When The Switch Happened

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I thought I knew cold before moving to Chicago. I grew up in the tundra of northeastern Nebraska near the South Dakota border so I'm not exactly a stranger to winter days that don't get above zero degrees.

But in Nebraska cold to me was going out to my car in the morning (which was parked in a garage attached to my house) to get it started so it would heat up before driving to school. Cold to me was running from the Target parking lot to inside the Target front doors just a few feet away. It was walking to my car after dinner and having to suffer through two minutes of frigid car air before it warmed up inside. But being cold in Chicago? That's an entirely different ball game my friends.

Being cold in Chicago is walking six blocks to the train station and then waiting thirteen minutes on the tall outdoor platform as the wind whips by and slams you in the ears with its force. It's waiting for a bus that is ten minutes late when it's already 11:00 p.m. and all you can do is keep your head to the ground and breath into your scarf and hope your warm breath will sustain you. It's trying to get a cab downtown as the freezing lake effect bites everything in its grasp making the air so cold your eyes actually throb. It's walking inside a building and having to constantly wipe at your nose because it won't stop running. It just won't stop.

I'm writing this because I was freezing last night while waiting to get on a bus to head to iO for class only to have to turn around and get on another bus just two hours later to head to Second City for a rehearsal. I got done with Second City around 11:15 p.m. and there was no way I was about to walk the three blocks over to the bus stop so luckily I shared a cab with my pals Kathleen and Patrick (I'll pay you at our show on Friday I promise) so I didn't have to suffer at yet another CTA stop. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I wouldn't have it any other way right now.

Even though it's painfully cold at the moment, I've been in one of those annoying "I'm so in love with this city I'm bursting with joy" phases. There's worse things in life to feel I suppose. It might have something to do with the fact I'm gearing up to do some stand-up at Laugh Factory tonight, I'm performing a short scene at Second City on Friday, and then I'm in a comedy showcase at iO next Monday night.  And trust me when I say everything I'm in is basically as amature level as it gets and I'm probably the only person who actually feels gitty about doing any of it. But I can't help it. I'm just so damn gitty. Maybe all of the bad Christmas music I've been listening to is making me loopy. 

I just keep thinking about where I was in life just two years ago and how if someone would have told me I'd be bouncing around the city doing rehearsals and open-mics at comedy clubs in a couple of years I probably wouldn't have believed them. I used to refuse to leave my house after 7:00 p.m. in the winter, now it's amazing if I'm home before midnight. Of course I've always wanted to do stuff like this, I just never thought I'd actually work up the guts to give it a try. When I look back I try to figure out when the switch happened. What was it that finally made me stop bullshitting myself and accept the fact that I at least have to give my obnoxious goals a fighting chance before twenty more years have gone by and I'm still haunted by that awful feeling of  I always wanted to....  And I can't find any single aha moment that has led me to the place I am. I think that maybe I've been headed this way all along and I just didn't realize it. It's like I had some of those shitty jobs and had to do some of those annoying things I didn't want to do just so I could have a better understanding of what it is I wanted to do. I feel like sometimes our paths get a little overgrown in life and if you're not paying close enough attention you can get lost in the brush.

And when I start spewing out lines like that I know it's time to wrap it up. Let me just conclude by saying you don't need to remind me that I'm chasing something that thousands of other hopefuls before me have already gone after. I'm well aware. The fear of failing is something that definitely weighs on my mind, but at the end of the day the fear of not trying weighs on me even more.

*And if you like the adorably festive sweatshirts Chris and I are wearing (and duh why wouldn't you, what is more fun that dinosaurs and cats?!) you can find them here. Use the code 'SANTA' for 20% off!

But seriously wouldn't Chris make a great fashion blogger boyfriend? That baby-faced mug of his was made for the camera.

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  1. Having a slight freak out moment.
    1. I feel you on the cold weather. I wear 2-3 layers on every body part; it's my Canadian experience that's helps me survive Chicago.
    2. ZOMG you're in iO... my bf and I love watching their shows. We just went last week!
    3. ZOMG ZOMG you're also in second city! I'm attending my FIRST show on Dec 20. EEEEeeekk! *passes out*

  2. I am pretty shocked at how positive this post is lady. All of the Thankful Thanksgiving posts all freaking November must have got to you. haha So excited to see you getting to pursue your dreams. It is such an amazing feeling and fun to be cheering you on from the sidelines in an obnoxious cheerleader sort of way. And now my husband is making me click on that link and buy him Chris' sweater. Thanks a lot.

  3. I think it's awesome you're pursuing your dreams. So many people don't and get stuck in the mundane lif... Go girl!!! Is Harlow liking the weather?

  4. Is it weird reading about the cold makes me miss Chicago? Not that I enjoy waiting at the train in the freezing cold in December, but I kind of miss it. I'm a freak, I know. But just... I hear ya about the city. You go through these phases where you just are like "Sigh... I love this place." I miss it!

