all of those things, but if you put FUN at the top of your list, you will be better in all other areas of life. I’m on day 13 of the #30dayfunchallenge and I can tell you one thing- I have NEVER had this much energy. I leapt out of bed this morning at 6am after going to bed after midnight. I couldn’t wait to start the day. When your day is jam packed with fun things you enjoy, you’ll be so excited to wake up and see what the Universe has in store for you. So have FUN! I hope it changes your life like it’s changing mine.
P.S. If this seems interesting to you, I invite you to participate in this challenge. You can follow @30dayfunchallenge on IG here and join the community page on Facebook here. Share your photos and stay connected using the hashtags #30dayfunchallenge. So go outside! Be inspired and inspire others. Challenge your friends and your parents. Spread joy and laughter and FUN!