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At the end of 2008, I was living hundreds of miles away from my family and friends in Arizona with a cheating boyfriend. My self-esteem was at an all-time low and I was very depressed. I went a month without leaving my apartment. I took a brief leave from my day job to get my head straight. I traveled back to my home state of Minnesota to spend time with friends and family. While there, a group of friends invited me to a standup comedy show. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but my mom encouraged me to go. As I watched the comedians, it clicked. That's what I wanted to do! It had always been what I wanted to do, but I was terrified of public speaking. Fear was the only thing holding me back.

I went back to my parents' home that night and made a promise to myself that I would go back to Arizona and give standup comedy a try. What did I have to lose, right? In June of 2009, I performed standup comedy for the first time. I loved it! The anxiety. The excitement. The high. I was hooked! Standup gave me back my self-esteem. It made me realize my own worth and gave me the courage to get out of my unhealthy relationship and start living the life I wanted to live.

Seven years later, I am a standup comedian living in Los Angeles. It's definitely not easy, but I can't imagine doing anything else. I even met my husband doing standup comedy. He's also a comedian. I really do believe that comedy saved my life. Thank you for your consideration.

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