    Also - I don't know if I've said it before, but I love that you're doing what you love. And who says you won't "make it?" I have a friend in college who is still up there in Chicago and he's been doing AWESOME as a stand up comedian. He opened for Pauley Shore a few months ago. (OK, yes, no one cares about Pauley Shore anymore... but still!) So I say that you can do it and I'm glad you're going for it and you love every step of the way.

  5. Love that street shot!! I'd almost rather be waiting on the L platform that driving in it like we have to. It was treacherous this morning. Chris looks oh so thrilled about that photo haha love it.

  6. you're right, i really don't know cold like that. but what's great about it, is how much you love the city. and yes, he makes a great fashion blogger. maybe he should start one. he and michael should. Because Michael will often say "I could start a blog"

  7. We get a lot of cold and snow in New England but having to walk and wait for the train just makes my bones cold for you!! Love those sweaters!

  8. I gotta comment and say, I really love your positivity. Keep getting it, girl. I'm so happy for you.

  9. I think all any of us can really do is give it our best shot, even if it's completely blind. (I mean as Auburn showed us in their game against Alabama at the last second, you could just accomplish the impossible!) Very inspired by you, Taylor, always.

    Also, I need tips on how to stay warm and look as adorable as you. I'm a Texas/California dweller, and am heading to London for three months - and apparently, the worst storms in 60 years are headed over there. So there's that.

  10. Yes I love this post! And I feel like I'm on the exact same page. Chicago has been so friggin freezing lately, but even when it hurts there's something invigorating about it, like even though it's freezing and I'm in pain and my nose is nonstop running it's all worth it. Also can you give more info about your upcoming performances? I'd love to see you perform! I had my first improv performance at Second City last week, and even though it was bottom level of amateur I couldn't have been more off the wall excited. I really hope that excitement and the giddiness never goes away.


  11. Rooting for you big time, lady!
    And PS: I could hear you spewing out lines like that all. day. long.

  12. I freaking love that shirt. And I freaking hate being in Chi-town in the winter. I live about two hours away where it's much more like what you described your used to, but the times that I've spent in the city during the winter just make me sad. I take the train when I go, which means walking everywhere and omg... it's horrible!!

    And finally, good for you on following your dreams! I wish you the very best of luck!! :)

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

  13. It's crazy that I read this and last night I was watching Full House (my insomnia go-to on Nick-at-Nite) and Joey realized he hadn't chased or achieved his dreams yet and he was turning 30 in a few days. He went on Star Search and lost but was happy he was now chasing them. All that to say, this post reminded me of that and I'm happy you followed your dreams and passion. And for what's its worth, I think you're hilarious and if I were in Chicago, I'd come watch your standups. (Cue Full House sap-ass music as we all hug)

  14. I have the same sweatshirt that Christ is wearing. I also think it's wonderful that you're chasing your dreams, and break a leg up there tonight! I have no understanding of how cold the cold is that you're describing. It got down below 40 degrees in LA last night, and it was NOT pleasant.
    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

  15. So glad things turned out well for you! It can be quite a journey but as I have learned it always seem to turn out well! P.S. You've been tagged! http://sweetcatastropheblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/sunshine-award.html

  16. This isn't fair. Bear wouldn't even wear his Christmas shirt out of the house.

  17. I come here and read about how cold it is and you know what I just don't get being that cold, it is rare that I am that cold, I don't live somewhere that gets that cold, even in winter here it is not that cold, if I could send you some of the stinking bloody hot heat we are having I would, it is so hot that I am getting headaches due to the heat.

  18. Absolutely loving the sweaters and I'm thinking that I may be sorry that it's cold there.. it's been 75 degrees here during the day (after about 11am). After about 8pm tonight it was 40 and that's pretty cold when you wear flip flops and capris but it will all change tomorrow. Please send snow here! PS- Chris has a lovely blogger sweater pose via IG.

  19. Everybody is talking about the cold in Chicago and it's scaring me because I am venturing to Chicago next year to also pursue my dreams and I come from a tropical weather sort of place where it's summer all year long. However, I agree with you that Chicago has that charm that just makes you love the city so I think I would just bite through the cold just to experience it all. Congratulations on following your dreams and who cares about whether or not you fail. We all have fears, but if we don't act on it and be brave, we will never know and won't ever conquer them. So go you! I commend your efforts. Good luck!

  20. Taylor, that line about getting lost in the brush was genius. You need to submit that for a hallmark card ASAP! Keep on livin' the dream, because otherwise you would be so full of regrets and probably unhappy.

  21. I love the fact that you aren't giving up on your dreams. I was just reading inspirational quotes for my family calendar the other day and there was one that said,

    "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

    Thomas A. Edison

    I think it goes to show that you don't realize how long it took successful people to become that way.