porno harms my wristsNew Year. New Me.

Or rather, Older Me but with new knowledge and wisdom compared to a year ago. This time last year I was wandering along a warm beach on the West African coast with my wife and children.

Exactly a year later and I am sheltering from the rain in my parents’ box room, in my pyjamas, sitting on the same bed I slept on for a decade during my formative years. Single. Alone. Broke.

I really shouldn’t have bought myself an iPad Air Christmas pressie – 128GB with 4G no less – to cheer myself up.

But, actually, it’s not so lonely. I have three baby nieces – ranging in age from 2 months to 2 years – to look after. Screaming, vomiting, pooping. I’ve done it all tonight.

They’ll be gone tomorrow, though. So I can be lonely again.

It’s been a year of firsts for Jay Islaam:

  • First Divorce
  • First Date in eight years
  • First African Holiday
  • First Trip to Thailand
  • First Stand-up Performance
  • First Gig at Edinburgh Fringe
  • First Blacklisting by a promoter
  • First Paid Gigs
  • First Comedy Prizes
  • First Blog – the one you’re reading now

And just yesterday, I received my first nomination for a Comedy Award. No, really. Apparently, I am a “Rising Star” of the Midlands Comedy Scene. Which, to be honest, given my five months on the comedy circuit is ludicrous, as the “Rising Star” is a category for people who have been going a few years but recently found a new gear performance-wise. A more appropriate category would have been “Best New Act” but even that would be a bit too early a recognition considering my sub-six month apprenticeship as a stand-up comedian.

(There are a lot of good names on that New Act nominations list, by the way, but Russ Mulligan will probably get my vote as I love his willingness to experiment. He’s like the Heston Blumenthal of comedians.)

 

So what do I want to achieve over the coming year? I can sum that up pretty simply: I want to be a better person than I am. I’ve come to the realisation that all of my failures, and ironically all of my achievements, over the past twelve months were down to my serious character flaws. I need to be healthier, in mind and body, for me to find true self-actualisation. (Sorry – been hanging out with shrinks.)

I started performing comedy with the expectation that it would fill a gaping hole in my personal fulfillment. And it did. Temporarily.

But, having spent most of 2013 alone, I now realise that happiness comes from real relationships – friendship, family, love – and the laughter and applause of strangers is a saccharine substitute.

Having said that, my hopes for the end of 2014 are:

  1.  To be healthier than I am right now.
  2. To be in a happy relationship with a non-mental.
  3. To have seen a part of the world that I’ve never seen before.
  4. (Which basically means South America or the Pacific Islands.)
  5. To have performed at three different festivals.
  6. Oh, and a little national recognition would be nice. 😉

 

Not asking for much, is it…?

 

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