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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Health Friday, April 09

Are Barbers Qualified to Give Mental Health Advice?

Barber shops are often seen as safe spaces for men, especially given the uptick of social injustice over the years — so much so that some men have found it therapeutic to vent and discuss their mental health. Do you support this type of unique therapy or should matters of the mental health be strictly in the hands of professionals?