(or) Put on Your Lipstick and/or Your Jockstrap Every Day
I’m not sure if I’m in withdrawal from my trip to Thailand or if I’m suffering a bout of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but I’ve been in a funk lately. I know I’ve got it rough: it’s 56 and partly cloudy in L.A. while most of the country is in a blizzard and I want you to cry me a river. The thing about funks is that they work to sustain themselves. The more I’m down, the less I want to leave home. And even when I’m out, I’m not radiating the type of energy that’s going to attract the right people and opportunities into my life. Thus the funk takes on new life—if I allow it.
My friend Felicia learned from her mom that no matter what was going on, she should put on her lipstick every day. It was her ways of saying “fake it till you make it.” That is, show the world you are together (the lipstick being one easy polish) and the world will put you back together again. Since Felicia works from home like me, she has the opportunity to hide. But instead, no matter how she’s feeling, every day she puts on her lipstick and faces the world. Invariably, she hears a song at the coffee shop that makes her smile or strikes up a conversation that pumps new life into her. And even if nothing miraculous happens, she’s giving herself the opportunity to change her state.
In basketball, when you’re missing shot after shot, the lack of confidence often leads to more misses and then a reluctance to shoot. That’s why you often hear that a shooter has to keep shooting. Stop shooting and you’re even more stuck. The only way out of the rut is activity.
As it was, last night I made good on my pledge to get involved more with my community and went to a yoga class followed by a potluck. I ended up talking to the teacher and will be her guest at a screenwriter’s group tonight. I also replied to an email about another project and was rewarded with an invite to a party for the Auburn-Oregon game tonight. And here I am, life-long night owl, up at 7 a.m. and writing another column. Things didn’t just shift. No, it was my actions that have rendered my funk officially over.
And here’s where things get really strange. I went to a party on Labor Day in 2009 (nearly a year and a half ago) and met a woman at a party who was divine. She was the type of woman who instantly made me say, “I’d marry her today, no questions asked.” Turned out she was from England and had also done a fast at Spa Samui in Thailand (perhaps this explained her radiance). We chatted for a bit and got along well before she put a dagger in my heart when she mentioned her boyfriend. Anyway, I recall e-mailing her just to stay in touch and not hearing back. Then, five seconds ago (I swear—I could not make this up!), she friended me on LinkedIn. A coincidence? I’ve learned not to try to explain these things, but certainly an affirmation—and a funk-buster if there ever was one. Twenty-four hours ago I was glued to my couch; now I’m whistling zip-a-dee-doo-dah out of my asshole.
When things are going bad, inertia will set in and want to keep you in the house. It’s these times where only your resolve will get you out of the house. You don’t have to leave with the intention of setting the world on fire; you just have to go. As Woody Allen said, “showing up is 80 percent of life.”